MUMBAI:On November 1, 2018, international guest speakers and senior executives from India’s motion picture, television and digital industries presented a plan for the transformation of the digital content ecosystem required to achieve rapid growth in a sector that holds much promise.India’s OTT content market was estimated at INR 710 cr. (USD 109 M) in 2017 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 26% to INR 1420 cr. (USD 218 M) by 2020.
The 2018 Fast Track India: Reimaging the Content Ecosystem, a Knowledge Series forum by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI) in association with CreativeFirst, was hosted at The Club, Andheri (W), Mumbai, attracted an audience of over 200 people.
At the inaugural address, Brijesh Singh, Secretary & Director General, Information & Public Relations and Special Inspector General of Police, Cyber, Government of Maharashtra said,”India has a rich cultural history and a vibrant content industry. The time is right for digital content players to showcase India’s soft power through homegrown stories that connect with a global audience. Sectoral regulations and policies will create new opportunities for the domestic industry in addition to boosting innovation and growth.”
Disinformation and integrity of the data ecosystem have raised several questions for the industry and for regulators globally. The heavy dependence on data-based innovation and regulatory responses to privacy challenges, further raise policy questions for India. As governments and market participants seek to devise appropriate accountability and liability frameworks for global media platforms, isolated policy decisions can be detrimental to projected growth outcomes.
On liability regimes evolving globally for intermediary platforms, Michael Schlesinger, VP And Regional Legal Counsel, Asia Pacific, MPA, said, “India stands on the verge of a bright digital future, one in which creators, consumers and intermediaries all function symbiotically in a healthy Internet ecosystem. Still, unique challenges like online piracy must be addressed. Thankfully, India is starting to ensure appropriate rules of the road, including site blocking to reduce piracy traffic, an infringing website list to choke ad revenues, and domain seizures by the Maharashtra Cyber Unit to keep the Internet ecosystem in India more honest. Steps like these should accompany others to ensure all players including Internet platforms are more accountable.”
During the second panel on Online Content Regulation: A New Paradigm of Accountability, AamodGupte, Group General Counsel, Eros International Media Limited, said, “While we have been discussing the need for self regulation of content by OTT players, in a sense we may have missed the bus. With the institution of the Digital Communications Regulator of India (DCRAI), there is possible regulatory oversight for digital content and that is something we need to watch out for. This is not just a name change but clear policy change.”
India is on track to becoming the second largest video-viewing audience globally; it is expected to reach 500 million by 2020 from 250 million in 2017.
On The Video Market: Harnessing Innovations and Partnerships, Kranti Gada, Chief Operating Officer, Shemaroo Entertainment Limited, said, “As digital video consumption goes mass and the market gets more and more crowded, audiences will compel us to innovate and this may not be just limited to technology and content but also in collaborations and partnerships. While we at Shemaroo sit on premium content and years of consumer insights, we are of the philosophy that collaborations and partnerships eventually make businesses sustainable and scalable.”
“Viewers have demanded a world of technology innovation where content lives on multiple screens, the exciting task for creators is to now tell innovative stories. We need to weave plots and characters that, as never before, live across traditional media, digital media, and social media,” said Jonathan Dotan, Television and Virtual Reality Producer.
Other eminent speakers at the Fast Track India forum included Bhairav Acharya, Facebook, Nikhil Narendran, Trilegal, Farid Ahsan, Share Chat, Ajay Chacko, Arre, Sameer Pitalwalla, Culture Machine, Vidya S Nath, Frost & Sullivan, Avinash Ramachandra, Amazon, Akash Banerji, Voot and Sonalika Mehra, Pocket Aces.
( In the picture, L – R: Nikhil Narendran, Partner, Trilegal , Bhairav Acharya ,Public Policy Manager, Facebook, Ravi Kottarakara, Secretary, Film Federation of India (FFI) & South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce, Brijesh Singh, Secretary & Director General, Information & Public Relations and Special Inspector General of Police, Cyber, Government of Maharashtra, Uday Singh, Managing Director, Motion Picture Association, India,
Michael Schlesinger, VP And Regional Legal Counsel, Asia Pacific, MPA, Jonathan Dotan, Television and Virtual Reality Producer, Vidya S Nath, Senior Research Director , Frost & Sullivan).