Specials

IDOS 2014: Alternative platforms eye growth in phase III and IV of digitisation

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/event-coverage/2014/09/29/idos-logo-2014_1_0.jpg?itok=DN3eMRUw

MUMBAI: With digitisation being delayed for phase III and IV of digitisation, alternative platforms such as HITS and OTT will see their importance rising. Speaking on the growth of alternative video platforms were Doordarshan deputy director general CK Jain, IMCL MD and CEO Tony D’silva, JAINHITS MD Ankur Jain and Zenga TV MD and CTO Shabir Momin moderated by indiantelevision.com founder, CEO and editor in chief Anil Wanvari and Media Partners Asia executive director Vivek Couto.

Couto started off by asking how the digitisation delay will impact DD’s DTH service Freedish to which CK Jain responded by saying that it won’t hurt Freedish or DD much because most of DD’s audience is in phase III and IV markets. “There are still many households that don’t yet have a TV set but I’m sure that the new households are likely to have DD Freedish as the connection or our upcoming DVB T2 service. So even if we lose out on some numbers, we will most likely make them up with the new ones,” he said.

Ankur Jain was then asked to explain a bit about his HITS model to which he highlighted that JAINHITS has 253 services out of which 140 are free to air (FTA) for which no subscription is charged. However, the road wasn’t easy for them. He said that most broadcasters refused to give content on the pretext of geo fencing and piracy. “It took six months of TDSAT and High Court. But we still have one of the highest content rates in the industry as most of them are on RIO which we subsidise for our partners,” he said.

JAINHITS has signed up with nearly 300 partners in 240 districts that have an analogue base of 2.7 million customers. As far as digitisation delay is concerned, Ankur Jain said, “The Minister had started making noise around the delay a while before it was announced and indiantelevision.com wrote the first story on it and it spread like wildfire. But we haven’t seen any real change in business volumes, demand for STBs, headends etc.”

According to him, this model acts like an aggregator for the smaller operator and for bigger ones, an opportunity to reach smaller markets where they don’t have fibre or reach. When questioned about the challenges a HITS operator has to face, Ankur Jain said that it was the pressure to keep STB cost low. But eventually, it was seen that the STB that was sold to the LCO at Rs 2300 was being sold by the LCO to the customer either at Rs 2300 or Rs 2500. “The cable guy was cribbing that we would make him bankrupt. But they have the money and ability to talk to consumers and in most cases, they market the price up and sell it,” he pointed out.

Mindset is also an issue while dealing with content companies because some of them want average revenue per user (ARPU) to go up while some want to selectively distribute and keep ARPU low and charge good rates.

On the other hand, D’silva feels that the Hinduja ideology for launching HITS is different. “One of the major issues of phase I and II was that we aren’t getting fair share. The reason why we are looking at HITS is to bring order in disorder and we are spending considerable money to upgrade and take this network itself up,” he said. Content, however, remains an issue but according to him the way forward is to take content and make universal bundles.

D’silva claims that for cable operators nearly 60 to 65 per cent of revenue comes from phase I and II, which is about 30 million with another 100 million lying in phase III and IV. With this, bundling dynamics will have to change. The Hinduja HITS model is looking at launching prepaid from the first day along with services such as VAS, TV Everywhere etc.  “It is not about delaying or advancing digitisation. It is whether we make the same mistakes or learn from it,” he said.

He also said that he isn’t convinced about digitisation being mandated solely to increase ARPU as according to him ARPU is a function of the derivatives that are put in.

Addressing Momin, Couto asked him to highlight a bit about the digital model. Momin started off by saying that digital has always been taken either as a threat or as inconsequential.  “We are building for a leapfrog future. I have to worry about 19 formats (devices). Our advantage is lack of hierarchy leading to more growth,” he said.

The dynamics of digital is different where success is measured by minutes watched. Momin says that for digital platform, the important thing is to establish reach through good content. “I run two companies, Zenga TV and One Digital, both of them PAT positive. Sitting in India, we have a global platform with about 40 per cent revenue coming from international which has only 10 per cent viewership because their CPM rates are higher,” he said.

Couto asked whether advertising revenue from India was sufficient and if it was coming out of TV and whether this will lead to a subscription based model for OTT anytime soon. Momin feels that the last few years have seen content makers rip people off by giving low quality product, thereby losing trust. “Very few people will say that I don’t want to look at an ad, I want to pay for quality content,” he said while stating that brand integration was an important means of revenue.

Momin said that brands that were spending about Rs 50 lakh last year are now spending Rs 3 crore to Rs 3.5 crore but the important thing is brands mandating agencies to look at digital more. As far as ad rates are concerned, they aren’t the best in the world because of lack of good ad formats.

Coming to an end to the session, Couto asked the HITS players to highlight their value in the ecosystem. Ankur Jain said that JAINHITS is helping digital India plan, DOCSIS and two way cable be a reality while D’silva said that broadband would be a success when entertainment is added as an important quotient to ‘roti, kapda aur makaan’. 

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/05/07/ficci.jpg?itok=XzEfejwI
FICCI - Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas releases FICCI Frames ‘Entertainment Law Book 2020’ Report

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, today released ‘Entertainment Law Book 2020’ report. The report highlights regulatory developments in the field of TV broadcasting and distribution, music, radio, filmed entertainment, and other segments...

Specials Event Coverage Ficci Frames
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/23/nepa.jpg?itok=OgcTmzWX
Research is important while creating content: Nepa India

MUMBAI: Research is a key ingredient before the launch of any product or brand. And creating content is nothing without appropriate research about the audience and their choices, explains Nepa India managing director Esha Nagar while giving a presentation at the fourth edition of The Content Hub...

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/19/content.jpg?itok=viAq282h
Spontaneity, gut feeling are fundamentals of my direction: Badhaai Ho director Amit Sharma

MUMBAI: The director is like the manager of a film who brings talent under one roof and extracts it to create good content, said film director and producer Amit Sharma while addressing fellow and budding content creators at the fourth edition of The Content Hub 2020 organised by indiantelevision....

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/16/mrinal.jpg?itok=YEgEZAGe
Supernatural genre gives writers most creative liberty

Writers of the popular TV show Naagin, Mukta Dhond and  Mrinal Jha, explored the scope of the supernatural genre at The Content Hub 2020 organised by indiantelevision.com. Dhond said that the most exciting thing about fantasy is that it gives creative liberty to writers. As they say, anything is...

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/16/sameer-nair.jpg?itok=KP9Rd6Ri
Applause Entertainment’s Sameer Nair on digital content creation, self-regulation and creative freedom

Creativity, freedom of expression, self-regulation and content quality are some of the factors that come into play for digital platforms. These topics were addressed in a fireside chat between House of Cheer founder and CEO Raj Nayak and Applause Entertainment CEO Sameer Nair, at Indiantelevision....

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/14/sooni.jpg?itok=nukJAGRR
It's the golden age of content: Sooni Taraporevala

MUMBAI: Sooni Taraporevala, an Indian screenwriter, photographer and filmmaker best known for her work in Mississippi Masala, spoke on ‘The Golden Age of Content’ at The Content Hub 2020 organised by indiantelevision.com.

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/13/frank..jpg?itok=_wguRbdU
Writers are the key to great content

At The Content Hub 2020 organised by indiantelevision.com, Tulsea talent manager Radhika Gopal and Matter Advisors founder and managing partner Caleb Franklin discussed the importance of creating an ecosystem and a platform for writers.

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/13/2.jpg?itok=HavmPjZK
Visuals go hand-in-hand with storytelling for compelling content

It takes massive effort, time and investment but delivers great result for producing high-quality content in terms of visuals, said Travelxp’s creative director Kamakhya Narayana Singh while sharing the advantages of 4K and 8K format during the fourth edition of The Content Hub 2020 hosted by...

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/13/cont.jpg?itok=cp9xxEXQ
More localised stories is the way forward to connect with larger regional audiences

Regional GEC is the new focus area after Hindi GEC for broadcasters, OTT platforms and production houses as well. South market is the biggest market in the regional space; it has grown by 45 per cent with OTT platforms investing in regional content.

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required