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Have we learnt how to monetise online video?

Story-telling to story-selling - a look at the monetisation story so far, through the expert lens.

In the context of digital video content, what have we learnt about revenue generation over the past year? And are we any clearer on how to make money than we were in the past?

Have we learnt how to monetise online video?

L to R - Vikram Tanna, Bhaskar Ramesh, Janine Stein, Rahul Sarangi
Click on the image to enlarge

Edited excerpts from a recent vdonxt asia session moderated by Janine Stein, editorial director, ContentAsia.

Bhaskar Ramesh, head of video and brand advertising, YouTube

Have we learnt how to monetise online video?

Bhaskar Ramesh

Today, monetisation from our vantage point is like running three different businesses: first, partnering with television-first advertisers, giving them the reach they need and driving better impact with television and (online) video together. And the new entrant here is (online) video's ability to drive performance advertising. If content is king, context is kingdom.

Second, when it comes to driving say, an app download or generating leads, video is doing as good a job as any other performance medium.

The third part is YouTube Originals; that is a significant advertiser-funded vertical for us, which delivers branded content.

India will continue to be a massive AVOD story. The 600 million AVOD users (expected by 2023), are content hungry, time rich consumers who are going to be important for mass advertisers. Without reaching out to them efficiently and effectively, you can't drive business impact. Video is going to be central to this digital-first India, going forward.

On the SVOD side, maybe we'll see sachet strategies emerge, globally. By 2023, we expect 50 million paying customers. And a more important, valuable market will comprise the 15 million international consumers who will pay for Indian content, globally.

Rahul Sarangi, global head - content and business, TVF

Have we learnt how to monetise online video?

Rahul Sarangi

Our revenue is primarily advertiser-driven. And licensing has started doing well for us; we're doing large scale licensing, output deals, with MX Player (Times), Netflix, Jio. No matter what you say, if your content is sticky, it can be sold. You have to cater to the community you have created... the money will follow.

We're clear about what content will go onto YouTube only, and what premium content will go onto our app (TVF Play) only. We'll keep recalculating this, quarter on quarter. For us, YouTube is a platform, TVF Play is a destination.

One must focus on making better content. Content is king, distribution is king kong.

Vikram Tanna, head of advertising sales and business head of regional clusters, South Asia, Discovery Inc.

Have we learnt how to monetise online video?

Vikram Tanna

One big learning has been: Content is king but pricing is God.

From the perspective of AVOD, there's the problem of plenty; you have so much inventory, and you're never going to be able to use that. As inventory gets created, it's important to first cap it and put the right price on it. At the moment, there's no pricing matrix that can lead to revenue maximisation.

From an SVOD perspective, we're a country in which television penetration is 65 per cent; we have the lowest ARPU on television. In the SVOD game, the first 100 million consumers are very important; it's this price-sensitive Indian consumer who will demand a lot of pricing changes.

(Compiled by Ashwini Gangal).

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