Report on Shemaroo

Industry leaders provide valuable insights on content creation at The Content Hub 2020

Day 2 of the event kicks off today.


MUMBAI: The fourth edition of The Content Hub 2020, presented by Indiantelevision.com, saw a gala turnout with scores of people eager to hear industry leaders speak about content and the way forward. While the first part of the day saw discussions on digital content and the second half went into understanding storytelling, research and OTT format, the last part saw a mix of audio content, movies and digital transformation.

Before we venture into day two, here’s a wrap of what happened yesterday.

The audio content business

Rainshine Entertainment co-founder and COO Anuraag Srivastava in a fireside chat with Monisha Singh Katial explored the opportunity of the podcast business. The audio and podcast side is a new venture for the company where it dedicatedly has two verticals looking after AVOD and SVOD services.

Srivastava believes the potential gap between the audience belonging to rural and urban space is increasing because the content on television is not heard on the radio anymore. So, podcast is a way by which small towns can plug in through radios. "One of the things that we see here, unlike the US, is that India entirely skipped the satellite radio market where we went from short wave to FM. There was never a serious radio or anything equivalent of radio where you paid to hear good content" he mentioned.

A new wave is taking over big screens

Rather than relying on big B-Town stars, new-age directors, writers, scriptwriters are focusing on delivering messages through stories. At the panel ‘The role of writers and directors in developing the magic script’ at The Content Hub 2020, the panellists agreed that the audience wants new stories in a familiar way.

Screenwriter, script consultant and advisor Anjum Rajabalia, film director, writer and producer Hansal Mehta, screenwriter and director Hitesh Kewalya, film director, writer and producer Om Raut, dialogue writer and director Sumit Arora participated in the panel.

The panellists opined that not only we have opened up to social issues but the crucial thing is that it is being led by good writing. He also added that people have begun realising the importance of a good script. The panellists also agreed that storytelling needs to be relooked at and constantly evolve. According to them, if the most politically, socially relevant and taboo topics can be told in a manner that can touch hearts, then stories will travel far. 

Decoding new-age content

The last couple of years have seen a huge evolution of content with the shifting paradigm. At The Content Hub 2020, the creators who are at the forefront of the change discussed the way forward and what are the new initiatives they are taking.

Actor and creator Mallika Dua said she is looking at long-format content as well. She has been more into short format content. She also added that spending quality time online should be the focus rather than random scrolling. Pocket Aces founder Anirudh Pandita, who in a lighter note said that their mission is to solve boredom in India, mentioned that he is looking at two new segments.

OML Entertainment chief executive officer Gunjan Arya said that working with creators and growing platforms have opened up more opportunities. OML is looking at making Comicstaan in Tamil. It is also working with OTT platforms to get content outside India.

YouTube partnerships director Satya Raghavan said that while there is the platform’s traditional advertising-driven business, now it is also looking at subscription business including YouTube Premium, YouTube Music, etc. He also added that some partners can sell their own inventory on the platform which is another revenue stream. TVF content and business global head Rahul Sarangi spoke about the creator’s new focus in vernacular languages and output deals with major OTT platforms.

Fireworks India CEO Sunil Nair said that it would not depend on influencers-based content. He also added that it’s not necessary for short-format apps to do cringy content.

Digital content, self-censorship and more 

Applause Entertainment CEO Sameer Nair took the stage with House of Cheer founder Raj Nayak to discuss the realm of TV and OTT content. Nair said that this trend of pushing everything to digital-first will not allow enough revenue to come through. Instead, we must follow the US approach of first releasing movies in the theatre and then giving them out on DVD or digital.

When it comes to series-based content, Nair said that digital benefits in giving the user the power to decide rather than the broadcaster deciding for them. That's why international content is being consumed with subtitles. TV, though it was successful, it was a one-way street.

Nayak posed a question on the need for self-censorship and whether it will kill creativity. To that Nair responded that self-regulation is a tricky area and people are finding innovative ways to tackle that. He also added that people realise that if they don't self-censor, they will face repercussions.

Movies and their success

The success of a film is never planned, it happens. This was the unanimous response of the panel moderated by Talkietive Content Creators co-founder Priyanka Sinha Jha, with panellists Reliance Entertainment group chief executive officer Shibasish Sarkar, Azure Entertainment chief executive officer Sunir Kheterpal and Zee Studios chief executive officer Shariq Patel.

The panellists were of the view that the emotions embodied in the story of the film resonate with the audience then it definitely creates a market for itself. And, this is the biggest reason why Dangal and Bahubali both part one and two received huge success in the foreign markets like China.

Moreover, the panellists also echoed the same view that the cost of talent is never sustainable. However, there is also value related to the face and that eventually ends up generating more revenue.

There’s a market for everything and the business of films and content is here to stay no matter what platform it is released on.

Stay tuned with us for more updates from day 2 of The Content Hub 2020.

Day 1 Highlights

The Content Hub 2020: An enriching and engaging first day

The Content Hub 2020: Creators emphasise on importance of content quality over formats

Check out the gallery from Day 1 of The Content Hub 2020

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