In the OTT space in India, there is a huge spike in viewership, when there is a big game or series of Cricket and there is more than a 30 per cent drop during the rest of the days? How do you bring the wide variation down was one of the points that started off the discussion on OTT as a platform and its evolution in India.
Moderated by Paritosh Joshi, principal, Provocateur Advisory, the panel comprised Gaurav Gandhi, COO, Viacom18 Digital Ventures, Lalit Agrawal, senior vice-president, OMD Mumbai and Prabh Simran Singh, consumer and revenue lead, Hotstar.
Singh of Hotstar agrees that the cyclical nature of sports leads to a huge aggregation of audience for a short period of time. “It's strategic on how we use cricket to expand the top of the funnel and then consumers experience the wide variety of content and stay back,” he says.
He however says that non-cricket viewership is also increasing. “Without cricket we are still at 75 million. That was around 25 million last year. On the back of entertainment, we have been able to grow by three times. Sequential monthly growth is important. We aim to get to 150 mn in the next six months,” he says.
Gandhi of Viacom18 adds that a year ago, the number of people on digital video (ex of Youtube) was in the range of 20-40 million. Now that number is close to 150 million. With Youtube that would be in excess of 200 million. “In 4-5 years there could be more homes with a streaming device than TV sets. We are going to see the broadband side when TV gets disrupted. In the next 12 months we are going to see a disruption on TV sets,” he declares.
Agrawal of OMD says, “There are two big shifts happening throughout the world. First, the move from media planning to content planning. The second is that we are in a world of addressability where OTT comes in a very big way.”
He cautions that how it will grow will depend on how the metrics evolve. There needs to be a lot of collaboration between publishers, advertisers and agencies. “How do we define the role of this medium. Do we treat this as a television? Should we talk differently? In terms of metrics, we shall always look at numbers. But given the personal nature of this medium, can there be a better way. The third is the message. Should advertisers be running the same TVC,” he asks.
Gandhi adds, “India is the only market where so much of premium content is available outside the paywall. As a community what are we doing to take advantage of that?”