"Online video streaming to be one of the fastest-growing revenue generators for M&E"
There are several lessons and takeaways from 2020, a momentous year of major disruptions, global shutdowns, and an economic rollercoaster due to COVID-19. Adgully brings its annual review of the year gone by, wherein industry experts analyse the most significant developments and trends of the year and their implications on the coming year as well.
The uncertainties and unpredictable events of the year 2020 notwithstanding, Ali Hussein, CEO, Eros Now India, is bullish on the recovery and growth of the M&E industry, especially online video streaming.
Developments & disruptions
The year 2020 was full of uncertainty and unpredictable events, which had an uneven impact on the entertainment industry. While the theatres were shut down or operating under strict social distancing rules, incurring huge losses, the OTT industry, which was on a raise, further witnessed a colossal surge in viewership. Due to lockdown and WFH cultural shift, limitations were laid, which gave little space to people to spend quality time or seek recreational activities. This cultural shift has had a rapid impact on the consumption and viewing pattern of the audience.
For Eros Now, our engagement was up by 70%-100% across all matrices in a post v/s pre-lockdown scenario. Eros’ massive content library, in addition to fresh content offered to an audience with strategic market expansion, has resulted in exponential growth. Be it the metro cities, Tier 2 or 3 markets, viewing patterns and preference of our viewers have altered, it gives us immense pleasure to have a team that made it possible to deliver relatable content, which the audience has appreciated. With people being indoors, it was convenient to turn to their phones or TV and enjoy good quality content at the comfort of their house. Eros Now has always believed in on-demand content and during the lockdown, we shot and launched several relevant and entertaining originals, namely ‘Metro Park: Quarantine Edition’, ‘Date Gone Wrong 2’, ‘A Viral Wedding – Made in Lockdown’, which was shot by the actors remotely adhering to the guidelines to satiate audiences’ demand for fresh content.
This year, due to the hike in OTT business, many new players have entered the market and every OTT platform is craving to put out the best content to retain their subscribers and attract new users. The only disruption is to put in constant effort to provide quantity and best quality content to match your consumer needs. The key learnings from this year has not changed much since the last year, content was the king and remains the king. Besides, scrutinising our viewers’ content preference, altering the service provided to match every individual’s demand, and believing in your team, makes it possible for us to attract new users from across the globe.
The year in M&E
Even though businesses across the Media and Entertainment sector were hit hard due to the certain pandemic, most of them were successful in reviving their businesses and have sustained remarkably. In this digital-first age, the M&E sector has rather bloomed and utilised the digital medium to maintain its engagement with the end-user in a unique way. With the changing times, businesses have changed their approach to engaging with the audience, and following the social distancing norms, virtual interactions have become the new normal and everyone is making a constant effort to bring something new to the incredible table. The year 2021 has the potential to experience something extremely different, the utilisation and consumption of virtual reality, online video streaming will be amongst the fastest-growing revenue generators for the M&E companies. The new trend of virtual reality has the capacity of transforming into an entertainment and productivity platform. Faster and cheaper Internet plans will further entail demand for content, and the growing appetite for online video streaming will have a major contribution to data consumption in the coming years. Also, strategic collaborations, across industries and markets, will further attract new users globally.
Outlook for 2021
Like the year 2020, where no one was prepared to face the uncertain time, 2021 is going to manifold the changes in terms of consumer behaviour, content producers, marketers, and user interface. For 2021, we recently announced 46 new titles, including 33 film premieres and 13 Original series. As a content producer and aggregator, besides providing fresh content and market expansion, technology is going to play a vital role across the M&E sector. Our partnership with Epic Games will pave way for real-time technology across the Indian entertainment industry and the Unreal Engine in collaboration with Epic Games will usher in a new era of storytelling across media, becoming integral in the production of episodic animation and live-action blockbusters, and short-format content. As a premium SVOD platform with over 211.5 million registered users and 36.2 million paying subscribers focus on technological advancement and augmenting user experience for masses across the globe.
Our collaboration with Microsoft last year focuses on delivering content to low-Internet geographies in India. An amalgamation of enhanced technology and good content has the solid potential of giving birth to a whole new experience of consuming entertaining content online. Hence, one of the most potential trends to look forward to in 2021 is the deployment of technology and content and in the coming years, India as a market will be contributing maximum to OTT industry across the world.