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Report on Shemaroo

The Content Hub 2020: An enriching and engaging first day

The event saw a successful turnout

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MUMBAI: Indiantelevision.com’s The Content Hub 2020 progressed into more insightful afternoon sessions after an enriching morning session. The discussion centred around the need for focussing on quality content and right storytelling. Top industry executives spoke about trending topics in the industry as well as the need to focus on creating relevant content.

The power of regional storytelling

The panel on the power of regional storytelling was moderated by Bodhitree Multimedia co-founder-director Mautik Tolia with the panelists Endemol Shine India CEO Abhishek Rege, Vaishnave Mediaa Works managing director Kutty Padmini, Star Maa & Star Vijay creative consultant and Zee Network Programming Trainer Vivek Bahl, Fakt Marathi co-promoter Shirish Pattanshetty and Prime Focus Technologies SVP-global localisation Jyoti Nayak. 

The panelists elaborated on the need for exploring regional stories, challenges faced by the broadcasters and creators, dubbed content and remaking of regional content and the way forward. The panelists mentioned that more localised stories are the way forward to connect with larger audiences.

Originals created on OTT bring more stickiness

The second panel discussed the need for generating audiences and building stickiness around the content that has been created. The panel was moderated by ISOBAR India chief growth officer Shekhar Mhaskar with panelists Red Chillies Entertainment head marketing Binda Dey, MX Player head of marketing and business partnerships Abhishek Joshi, Juggernaut Productions chief operating officer (OTT) Samar Khan, Filme founder Abhishek Shukla, EVP Lionsgate India executive vice president Amit Dhanuka, and Shemaroo Entertainment digital new media COO Zubin Dubash.

The panel discussed why reaching the target audience is important and how traditional broadcasters would retain their core audiences in view of increasing affinity towards on-demand OTT platforms.  

The panelists said that OTT works in two ways: one is the technology which is giving someone, who used to watch television earlier at 9 pm, an opportunity to watch the same show at any time. OTT has supplemented television audiences in many ways and also brought in audiences who are not getting that content on television. The originals created on OTT are bringing in more stickiness which consumers were not getting to watch earlier.

Research important while creating content: Nepa India

Creating content is nothing without appropriate research about the audience and their choices, said Nepa India’s managing director Esha Nagar.

Dwelling at length on the nitty-gritty of research, Nagar pointed out that it's important to understand how the content resonates with the audience.

Due to the proliferation of over-the-top platforms, content has been consumed across genres, genders and boundaries, says Nagar. She said at least 60 per cent of the South Indian viewers watch Hindi content. Similarly, 50 per cent of the audience watch shows due to the ‘fear of missing out’ and peer pressure.

The way forward with movies

Viacom18 Studios COO Ajit Andhare in a fireside chat with Film Companion founder-editor Anupama Chopra spoke about discovering new stories and new talent. They also touched upon the need for studios to be open for stories coming from everywhere. 

Andhare says regional cinema is an exciting space. It is far ahead in experimentation compared to the Hindi cinema since directors down South are willing to take creative risks.

Asked about the secret behind choosing a movie, Andhare said: “It is actually reacting to what is happening around you. You only go with stories that make sense to you that broadly have been the approached. The content conceived a year ago may not be relevant now.”

According to Andhare, Bollywood actors are at the heart of the universe of films and you cannot take that away from them. But today you cannot also just go with a star-led project; it is also important to look at the content. Even the star needs a story.

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