AVIA: India offers huge headroom for growth across TV and digital | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Amidst what the organisation says was “the sombre pall of the pandemic”, the Asia Video Industry Association’s (AVIA) Future of Video India conference concluded that there was still much optimism for the industry in the country for broadcast.
DTH India Dish TV India installation 5 July 2017
And this optimism persisted despite a painful 2020 which had seen a 25% drop in TV advertising revenue. At the conference, Mihir Shah, VP, India, at leading regional analyst Media Partners Asia (MPA) noted that with learnings from the last year and economic resurgence picking up in certain sectors, it was likely that in the next five years, with every new incremental dollar in the region, India will have 35% share, almost evenly divided between television and online video.
While cable in general was going through a structural decline, pay-TV subscriptions were predicted to grow both in value and volume and continue to offer scale for the traditional media players. And with more than 60 online video services in India, MPA said the total addressable market will continue to expand.

AVIA reported that local expansion is what Sunil Rayan, president and head of Disney+ Hotstar, was eyeing, with its next stage for growth primed at developing their product for India, with pricing and content made for the local market. As India is a mobile first market which drives individual viewing, while OTT [versus] TV is not a zero-sum game, OTT content needs to be far more engaging for individual viewing. “Fundamentally, we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach for India because there are multiple Indias within India,” Rayan remarked.

The sentiment of diversity and positive co-existence between the platforms was also indicated by Megha Tata, MD of South Asia for Discovery Communications India. “India lives in several centuries at the same time,” Tata observed. “And this is not only the beauty and complexity of the market but also the opportunity to do more. While it is still a long way away before the demise of the TV, a differentiated content and product offering remains a key focus. “Content is the king . . . distribution is the god . . . that play of god and king will continue but differentiation of content . . . will play a critical part in decision making.”

And differention, and focus in general, on content is a key driver for global subscription video-on-demand firm Netflix for whom local VP of content Monika Shergill remarked that premium storytelling was a new space in India, as Indian audiences were open to experimentation and yet gravitating towards highly local tastes. “Our job and our passion is to find the best stories . . . the biggest stories . . . the untold stories from India and to become the service of choice for Indians in India . . . and in different parts of the world,” Shergill commented.

For Nimisha Pandey, head of Hindi Originals, ZEE5, told the AVIA event that while the initial focus for the company was on building volume, it has now shifted to adding to the diversity and scaling up the content offering. Pandey too saw the need to up the game on the regional market for the next set of growth. “There is . . . so much demand that . . . there is much hope for everyone . . . to grow their businesses,” said Pandey.