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Digital will always be the favoured medium for OTT marketing: Abhishek Joshi

The conversation ranged from the ground realities in the OTT ecosystem in India to the preferred choice of OTT platforms to reach audiences at Adgully’s #TwitterChat with Abhishek Joshi, Head of Marketing and Business Partnerships at MX Player. The #TwitterChat took place yesterday (July 31, 2019).

A marketing dynamo with over 18 years of experience in business development, marketing and content partnerships, Joshi has worked with some of the best media conglomerates of the country. He started his career with the ABP Group in 2001 and has since worked with Reliance Big Pictures, Sony Entertainment Network, Zenga Media and Sony Pictures Network India.

Now at MX Player, Joshi has the mandate to build the brand proposition of #Everytainment and leverage their tech capabilities to deliver great content to audiences.

Excerpts:

Growth of Indian OTT

Indian video OTT service will grow at 21.8 per cent CAGR to reach $1.7 billion by 2023 from $638 million in 2018. The Indian OTT market is set to overtake South Korea to become the 8th biggest market in the world by 2023. Total Internet advertising revenue is expected to grow from $1.2 billion in 2018 to $2.6 billion by 2023. From 11 per cent share of overall advertising in 2018, Internet advertising will corner 22 per cent of ad revenues by 2023. These were some of the OTT industry growth statistics shared by Joshi during his conversation.

Audience Profile

According to Joshi, the OTT ecosystem completely mirrors the Internet penetration and Internet audience penetration profile; it is still majority male skewed and an urban phenomenon. “MX Player, on the other hand, has a very strong penetration in Tier 2/3 markets,” he added.

Marketing Mix

“The effort is to be where the audiences are, hence the marketing mix of all available platforms to advertise on might change depending on the geography or demography of these audiences, but there is not one single template to reach out to them, I wish there was a one,” remarked Joshi.

Adding further, he said, “It changes with every piece of content that we launch and that is the challenge and an opportunity for a marketer.”

The favoured medium will always be digital as that is the interface where conversions are trackable and growth marketing comes from. The other offline mediums like TV, Radio, OOH add to the awareness mix and aid in recall and impact.

“Social media platforms are important, where the approach towards marketing matters,” Joshi said, adding, “Social media platforms, apart from connecting people, also serve the purpose of awareness and trends as well. They also are becoming content consumption platforms and hence, it makes perfect sense to promote shows on them for sampling.”

Influencer Marketing

Influencers play a vital role in terms of wide reach and share of voice (SOV) as they have a dedicated fan following, which is then used to promote shows/ content and it always helps in sampling and reviews of shows, similar to how a movie review or influencer marketing a movie release.

OOH

OOH primarily serves as an impact and reminder medium to build both reach and frequency. When platforms decide to deploy an OOH campaign, it depends on the scale and nature of the content and what audiences they are trying to tap. All national entertainment brands historically are in English and are communicated in English, but the communication language differs from English to Hindi to regional, depending on the audiences and the shows.

OTT marketing has always been about programming, very similar to the GECs. But even GECs like to talk about their positioning, however, not much has been done by OTT players on this side? Why?

Joshi disagreed with this and said, “That is not entirely correct. Each OTT brand has a very clear positioning and has spoken or done campaigns around it. MX Player always talks about #Everytainment as we strongly believe in it and it is aligned with the brand thought.”

Marketing Spends

It depends entirely on what brand and product life cycle that particular OTT brand is at and what the objectives are and it would differ at an ecosystem level too. “Digital will always take a majority share of the spends, that is, >50 per cent,” concluded Joshi.

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