Campaign India's December series where industry leaders talk about a surprising moment from 2018 and an expectation from 2019.
Here's what Vineet Sodhani, CEO, Spatial Access, had to say.
A surprising moment from 2018
2018 had lots of surprises. One could bucket them into M&As (Unilever – SmithKline Beecham ; Idea – Vodafone ; Zydus – Heinz); IPL viewership and buzz under Star; Zee’s openness to have a strategic investor, Jio’s FTH plan etc but to my mind, Content Bloom was the most important episode. It created tremendous buzz in the M&E sector and will have long term implications on how we produce, market, buy and consume content.
When Netflix launched its first India original with Sacred Games followed by Ghoul and when this was followed by Amazon Prime’s Mirzapur, the other OTT players knew that either they have to up the stakes and improve their game or be prepared to pack-up or be sold out. This Content Bloom will mean valuation losses at one end (there maybe half a dozen OTT players left when I write this next year) but also mean that the creative industry will get a huge boost with hundreds of crores being pumped in by major OTT players. For the first time in 75 years we are talking high quality engaging entertainment outside of Bollywood, Regional Cinema and Cricket. Though small in 2018 and largely restricted to Hindi/Hinglish videos, Content Bloom will be sizable in all forms– stories, blogs and discussions in 15-20 vernacular languages. Monetisation? Well that will remain a quest for some time but then so it is for most E-commerce platforms anyways even after years of existence.
Events to watch out for in 2019
General Elections – let’s just say there will be two IPLs in 2019.
Not only because of the macro effect of the results on the economic mood of the M&E sector but also because the General Elections is likely to add between 2-3% additional growth to the sector. Previous edition in 2014 saw many news channels adding 20-30% revenue to their annual numbers. Newspapers, Digital and OOH got a good boost too. This year, thanks to the recent state election results, spends will be bigger and it will be safe to assume that the General Elections will add an equivalent of IPL to the revenue numbers of the industry.
Year-ender 2018: 'Political stability post elections is very critical for the growth of the industry'
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