In this Industry Spotlight with Rohit Jain, President, Lionsgate Play India & Emerging Markets – Asia, and Lohita Sujith, Sr. Director, Copyright & Digital Economy, Motion Picture Association, discussed the future of streaming and Lionsgate+.
Lionsgate has three main businesses: movies, series, and network. Internationally, the company brings about 40-50 movies to theatres every year and has approximately 35-40 shows in production. In addition to this, they have a number of auxiliary businesses like gaming, theme parks, and more. Entering streaming in 2016, Lionsgate was very early into the streaming business.
Having recently undergone a brand revamp, Rohit feels the brighter colors of the new look and feel align more with their target audience. As a platform, Lionsgate has always produced provocative content for the 25-45 age group, making edgier content. To match this in their branding they’ve changed to a brighter, more contemporary look and feel. Outside of the US, the company has changed their streaming platform name from Starzplay to Lionsgate+ for greater brand recall.
A large part of Lionsgate+’s service focuses on Hollywood content. In 2021, English content was thought to be something that would only attract Tier 1 cities, but Lionsgate+ has subscribers in more than 3000 cities. They are experimenting in dubbing in many local languages because consumers want to watch world class content but in their own language. Lionsgate+ is even dubbing French and Chinese content into local languages. The crux of the business remains great storytelling.
Lionsgate recently announced a partnership with PVR which will help them up the number of movies they bring to India in a year. Rohit says PVR is the right partner for distribution and that in having the right partner, Lionsgate can focus on what they do best: content. In India, John Wick 4 did about 400% better than John Wick 3. This, Rohit attributed to the partnership with PVR. This later resulted in John Wick 4 being Lionsgate’s most successful film on OTT till date.
Lionsgate+ has an ambitious goal of capturing double-digit market share. Rohit is optimistic that this will easily happen since outside of the two largest platforms and four broadcasters they are already one of, if not the largest player in terms of subs and revenue. According to Rohit, there are approximately 40 million OTT subscribers in India, and the market-size is on its way to 70 million. Lionsgate+ is already a high single-digit, so reaching the goal is not far from reach.
In closing remarks, Rohit expressed Lionsgate’s desire to reach more people, and close the gaps to make it more accessible for all potential consumers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rohit Jain, President, Lionsgate Play – India and Emerging Markets, Asia. He is a veteran with over two decades of professional experience and is the founding member of Lionsgate India. He has spearheaded the launch of Lionsgate Play across multiple markets in South Asia and has established several strategic partnerships with major Telco’s in India and Indonesia, including with major Broadband players in various markets, OEM’s, Airlines and global OTT aggregators. He has also been instrumental in establishing a robust licensing and syndication business for Lionsgate in South Asia creating a multi-million-dollar business. Rohit has also established the Theatrical Distribution business for Lionsgate, which included blockbusters such as Robinhood, Anna and Oscar nominated movies Knives Out and Bombshell. He is an industry voice at major media and entertainment forums. Prior to joining Lionsgate, he was the Deputy CEO of Videocon d2h. He has also worked with Aon, Price water houseCoopers and Deloitte. Rohit is an all-India rank holder as a Chartered Accountant.
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