The concluding session of the 5th Edition of FAST TRACK DIGITAL, organised by FICCI and presenting partner, the Motion Pictures Association, was on content, technology & business models that will shape the future of digital services. The session was moderated by Mr. Prashanth Rao, Partner & Leader, M & E Consulting and featured a panel with industry experts Mr. Karthik Nagarajan, Head-Content, Wavemaker, Mr. Vinit Mehta, Director-New Business, Brightcove, Mr. Saugata Mukherjee, Head of Original Content – SonyLIV, and Ms. Kranti Gada, Chief Operating Officer, Shemaroo Entertainment Limited.
In a year of unprecedented change, the session shifted the lens to the future of the streaming ecosystem to explore the potential of the industry, how it will shape up and what needs to be done to ensure systemic growth for industry players as well as audiences.
While the panel unanimously agreed that the online content industry will see growth, and that market penetration in rural consumption is also exceeding expectations, several challenges were flagged.
Ms. Kranti Gada highlighted a key reason for churn in users was a gap between intent to consume & sampling of platforms and the challenges in payment systems to enable long term accessibility. She said that currently the cost of reaching a mass audience is quite high. Different styles of content are required for SVOD vs AVOD etc.
Mr. Saugata Mukherjee noted a shift from long-form content to “bingeworthy” content that should further increase audience retention and engagement. He shared that SonyLIV is adapting a defined content strategy. For the time being, they are staying away from big-ticket films and are choosing content which is target oriented.
The panel also noted how the evolution of viewing devices influences creators and services to reimagine new content but also how to integrate advertisers into ecosystem to unlock additional revenue streams.
Further, Mr. Vinit Mehta touched upon the subject of a more advanced technology ecosystem including scalable, accessible and reliable technology to improve viewer experience.
To conclude, the future of the industry appears positive and promising. We are seeing good habits forming when it comes to consuming content on demand, on the go and at convenience, and most importantly audiences are willing to pay. With ease of entry, competition in this space will increase which is only healthy for the industry. The survivors will be the ones that have the right recipe combining content, technology and the team behind it.