Future of Video India
10 September 2020

Within the Asian landscape, India, with a population of 1.3 billion, has always been unique. After years of being one of the world’s most important Pay TV markets, a new revolution is underway. While growth in television continues, mobile internet is exploding and creating what could soon be one of the biggest video streaming markets. The entry of more than 30 streaming platforms in a span of barely three years speaks volume about the massive potential this industry has. As we head towards 2021, we’ll take a deep dive into the trends the video streaming industry in India will see play out next year, and what the key drivers of growth will be for both industry players and consumers in this market.

Conference Highlights

  • India Video Trends, Forecast and Statistics with the Impact of COVID-19
  • SVOD vs AVOD Models: Battle for the Living Room
  • The Future of Video Streaming: How Technology is altering Business Practices
  • Ideas that Scale: Localising Global Formats for the India Market
  • Consumers and Content in a Mobile Economy

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Sameer Nair
Applause Entertainment
Aparna Purohit
Head of India Originals
Amazon Prime Video
Sunil Lulla
BARC India
Rishi Negi
Banijay Asia
Xavier Leclercq
VP of Business Development
Anvita Dutt
Vanita Kohli-Khandekar
Consulting Editor
Business Standard
Sushant Sharma
Vivek Bhargava
DAN Performance Group
Megha Tata
MD, South Asia
Discovery Communications India
Sunil Kumar
Head of Product Engineering
Abhishek Rege
Endemol Shine India
Manish Chopra
Director & Head of Partnerships, India
Neha Toteja
Senior Director and Head of Flipkart Video
Anindo Banerjee
Originals Head
Raj Nayak
House of Cheer
Girish Menon
Partner and Head, Media and Entertainment
KPMG India
Uday Sodhi
Senior Partner
Kurate Digital Consulting
Rohit Jain
Lionsgate South Asia
Ganendra Selvaraj
Associate VP – Sales
Chiranjeev Singh
Head of Marketing, APAC
Abhishek Joshi
Head of Marketing and Business Partnerships
MX Player
Srishti Behl Arya
Director International Originals
Netflix India
Rajat Nigam
Group CTO
Network18 Media
Dolly Jha
Country Head
Nielsen Media - India
Raman Kalra
Partner and Leader - Media, Entertainment & Sports Advisory
PwC India
Rajiv Bakshi
Reliance Big Synergy
Kranti Gada
Shemaroo Entertainment
Manish Verma
Head of Technology
Alexandre Muller
MD Asia
Gourav Rakshit
Viacom18 Digital Ventures
Ian Mckee
Tarun Katial
ZEE5 India
Louis Boswell
Asia Video Industry Association

Speaker Spotlight

Tarun Katial
ZEE5 India
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    AVIA: Tarun, how has the past year been for ZEE5? What are your priorities for the new decade? Any major swings you’d like to take?

    Tarun: It has been a great year. When we completed two years this February, we were celebrating our success and looking ahead to continue building India’s entertainment super-app. Since then, we have moved ahead on our path of continuing to lead with innovations that deliver extraordinary entertainment experiences powered by content, technology and data. We persisted in our efforts to create an ideal user ecosystem encompassing devices, data, content, and user experience. We have been extremely successful in reaching out to a large premium mass consumer base by virtue of our User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) supporting 12 languages.

    Building on this strong foundation over the next decade, I see an increased focus on hyper-personalisation to create an experience that makes each consumer’s app unique with customised UI and UX in your language, personalised recommendations and more, down to the Content Delivery Network recognising your device environment – slow 3G or fast 4G, and delivering the kind of video that can be played on your particular phone.

    Automation will play a major role. We have made significant investments in technology and will continue to do so. While most of the app is today curated through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), the next few years should see this going to the next level with content packaging on the fly, personalised packs, and more.

    We are preparing for the advent of 5G, which promises to be a game-changer enabling delivery of immersive content like never before. This would give a major fillip to the element of content gamification that we have introduced on our platform with ZEE5 Super Family, that lets our consumers play along in a fantasy league version of our fiction shows! Live gamification will take consumer affinity to shows and characters to another level. The coming decade beckons and as Sherlock Holmes would say, ‘The game is afoot!’

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    AVIA: How do you see the two models (AVOD and SVOD) developing for ZEE5, and is there a priority between the two to drive your VOD play further?

    Tarun: We have been following a robust AVoD (Advertising Video-on-Demand) and SVoD (Subscription Video-on-Demand) strategy since the launch with big investments on the AVoD side in building the ad suite. However, between the two, we have been focusing on different offerings. AVOD would have more digital video ideas while SVOD would offer more premium use cases such as education, direct-to-digital movies, original content, short videos, aggregated news platforms, live news and live events. For AVOD, we are also building a self-serve bidding model where advertisers can book their own advertising slots, bid for advertising slots with pricing on a bidding model, and optimise the advertisement themselves democratising decision making on all levels.

    India as a market has demand for both AVoD and SVoD and our aim is to build a great base of recurring consumers for both models. Nevertheless, we have been seeing significant growth in subscription revenues with a rise in viewing hours and subscription through direct subscribers, bundled subscribers through telecom partnerships. Our AVoD platform has free consumers who come in for the catch up TV on the platform, but we have been seeing stagnation in the linear TV consumer numbers. On the other hand, our AVOD to SVOD translation is increasing and about 10% of our base on AVOD converts onto SVOD. In addition, our investments on building platforms like connected devices and living room devices has been reaping dividends and today the ZEE5 app is installed in all smart TVs.

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    AVIA: How would you rate the relative importance of content and technology as competitive advantages in streaming?

    Tarun: At present, content does form the bulk of our investment, followed by technology and customer acquisition. However, this is because we are in the early stages of our growth. Going forward, I see both content and technology being critical for a competitive advantage. While content is what will attract the consumer, technology is critical for the consumer experience. This is evident in our approach to deliver a great amalgamation of content and technology at the segment of ONE that brings our USP alive. We believe that UX needs to be paired with strong content to give the consumer an experience that he will treasure and want to return to repeatedly. Personalization, ease of navigation will need to come together with great content to give consumers an engaging experience. Consumers today have high expectations both from content and technology and we need to give them the best in both for a sustainable competitive advantage.

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    AVIA: What are your predictions on what we can expect from the industry at large over the course of the coming year, particularly post COVID-19?

    Tarun: COVID-19 has accelerated adoption of all things digital and this is visible in the increased viewership of OTT platforms. We have seen an increase in the number of premium users. This will continue in the coming year. We will see consumers looking for different kinds of content on different devices with content becoming device agnostic. Smart TVs will see a rise in demand, as many consumers have gotten accustomed to access their favorite content on something other than their smartphone. We will see an increase in the use of AI and Big Data for hyper-personalizing the consumer experience and targeting advertisements. While content will remain king, the technology that makes this content accessible and visible to the consumer will also gain in importance. We also see a resurgence in regional content as well as an increase in initiatives to increase consumer engagement on OTT platforms.

Manish Chopra
Director & Head of Partnerships, India
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    AVIA: Manish, how would you characterize how 2019 has been for Facebook India? And what has 2020 looked like so far, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis?

    Manish: India is an important market for Facebook and we have been making deep and thoughtful investments in people, technology and partnerships in the country. At the core of it is our focus on advancing India’s social and economic growth while creating meaningful impact; keeping our community safe, and driving innovation.

    As more people around the world practice social distancing in the wake of COVID-19, we’ve seen people use our apps more than ever. The pandemic has accelerated broader technological shifts. Consumers and businesses are rapidly adapting to doing everything online. We especially saw an uptick in the number of people who watched live videos on Facebook. There are now more than 800 million daily active users engaging with live streams across Facebook and Instagram for workout classes, concerts, faith services, and more. Content creators and groups of all hues – from digital-first creators, public figures, self help communities and celebs to publishers and media companies have taken to the platform to innovate and devise interesting ways in order to engage and entertain their community.

    Economic disruption as a result of Covid-19 has been very rampant and most businesses large or small are pivoting towards digital for connecting with their consumers and growth and we believe we have a material role to play in the revival and success of small businesses.

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    AVIA: What is Facebook India trying to do that is different to other online streaming services? 

    Manish: Our video strategy for India is truly reflective of the width of consumer tastes in the country.  We have invested in Movies, Music and Cricket to drive engagement and give our community what they want. We work with creators, publishers and media partners to showcase and enable content that is most relevant to our community.

    At Facebook, we provide an active viewing experience, where the viewer is not only watching a show, but the show also sparks interactions and conversations with friends, other fans, and the community around the content. When one watches a video on Facebook Watch, our dedicated place for videos, they have the opportunity to comment, like, share groups messages, use reactions and polls, and even hold Watch Parties; making the experience interactive and personalised. Over the past few months, culture has gone virtual and with more and more people accessing our platforms, we will continue to explore ways to provide video content that is engaging and meaningful for our consumers.

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    AVIA: How is Facebook India stitching content deals and where will monetisation be most effective?

    Manish: Our focus in India with Watch is reflective of the diverse consumer tastes in the country- ranging from cricket to cinema, from creators and cultural moments to current affairs. We have strategically invested in culturally relevant, of-the-moment videos across sports, entertainment, news and lifestyle in the country with partnerships with leading players in these domains including ICC, Filmfare Awards, IIFA Awards and even leading vernacular content producers. We’ve also been working hand-in-hand with our partners in the music industry including players like T-Series, Zee Music, Yash Raj Films, Saregama and IPRS amongst others to explore opportunities to bring music into all the ways people are sharing and connecting on our platforms. More recently, we introduced Music Videos on Facebook Watch in India enabling people to view their favourite music videos and come together through music. 

    We collaborate with media organizations, public figures and influencers to ensure high quality content which drives measurable business results through reach, engaging audiences, and providing innovative content experiences.

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    AVIA: What is the biggest barrier for growth today in India?

    Manish: India is at an inflection point – more than 500 million people have come online in India in the last 5 years, yet nearly 50% of India’s population is yet to be connected to the internet; leaving a huge untapped base for digitization. 

    COVID-19 has accelerated the relevance of the digital medium in an unparalleled way. Be it for education and healthcare or for garnering information or seeking entertainment – immersive mobile experiences have enabled access and connectedness despite the physical constraints. 

    Facebook’s family of apps are playing an even more critical role in the lives of people during these challenging times as people are leveraging our platforms more than ever to connect with friends and family.  We are also working with both small and large businesses to craft solutions that enable them to ensure business continuity and unlock growth in these times. We believe that we have a huge canvas for creating impact here in India and will continue to explore ways to contribute to the social and economic transformation of the country.

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    AVIA: What are you watching right now – and how are you watching it?


    • La Liga on Facebook Watch Live… Real Madrid!
    • The Test on Prime Video
    • Fauda and Suits on Netflix


Time in IST


Welcome Address

Louis Boswell, CEO, AVIA


India Market Overview: Video Trends, Forecast and Statistics with the Impact of COVID-19

The Indian video streaming industry is still at a nascent stage of growth. However, the entry of more than 30 streaming platforms in a span of barely three years speaks volumes about the massive potential this industry has. This rapid growth has not only provided vast opportunities for content creators and owners but also advertisers and brands in the digital consumer market. With the COVID-19 crisis and consumers turning to streaming platforms in droves, this change has been accelerated like never before. This presentation evaluates the impact of COVID 19 on video consumption and monetisation in India, and what the key drivers for video streaming and market share
are across India today.

Sunil Lulla, CEO, BARC India


Thought Leaders Talk: The Future of Media in India and Dealing with Post COVID-19

The impact of COVID-19 is widespread and has likely shaped businesses and changed consumer behavior for the last few months. It is having a marked impact on media supply, consumption, and advertising. Demand for streamed and live content is skyrocketing while new content creation has stalled. This session will discuss the macro trends COVID-19 has brought about. How are media companies dealing with the
challenges while also seizing the unexpected opportunities during and post crisis? What does the future of media look like in India? What do businesses think about online distribution strategies going forward, and what needs to evolve?

Sameer Nair, CEO, Applause Entertainment
Vivek Bhargava, CEO, DAN Performance Group
Megha Tata, MD – South Asia, Discovery Communications India
Tarun Katial, CEO, ZEE5 India
With Raj Nayak, CEO, House of Cheer


In Conversation: Entertaining India

Even for a single country, Indian consumers have diverse tastes and preferences in entertainment. With streaming, these entertainment choices are being governed by stories that appeal to individual tastes of consumers. The democratization of storytelling also means that creators are able to tell stories as they intend to, free from the constraints of language, time and form. Let’s hear from Srishti Behl Arya on how Netflix plans to keep India entertained.

Srishti Behl Arya, Director International Originals, Netflix India
With Anvita Dutt, Director, Bulbbul


Local and Global Growth – Playbook for Success

Companies are ramping up and making a big push into India, forming strategic partnerships to make life easier for their subscribers. In this session, we explore each organisation’s growth strategy. How are they getting the next 500 million users to pay? What are the trends and predictions that we can expect from the industry at large over the course of the year?

Aparna Purohit, Head of India Originals, Amazon Prime Video
Rohit Jain, MD, Lionsgate South Asia
Kranti Gada, COO, Shemaroo Entertainment
Alexandre Muller, MD APAC, TV5Monde
With Vanita Kohli-Khandekar, Consulting Editor, Business Standard


The Future of Video Streaming: How Technology is Altering Business Practices

There is no question that the video streaming industry is on the rise and in a big way. At the same time, consumer expectations are rapidly changing. With technological advancements at the forefront of this burgeoning marketplace, what do organisations
need to do to satisfy viewers? In this panel, we hear from thought leaders on some of the business and technology trends that will emerge and shape the TV and video industry in the next 2 years. How do companies align their business with today’s ‘digital first’ imperative? What are the strategic drivers for technology investments? How can they succeed in building compelling platforms to engage viewers and thereby increase
the revenue potential for video?

Sushant Sharma, VP APAC, Conviva
Ganendra Selvaraj, Associate VP – Sales, MEASAT
Rajat Nigam, Group CTO, Network18 Media
Manish Verma, Head of Technology, SonyLIV
With Chiranjeev Singh, Head of Marketing, APAC, MediaKind


In Conversation: SVOD vs AVOD Models – Battle for the Living Room

The India OTT space, with more than 30 players in the arena, is primarily modeled on AVOD or Freemium with SVOD catching on. The foray into the subscription space with Voot Kids is the first step towards building an entire digital ecosystem under brand Voot. In this session, we hear which business model will win the day in the fiercely erupting streaming wars. Does a freemium proposition represent the best of both worlds in India? Is a different content rights acquisition strategy required to support the different business models?

Gourav Rakshit, COO, Viacom18 Digital Ventures
With Dolly Jha, Country Head, Nielsen Media – India


Ideas that Scale: Localising Global Formats for the India Market

The last decade has witnessed the growth of TV formats  developed in one market sold internationally for local adaptations. India is now joining the list of major purveyors of
TV formats that can be easily adapted to local tastes. In this session, we explore how these different streaming platforms have opened up unprecedented opportunities for localizing global formats. What is involved in the enhanced phase of co-development and production and is India ready for it? What are the opportunities and challenges that come with localizing global formats?

Rishi Negi, COO, Banijay Asia
Abhishek Rege, CEO, Endemol Shine India
Rajiv Bakshi, CEO, Reliance Big Synergy
With Raman Kalra, Partner, M&E Advisory Leader, PwC India


The Future of Content Distribution & Acquisition in India

Digital marketplaces are quickly becoming the new normal for content acquisition and distribution in the age of social distancing. Vuulr’s digital content marketplace allows buyers and sellers worldwide to negotiate directly and close deals digitally within
days. In this session, we will explore the digital transformation of India’s content industry and how buyers & sellers alike stand to benefit from a borderless content economy.

Ian McKee
, CEO, Vuulr


Diving into India’s Newest OTT Players – New Ideas, New Strategies

As video streaming becomes popular in India, not only are big streaming players investing in it, so are a host of startups, single channel providers and boutique content production houses. We explore their business and monetization strategies, pricing models and how they are orienting themselves to compete and ensure growth is sustainable and for the long run.

Anindo Banerjee
, Originals Head, hoichoi
Neha Toteja
, Senior Director and Head of Flipkart Video, Flipkart
Abhishek Joshi
, Head of Marketing and Business Partnerships, MX Player

With Uday Sodhi, Senior Partner, Kurate Digital Consulting


In Conversation: Consumers and Content in a Mobile Economy

Facebook has taken an active role in India’s emerging digital economy, experimenting with different levers that can lift revenue across lifestyle services. How are the organization’s investment and go-to-market strategies evolving? What impact will it have on video, entertainment, e-commerce and payment ecosystems in India?

Manish Chopra
, Director & Head of Partnerships, India, Facebook
With Girish Menon
, Partner and Head, Media and Entertainment, KPMG India


Closing Conversation: On Target to 10M Subscribers – How is DishTV Gowing Their OTT Audience During the Pandemic?

2020 is said to be accelerating change in many aspects of our lives. One aspect in our video industry is the rise of OTT platforms. In this case study, Xavier Leclercq (VP Business Development at Broadpeak) will explain how DishTV has successfully launched WATCHO, its new OTT service into a crowded market. We will be exploring how and why this new OTT service has met its audience so quickly, how Broadpeak contributed to the success, and where do DishTV go from here. The session will conclude with a Q&A session with Mr Sunil Kumar, the Head of Product Engineering at DishTV.

Sunil Kumar
, Head of Product Engineering, DishTV
With Xavier Leclercq, VP of Business Development, Broadpeak

16:00 Closing Remarks & End of The Future of Video India



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