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We want to produce Oscar-worthy shows: Ali Hussein, Eros Now

Counterpoint Technology’s latest report on the OTT market in India, has brought much cheer to the Eros Now camp. As per the report, the on-demand South Asian entertainment video service from Eros International had the most engaged users, with 68 per cent of its users indicating that they watch content on the platform daily. The platform continues to thrive through partnerships. In India, it partnered with Xiaomi for pre-installation on smart TVs. Eros Now has the highest percentage of its users consuming content on Smart TVs. A total of 27 per cent of Eros Now users watch content on Smart TVs. Eros Now also remains the only major Indian OTT platform to partner with Apple for its’ new Apple TV+ service which will launch across the globe later this year. Further, the survey reveals that 9 per cent of Eros Now’s users see content on the platform for more than 21 hours a week. This is the highest among all other OTT platforms in India. 

The study also revealed that Eros Now has the largest share (59 per cent) of users in the 25-39 age bracket in Tier 2/3 cities, the highest among all major OTT platforms. 

Some highlights: 

Content from comfort of home: 96% of Eros Now customers prefer watching content at home

Smart TV – the new choice: Eros Now has the highest percentage of its users watching content on Smart TV with a total of 27% – the highest among all other leading OTT platforms

Demographic trends: Eros Now has the highest share of business owners as users – over 14%

Importance of Xiaomi: More than half (53%) of Eros Now’s users in Tier 2/3 cities own a Xiaomi smartphone.

Ali Hussein, COO, Eros Now, speaks to Adgully on Eros Now’s strategy to tap the Tier 2 and 3 markets, leveraging social media and more. Reacting to Netflix’s series, ‘Roma’, being nominated at the Oscars this year, Hussein informed that Eros Now had also been nominated at a global platform for the packaging of content for its show, ‘SSW’. “One of our endeavours will be to produce shows worthy of being nominated for the Oscars,” he affirmed. 

What has led to the strong connection of Eros Now with users in Tier 2 and 3 cities?
The Originals are a great kind of perspective of the brand, the culture, and the story you want to believe. There is a lot more development of recreational kind of content today. That, coupled with movies that leave a mark on the audiences, infuse the on-demand behaviour pattern. We still get viewership on the platform for cult movies like ‘Tanu Weds Manu’, ‘Bajirao Mastaani’, etc., irrespective of what time or date of the year it is. 

How you are leveraging your digital platform beyond Eros Now to remain on top of mind of consumers?
Social media plays a big role in ensuring visibility for our programming and since we are not India specific, it has also helped us in engaging with fans all around the world. We have 17-18 million subscribers on the YouTube channel and over 10 million Facebook followers. Chats, emails and push notifications also form part of our social media strategy. 

With growing calls for regulating content in the digital space, do you think self-regulation is the way to go for OTT platforms?
I think in general self-regulation is a good space because it puts the responsibility in the hands of the creator. I feel there is no better judge than the customer themselves; and by that I don’t mean customer in an individual capacity, but the customer on scale. Viewer feedback and their experience can form a strong basis for creators to be responsible about their content. Thus, it puts the responsibility in the hands of the creator and at the same time gives flexibility to the viewers and the platform. 

With the rapidly growing OTT space – 30 platforms and counting, as per PwC – do you see the players co-existing or there will there be consolidation in the market some time in the future?
I think the platforms will co-exist right now. OTT is seeing the growth stage that any business goes through, in which you have the traditional players, innovators, the disrupters and all the various forms of organisations getting in. It is difficult to predict what will happen down the line, but right now they will co-exist in their own way.

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