Future of Video India
29 April 2021

The Future of Video India was held on 29 April where we discussed topics including:

  • Businesses in Transition: Narrowing the Gap Between Traditional TV and Digital
  • Telecom Leaders Talk: Aggregation and Subscription in India
  • Being ‘On-Demand Ready’: Content Plans for Consumer Retention in Upcoming Months
  • Advertising Spend for 2021: Linear TV or Video?
  • Tech Leaders Weigh in: Preparation for Direct-to-Consumer Platforms
  • She Power: Women Thought Leaders Share Predictions about Future of Video in India


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29 April 2021

Future Of Video India

India is currently the world’s fastest growing video streaming market and is rapidly becoming one of the largest as well.  And there is no lack of competition from multi-national giants to local hotshots. With innovative niche targeted services launching as well, the market dynamics are ever changing as different services with different business models jockey for pole position.  

What are the challenges being faced by local, regional and global streaming services, and what are their priorities around content, localisation and ultimately, business models, for the coming year?  What do they see the same and where do they differ?


Welcome Address

Louis Boswell, CEO, AVIA


Future of Video in India

India is currently the world’s fastest growing video streaming market and is rapidly becoming one of the largest as well. And there is no lack of competition among services from the multi-national giants Disney+ Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video as well as local hotshots ZEE5, Voot, SonyLIV, ErosNow and ALTBalaji. With innovative targeted services such as Hoichoi and Arre, the market dynamics are fascinating as different services with different business models from all these companies and more jockey for pole position. What does the video landscape look like for India in 2021? What are the key drivers for video streaming and market share across India today? What is changing in media supply and how will this impact the video value chain when the economy starts to recover?


Mihir Shah, VP, India, Media Partners Asia (MPA)



Keynote Conversation: The Future of India Entertainment and the Challenges of Streaming

Like the rest of the world, video streaming viewership in India is at an all-time high. While OTT platforms were trying to make a mark for themselves in the India market, the COVID-19 crisis emerged and accelerated its growth. From just two streaming platform providers in 2012 to over 40 players now, the streaming revolution has come a long way in India. We’ll take a look at the streaming business today in India, how the past year has presented opportunities for the video industry, and what the new business models are today.


Sunil Rayan, President and Head, Disney+ Hotstar


With Louis Boswell, CEO, AVIA


Businesses in Transition: Narrowing the Gap Between Traditional TV and Digital

The TV industry has been struggling to bridge the gap between traditional linear TV and digital channels. Traditional linear TV has grappled with cross-device viewership, loss of perceived value compared to digital, slow- to-measure campaign reporting, and an ongoing battle against the immediacy of digital. We look at how some content companies are betting the house on transitioning their linear businesses to streaming. Do you need to go direct to consumer to survive, and if so, does it have to be mass or are there niches to be filled? What is the right combination and strategy to bridge what is an undeniable chasm in the evolution of the video industry today?


10min presentation by Sunil Lulla, CEO, BARC India followed by a panel discussion.



Rahul Sood, MD – India and South Asia, BBC Global News Megha Tata, MD, South Asia, Discovery Communications India Deepak Mathur, EVP, Global Sales SES Video, SES

Mahesh Shetty, Head – Network Sales, Viacom18


With Sunil Lulla, CEO, BARC India



Leveraging Subscription Intelligence

Subscription business success necessitates intelligence at all phases of the subscription lifecycle. In this session, we will explore how subscription intelligence plays an important role in sourcing new customers, preventing churn, optimizing billing and growing the business.


Sharath Dorbala, CEO, Vindicia




Tech Leaders Weigh in: Preparation for Direct-to-Consumer Platforms

Going direct-to-consumer (D2C) is very much becoming the norm for video players, but what is that journey and how is it evolving? What are the technological challenges? In this session, we will explore the complete technology toolset needed to go direct – what’s available now and what’s on the horizon.



Stefan Lederer, Co-Founder & CEO, Bitmovin

Greg Armshaw, Senior Solutions Director, Asia, Brightcove Lokesh Chauhan, CTO, ErosNow

Manish Verma, Head of Technology, SonyLIV


With Rajat Nigam, Group CTO, Network18 Media


In Conversation: Made in India, Watched by the World

India is one of the world’s great centres of entertainment where world-class creative talent, superb creative vision and a treasure-trove of stories come together in an unbelievable way. Today, there are tremendous opportunities to bring to the world high-quality stories from the finest local creators that represent the rich diversity that India has to offer. In this session, we will explore how storytelling has changed over the last year for Netflix India. What is in the pipeline and how is Netflix planning to keep India entertained?


Monika Shergill, VP, Content, Netflix India


With Vanita Kohli-Khandekar, Consulting Editor, Business Standard


Telecom Leaders Talk: Aggregation and Subscription in India

The global video streaming market will double in size between 2019 and 2023. Contributing immensely to that global market growth is India’s video market. Witnessing this bubble, Indian telecom operators have redefined their selling strategies to orient their voice and data plans to suit the increased demand from subscribers for video streaming and other entertainment services. How is the role of telcos evolving in 2021? Are they aggregators of other people’s services and content or are they becoming content platforms in their own right, or both? With more D2C services proliferating, is there really a value proposition in having them all offered under one umbrella? What are the future plans to beat the competition and retain subscribers? What more can telcos offer to their subscribers under entertainment services?


Adarsh Nair, Chief Product & Experience Officer, Airtel and CEO, Airtel Digital Limited (Wynk) Nuno Sanches, GM, Media and Telecom, Kaltura


 With Shad Hashmi, Principal Consultant


In Conversation: Premium Content in a Streaming World

Lionsgate Play is committed to innovation across content, technology, pricing, and accessibility, by making premium Hollywood content available in multiple Indian languages. We look at how it is capitalizing on this opportunity for the Indian market. Does one need to go direct to consumer to survive, and if so, does it have to be               mass or are there niches to be filled? Are there plans to consider the freemium model for the India market and if so, are audiences ready to pay?


Rohit Jain, MD, Lionsgate South Asia and Networks – Emerging Markets Asia, Lionsgate


With Girish Menon, Partner and Head, Media and Entertainment, KPMG India


Being ‘On-Demand Ready’: Content Plans for Consumer Retention in Upcoming Months

Video streaming players have had a tremendous run as digital consumption of videos spiked during lockdowns across the globe. A whole slew of new consumers were introduced to a new medium of entertainment. Content libraries were expanded with each player battling to offer differentiated products. As COVID fears wane, we examine how platforms are re-focusing their content strategy to acquire and retain customers. What are their plans to diversify content libraries? How is the regional game playing out for streaming platforms and how can Indian regional language content gain scale?



Ajit Thakur, CEO, aha

Sebabrata Banerjee, Head, Digital Business, Odisha TV Network Saugata Mukherjee, Head of Originals, SonyLIV

Nimisha Pandey, Head – Hindi Originals, ZEE5


With Uday Sodhi, Senior Partner, Kurate Digital Consulting


Unpacking the CTV Opportunity in India

The past two years have seen Connected TV (CTV) devices grow at an astonishing rate globally as consumers continue to seek more convenient ways to engage with premium content. However, in India, the story is a little different. Despite the almost overwhelming number of OTT providers, the penetration rate of CTV devices in Indian households is modest. Are we on the precipice of significant CTV growth? What are the implications for both advertisers and sellers? And what really needs to happen for CTV to take off in India?


Deepak Tahiliani, Head of Digital Media Investments, GroupM India


With Tom Dover, Director, Video Marketplace Development APAC, Xandr


Advertising Spend for 2021: Linear TV or Video?

During the pandemic, the total number of viewers tuning in to linear TV increased by 62 million in India and the total number of minutes viewed breached the 1 trillion mark. Despite this huge spike in TV consumption, it was reported by Zenith that India will still see strong growth in video ad spends through 2022. Has digital media taken over television? Does the future lie with OTT advertising? How receptive are Indian viewers to advertising on OTT and what are their preferences? Are we seeing targeted online ads viewed more favourably than linear TV ads and if so, how is TV buying evolving as a result?



Vasuta Agarwal, MD, Asia Pacific, inMobi Yogesh Sehgal, Regional Manager, Asia, Magnite

Tanmay Mohanty, CEO Media Services, Publicis Groupe India

Ashish Sehgal, Chief Growth Officer, Ad Revenue, Zee Entertainment


With Anil Wanvari, Founder, CEO and Editor in Chief, Indiantelevision.com


Special Closing Session on She Power: Women Thought Leaders Share Predictions about the Future of Video in     India

In this session, women leaders will discuss their perspectives, challenges and ideas for pulling together best practices to strengthen gender equality both in the TV and video sector and within their organisations and share their views on what the industry might look like in the next 2-5 years.



Sapna Chadha, Senior Director of Marketing, Southeast Asia and India, Google Rubeena Singh, CEO, iProspect India

Dolly Jha, Country Head, Nielsen Media – India Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 Global


With Ashwini Gangal, Executive Editor, afaqs


Closing Remarks & End of The Future of Video India

Louis Boswell, CEO, AVIA

Speaker Spotlight

Monika Shergill
VP, Content
Netflix India
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    What’s the five-year journey of Netflix in India been like?

    It’s been a fantastic journey for us as we’ve taken the finest stories from all across the country to India and the world. India has a deep and rich storytelling heritage. We have a robust entertainment industry nation-wide, amazing creative talent to bring great stories to life and discerning consumers who love a dazzling variety of local and global stories. Whether its Mighty Little Bheem enthralling an audience of more than 27 million households around the world, International Emmy winning series Delhi Crime, or our beloved films like Guilty, Ludo and Pagglait, it’s been an extremely exciting journey for Netflix in India. We’ve just begun entertaining our audiences and we are committed to telling the best Indian stories for India and the world. 

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    What is Netflix India trying to do that’s different from other online streaming services?

    We want to be everyone’s service of choice by ensuring we provide best in class stories from India and around the world, superb recommendations on what to watch, a supreme user experience along with the tools to make the right viewing decisions for you and the family. We are deeply committed to India and have invested ₹3,000 crores in original programming over the last two years to build a universe of Indian stories on the service. Our recently announced lineup of 41 titles features more variety and diversity than we have seen before including the biggest films and series to gripping documentaries and reality, and unique comedy formats.

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    How has the Indian audience evolved in terms of consuming content on streaming services?

    Indian consumers are curious, experimental and love variety. We saw this last year with an increase in the viewing of stories across formats, genres and languages. Our Indian members love entertaining and engaging content anytime, anywhere and in a language of their choice. They appreciate the high quality and diversity of stories available on demand. India has the highest viewing of films on Netflix globally and over the last year, 80% of our members in India chose to watch a film every week. On the Top 10 row in India in 2020, Jamtara: Sabka Number Aayega was the Indian title to feature the longest, while our German series Dark was on the Top 10 row for 95 days and our Spanish series, Money Heist featured on our Top 10 row for 170 days.

Sunil Rayan
President and Head
Disney+ Hotstar
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    It’s coming to a year since you have taken over as the new President and Head of Disney+ Hotstar. How has everything gone, and what are your priorities for the coming year?

    The last few months have been action-packed. The Indian Premier League (IPL) for cricket, which is India’s biggest annual sporting event, was a big success. This was the first time IPL was behind a pay-wall for all users, and we received an overwhelming response. Disney+ Hotstar now contributes to about 30% of global Disney+ subscribers. The success of the Disney+ Hotstar model in India also encouraged us to launch it in Indonesia.


    Further, when the audience was craving for blockbuster movies given theatres were closed, we delighted them through our Multiplex initiative by releasing big local movies directly on Disney+ Hotstar.  We are also going deeper into non-Hindi markets and have launched several titles in Tamil, which were an instant success. So overall, we are very proud of what team Disney+ Hotstar has managed to accomplish in the last few months.


    The next IPL is on top of our minds right now. As always, we hope to delight our subscribers with an engaging and interactive viewing experience. We also have an aggressive content slate in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu, which should grow our users’ engagement on the platform. All of this helps drive our ambitious subscription agenda – by 2024, we hope to contribute 30-40% of Disney+’s subscriber base of 230-260M.

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    Will Disney+ Hotstar continue to be one service in India or there are plans to break it up into two separate services, Disney+ and Hotstar, as in some SEA countries?

    Disney+ was launched in India through a unique construct. We combined the magic of Disney’s storytelling with the existing scale and content proposition of Hotstar. The product has also been designed for a market such as India – lean on the wire, robust to scale, and mobile-first. So we want to continue growing Disney+ Hotstar in India, giving our consumers access to Disney’s content along with local content and live sports.


    Our approach will remain to keep the customer first and choose the construct that best suits our customers. Given the diversity of customer expectations in this part of the world, we will choose whichever service suits a particular market the best. 

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    What role will the regulatory environment play for the success of the streaming industry?

    India is widely considered the world’s fastest-growing video streaming market. Industry commentators say that it will grow at 25-30% annually for the next 4-5 years* [Source: PWC]. Not only is this very exciting for streaming players and consumers, but it will also grow an entire ecosystem of creators, entrepreneurs, artists, technicians, and all those getting employed directly or indirectly. Hence, it is critical, both for the industry and the country, that the regulatory environment facilitates this growth. We obviously respect the regulator’s role in protecting the industry and its consumers, but at the same time, we hope the OTT industry does not lose focus on growth and value creation.


    The scope of growth for the media & entertainment industry in India is massive. The size of the industry is around 1% of India’s GDP, whereas, for countries such as the US, UK, Germany, Japan, etc., the size is 3-4% of the GDP** [Source: BCG-CII Report]. A key driver of this growth would be video streaming and it needs a supportive regulatory environment to contribute to this growth.