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2017 – A year of digital disruption, omni-channel experiences & fantasy

Anirudh Dhoot, Director, Videocon; Venugopal Ganganna, CEO, Langoor; Mitali Tandon, Founder, Morning Fresh; Sunjoy Waddhwa, CMD, Sphereorigins; Abhimahyu Singh, CEO, Contiloe; Dharit Parikh, Business Head, Interspace Solutions and Tata Sky share their insights on what will dominate the digital, advertising as well as the broadcast landscape in 2017... 

We plan to further cement our premium product offerings: Anirudh Dhoot, Director, Videocon 

“2016 was a very eventful year for us at Videocon, not only did we achieve noteworthy milestones, we also strengthened our vision to innovate in India. Videocon introduced new models across product categories along with the launch of some revolutionary technologies that were researched and developed in the country. In 2016, we launched Aryabot, world’s first satellite AC for which we received great response from our patrons. We also expanded our 4K Ultra HD LED TV range and added new models in Refrigerator and Washing Machine categories as well. 

We, at Videocon, understand the pulse of the Indian customers and hence we design and customise our products according to their needs and preferences. Keeping this in mind, we plan to further cement our premium product offerings and add more innovative and technologically advanced products to our portfolio. We also look forward to roll out new models in all the product categories under the connected devices segment, which will effortlessly connect with smartphones.” 

2017 will be about building omni-channel experiences: Venugopal Ganganna, CEO, Langoor 

“Overall, I am most excited about building omni-channel experiences in 2017. That includes moving beyond digital media and embracing the Internet of Things in a way that makes sense for businesses. Not only are we moving towards a range of screens, the customers are facing a lot of noise. To stand out and only speak to them at the right time, we need to leverage a range of technology and tools to provide them a strong, consistent experience. We have been speaking about this for a few years, but we are finally getting to a stage where the technology and tools are coming together to enable this. Of course, this requires confidence from brands to invest in – without their buy in, one cannot fully deploy the best solutions. This will also enable brands to build a true Single Customer View, insights from which one can ultimately enhance the relationship between brands and people.” 

Five key digital trends to look out for in 2017: Mitali Tandon, Founder, Morning Fresh 

  1. Mobile Video & Content: 100 million hours of video content are watched per day on Facebook and mobile views are overshooting desktop views rapidly. With figures like this, you should be tailoring all your content and ads towards a quicker and more engaging online experience. It’s not just ‘optimising’ for mobile, but creating quality and relevant content that integrates with customers’ on-the-go lifestyle. 
  1. Virtual/ Augmented Reality: Your desktop banners and social media news feeds are filled with targeted ads and promotions, couple that with Gen Z’s short attention span and it is quite difficult to get your brand’s message across. VR offers a fresh perspective and exciting new experience to customers and can directly impact business. Pokemon Go is a great example of this. 
  1. Shop directly on Social Media: A lot of brands are capitalising on the amount of time users spend on social media and sites like Facebook are also integrating ‘buy now’ buttons that do not require customers to navigate to a third party site, to make a sale. This reduces the number of steps and content required to capture audience attention and simplifies the discovery + sales process for businesses. 
  1. Personalising: The best way to reach out to your audience is to make it seem like you are speaking directly to them. This can be done through organising your customer data into lists based on preferences, habits, etc. Spending time understanding things like Facebook ads, ratios, pixels, etc., make a significant difference. 
  1. Influencer marketing + native content: Brands are getting smarter about how and where they reach you, this means that you have to work extra hard to earn the trust and attention of a customer. Brands are increasingly choosing ‘influencers’ or thought leaders to reach out to their audience, as it is a great way to add credibility to and release content in a way that already adds value. It is also a far more economical choice than traditional forms of advertising. 

Fantasy will continue to win audiences over in 2017: Sunjoy Waddhwa, CMD, Sphereorigins 

“In 2016, we witnessed a mix trend of all genres – especially historical, mythological and fantasy – as these kinds of shows are really working well. With regards to the impact, I personally feel that it depends on the audience, as they are the trendsetters. Fantasy being the current trend, is really proving to attract the audience during the weekends. Simultaneously, the daily soaps are doing well in their respective genres. During the weekends, the audience prefers to see something different. So it always depends on the content of the show, which will interest the audience and keep them coming back to the show for more.” 

Digital disruption is here to stay: Tata Sky 

“With the digitisation of services gaining steam in 2016 – rollout of 4G services and completion of DAS 3 – 2017 will see an upward trend in the consumption of content on digital platforms. India has over 90 million DTH subscribers, with increasing number of subscribers from rural India. With upward of 167 million smartphone users and digital videos being consumed by over 110 million viewers, India is beginning to scratch the surface in terms of digital media consumption. To satiate this demand of digital content, emphasis would be on content creation and aggregation by all stakeholders involved. As more consumers in the next wave would be from rural India, digital content producers will need to aggregate and/or produce vernacular content to capture the next set of audiences. 

This presents significant challenges to DTH operators like Tata Sky as consumption patterns change. Tata Sky will need to offer richer content on its platform to engage with the influx of new consumers from the rural areas. Tata Sky has ensured that they offer the most variety of vernacular and regional language content for consumers. Tata Sky has expanded its offerings across all genres of viewing content to emerge as the preferred choice for consumers in the DTH space. ‘Tata Sky Mobile App’ would also have increased content offering and provide easy access to consumers preferred content on their mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. Finally, Tata Sky is constantly innovating and offering a variety of new ‘value added services’ on its platforms which are exclusive to us and helps enrich the lives of its subscribers. 

Digital disruption is here, but the opportunity is significant for all stakeholders.”

Growth through retention & organic route for ad agencies: Dharit Parikh, Business Head, Interspace Solutions 

“The Indian advertising industry has evolved from being a small-scaled business to a full-fledged industry. India is projected to be the second fastest growing advertising market in Asia after China, with projections to maintain this position in the coming years. The ad market in India is considered to be the fifth largest ad expenditure growth in the world during this current five-year term. FMCG, Automobile and E-commerce; followed by Telecom, including the rollout of 4G services, will be the most advertised industries in India by the structured companies. 

Looking at the emergence of entrepreneurship, where the old school thought of money making money is replaced with ideas making money, there is huge market opportunity of SME and MSME (the unstructured companies across industries), to secure their shelf space amidst the sharks of the Industry, assuring a boost to the advertising industry. Our focus remains on this sector as we partner with brands to solve business problems. 

For advertising agencies, the growth would be mainly through retention and the organic route, rather than acquisitions and short openings.”

Genres like fantasy, mythology, crime will continue to grow further: Abhimahyu Singh, CEO, Contiloe

“There has been disruption in 2016 in terms of people viewing habits of content on digital. Largely digital has been used as a catch-up medium, watching what viewers have missed being watched on various different digital platforms. With bandwidths increasing and getting cheaper there would be further disruption. With such disruption variety will grow. Hence new genres such as fantasy, crime , mythology and history and comedy will further grow in the year to come”

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