Trends 2020: Gear up for consolidation in the media eco-system

“The successful conclusion of NBA India Games 2019 proved that India has an appetite for our product and gave the fans the closest and the best possible experience of the brand and the league. It also showed how India has the infrastructure for a sport to grow. This also bodes well for a league to make way for the sport,” says Rajesh Sethi, Managing Director, NBA India.

NBA India has been focussing its efforts – from the grassroots initiatives to enhancing viewership to bringing the NBA experience to fans – on growing the game of basketball in India. There is incredible interest in basketball, and the organisation is committed to providing the coaching and resources to help young Indian boys and girls learn the game and maximise their potential.

Sethi has listed the following Trends in 2020:

We see the market for sports growing tremendously in the coming year with more eyes on India from a country for thriving in sports.

  • Quality content at convenience

The increasingly ease of availability of quality content at convenience has made multiple OTT platforms a much-needed catalyst of 2019 and will continue to be so in 2020. Greater affordability, high speed Internet has led to growing consumer confidence. The factors of digital growth aren’t just affordability and high-speed Internet, but also consumer preference. According to a report by KPMG, Indians have second highest per capita consumption of online video content in the world. The estimated swell in video streaming users in India is expected to cross 50 million for SVoD and 600 million on AVoD.

  • The growing importance of regional languages

The continued growth of markets is a great sign. Broadcasters will continue to be positive about the growth of this segment and pump in resources over the course of 2020. They will remain to be the drivers of TV industry. Out of the 595 channels tracked by BARC, 332 of them are regional. Even the growth in the print industry, experts feel, will come from increasing readership of regional language papers. As a matter of fact, 53 per cent of newspapers published are in local languages, and between 18 per cent and 25 per cent of the total ad revenue in 2019 on TV came from regional channels.

In a bid to improve their subscriptions, OTT platforms, too, focussed on regional content in 2019. Players like ZEE5 and Amazon Prime see a growth in regional content consumption, competing with the bigger regional players like SunNxt and Hoichoi. Hence, in the next year, regional markets will rule the roost as digital ad spends will continue to dominate the media industry.

  • Arrival of 5G

I feel the arrival of 5G in 2020 could also be a big game-changer. Data consumption in India is reaching new heights every year and that trend doesn’t look like bucking down very soon with increasing demand of smartphones. It is not hard to believe a report that states that Indian mobile data users consume 9.8 GB of data each month on average.

According to KPMG India’s Media and Entertainment Report 2019, titled ‘India’s Digital Future’, a billion Indians will have access to the Internet, about 839 million will be regular smartphone users and over 500 million will access digital content in regional languages, by 2030.

  • Merging for the greater good

The last, but a very crucial change in scenario I foresee for 2020 is consolidation in the media eco-system, something that was inevitable. All industry stakeholders will be keeping an eye on the possibility of a merger between Sony Pictures Network India and Viacom18. Another interesting possibility, though, could be the consolidation between Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV. Media companies are realising that they need to find ways to increase their subscriber base at a low cost of acquisition.


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