#TwitterChat: Indians are open to all kinds of content: Deepak Segal
That the number of viewers on OTT platforms is growing by the day is a proven fact, but there is no definitive data on what kind of genres and shows the viewers are watching. To know more about the engagement of the audience on OTT platforms, Adgully engaged with Deepak Segal, Head of Content at Applause Entertainment, in a #TwitterChat on the ‘The Challenge of Gauging What India Watches on OTT’.
The #TwitterChat took place yesterday (July 16, 2019) between 3 pm and 4 pm and also opened up to public questions soon after. The chat took place on the Twitter handles of Adgully @adgully and Deepak Segal @deepaksegal.
Genres that work for consumers at an OTT platform
According to Deepak Segal, today the digital space is at an elastic stage where the creators are experimenting and creating innovative content that varies from one another. Everyday there is different type of genres arriving at screens, be it a crime thriller, a horror, a show on a dystopian future and several others. “Audiences are hungry for good content. Both makers and audiences are wide open to creating and sampling different formats of content,” he added.
Genres relatable for Indian audiences
Genres don’t necessarily have to play a major role as opposed to a great story reaching audiences in local context, felt Segal. He added, “Indians are enjoying all sorts of content. The thought behind adapting successful shows for Indian audiences was to let acclaimed stories travel to a larger base.”
Challenges in adapting international show for Indian audiences
It all depends on the writing, pointed out Segal. With adaptations, there is a ready story in place, but the challenge is to make that script resonate with the audiences by adding local nuances and elements. “Once they have that, then the actors and directors will blend perfectly and the outcome will be good,” he added.
Citing Applause Entertainment’s example, Segal said the first important objective is to stick to the original story. However, the storyline is Indianised with local elements, keeping in mind the universality of the story. “We want the story to travel across India and hence, we choose factors that are not specific to any particular region,” he added.
Segal further said that after writing, casting was the most crucial step. “Actors bring any story to life. At Applause, they have the opportunity to work with the finest performers from the industry. Each and every one of them has excelled in portraying their characters. We hope to continue they collaboration with this powerhouse of talent,” he said.
How do Indian productions compare with international shows?
Segal believes that India is still new to the concept of digital shows as predominantly entertainment was via movies and TV. “Since the past few years we have observed a mega change as the digital ecosystem is booming with great content. The quality of content is at the top and we have an example in front of us – ‘Inside Edge’ was nominated at the International Emmy Awards amongst several other international shows. I’m very certain that one day India will produce a show like ‘Narcos’ or ‘House of Cards’. India is a country with talented writers, people who know how to produce the content and sell it. So, I believe India is very capable of being at par with the world,” Sehgal affirmed.
To a question raised by a Twitter user on whether such content resonated with the semi urban audience, Segal replied that such content did resonate with the viewers, because these stories cross the urban boundaries and are not confined to metropolitan audiences.
As far as the viewing profile of the audience is concerned, Segal noted that with affordable Internet rates, almost everyone has data connectivity today and because of that, there is a substantial rise in the appetite for consumption. While the kind of content might vary, but anyone and everyone who has a phone with data is consuming content.