The digital content industry is confident of finding its place in the market soon, with the advertisers rising interest in it and the Broadcast Audience Research Council planning a measuring tool for the segment.
The largely advertising driven and free subscription based over-the-top (OTT) platform is in a nascent stage in the domestic market with a dozen or so players. Being digital, it offers higher addressability and measurability of both the ads as well as the content.
“Digital (market) is taking baby steps now to create content for the discerning people who want original content. Give this industry a year or two and you will see a big change,” Viacom18 Digital Ventures Chief Operating Officer Gaurav Gandhi said over the weekend here.
The YouTube, which is an ad-funded and user-generated OTT platform, offers video on demand, while Viacom18s Voot, Jio Play (from Reliance Jio), TVF Play, OZee TV etc operate in the ad-led video on-demand space.
Others like Hotstar, Sony Liv, Ditto TV, Viu, ErosNow operate on a freemium model where some content is ad-led (free) while some is subscription-led. Netflix and Amazon Prime are subscription-led offerings.
Zulfiqar Khan, business head at ErosNow, the OTT platform of film producer and distributor Eros International, said, “As a medium, as content creators and as a platforms if we want to accelerate growth, we need to inspire the audience and wean them away from TV.”
He said ErosNow is toying with the idea of creating a mainstream film for the digital audience before a theatrical release. Meanwhile, the Broadcast Audience Research Council is planning to launch a digital measurement tool this year, measuring the ads and content viewed on the new medium.
According to a the latest Ficci-KPMG report, leading OTT video platforms like Hotstar, Voot are dependent on ad revenues, while the likes of Hotstar have a small portion as subscription income.
Out of a total revenue of Rs 186 crore in fiscal 2016, Hotstars ad revenue contributed Rs 139 crore, while the subscription contributed only Rs 24 crore.
“The Broadcast Audience Research Council has moved into the video space. Covering digital video is not just covering pure-play digital video but it is covering TV on digital devices,” the councils business head for digital, Jamie Kenney, said.
“We need to see the holistic picture whether it is a YouTube pure-play, catch-up (TV) on digital,” he said.