KAM Summit ’21 | New entrants in the OTT and broadcast space share their journey and future plans

Digital platforms and kids content; two things that have gained a lot of traction in the past two years. On day two of KAM Summit 2021, the session “New Kids on the Block” shed light on what made the new entrants in the broadcast and OTT space venture into the competitive kids arena, the challenges faced, response they received and more. The panellists included Hungama senior vice president Soumini Sridhara Paul, Toonz Media Group SVP and head digital division Abraham Uthup, IN10 Media Network network VP – corporate strategy and development Mansi Darbar and the session was moderated by Animation Xpress founder, chairman & editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari.

It’s been raining OTT platforms in India since the past few years which has given a big leap to more fresher and newer as well as acquired content. Similarly, following the OTT giants, new OTT and linear TV channels are developing. It’s tough for the new entrants to set its footprints where the OTT giants have already set their bench mark.

On entering the market a lot of things new OTT platforms need to keep in mind. Soumini Sridhara Paul shared, “The moment you decide to create an OTT application across any content format, you have to be prepared for a lot of things, a lot challenges and a lot of time. Then your expectation has to be based on what and how much are you putting towards that goal.”

It is true that OTT platforms success also depends on the demographics, age, choices of content, the number of audience also depends. Since today OTT giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Voot and so on have already created the buzz in the ecosystem, the competitive scale for new entrants are sky high. To create a mark and a buzz in the jungle, the new players need to create content on the current trends to grab the attention. Abraham Uthup stated, “OTT is definitely competitive as audience expect newer things from you all the time and you have to constantly innovate and provide content to them which are very much in tune with the current events.”

Uthup further believes, “As long as the content is engaging, fresh and honest, audience will always give you a chance. Content is the king.”

Today, kids entertainment genre is grabbing a lot of eyeballs of broadcasters. Commenting on that, Mansi Darbar shared, “At IN10 the vision has always been to build on a media network which will offer multiple business offerings. When we decided to do that, from one Epic TV, we decided to expand into five different linear channels. It was very obvious that we will also venture into the kids entertainment space. Kids entertainment genre is the top 10 genre in the linear TV so it was an obvious one for us and we didn’t think twice that there is competition.”

According to Paul, the main purpose initially for new entrant is how to start and put the brand out there since every three months there are new things which are coming and its trendsetting the market. Paul believes, “First challenge is to to develop an android TV app. When that is ready, then we see the distribution which is readily available to explore.”

Darbar also highlighted that the initial strategy for Gubbare was to launch in the market and create its place out there. She added, “When we launched Gubbare eight months ago, we launched with a slate of acquired content and not original content. At that point our strategy was to launch acquired content which was famous and also which was never really seen before In India. We took content globally from different parts of the world  whether it was Canada, UK or US and the title which were never seen in India before or telecasted before.”

The main challenge for new OTT entrants in the kid’s ecosystem is in the digital distribution. Uthup shared, “The challenge here on digital distribution is to create engaging content in such a way that it earns money. Fortunately, for us, a lot of our content are earning money around the world. One advantage that kids content or animation offered is that kids are more prone to viewing repetitions of content. They are happy to view the same content over and over again unlike adults.”

Overall the session tapped various aspects including challenges that new entrants are facing currently and how with quality content, they can set their footprint among all other giants.

You can watch the entire panel discussion here, starting from 1:25:45