The global professional services firm EY has released its latest report on digital content consumption in India. The report titled 'Future of Digital Content Consumption in India' talks about eight key trends in this sphere and what it means for media and entertainment (M&E) companies.
Here are the highlights:
The use of smaller screens on personal devices will fuel "personal escapism" (watching content individually) as opposed to "group escapism" (watching TV in the living room). This is expected to increase content consumption manifold, as well as change the type of content consumed.
Content breaks out of the 30 and 60 minute programming pattern
Consumers have shown increased preference towards short-form content. The average length of video viewed in India is less than 20 minutes, and 62 per cent of content consumed on YouTube is short-form. This trend has led content producers like Eros International and Star to focus on exclusive and snackable content.
Omni-platform content consumption
Soon, size won't matter. Also, existing companies will face competition not from their established TV and print competitors, but from any company creating content, which will mean an increased speed to create content, distribute it and also to form alliances to acquire content.
The changing face of rural consumers
The next wave of growth in India's internet penetration is expected to come from Tier II and Tier III cities, where wireless mobile internet shall play a pivotal role thus enabling the growth of vernacular and regional content. Currently 45 per cent online users consume regional language content and this percentage is expected to increase with the growth of internet users.
Growth in earning population
India's earning population (over 25 years of age) is expected to grow from 40 per cent of the total population to 55-60 per cent of the total population by 2020. In addition, mobile wallets are increasing in popularity, and would see 60 times the growth in number of transactions till 2020. This will lead to a growth in spending on M&E. Given the right price points -- Rs 5, Rs 10, Rs 15 and Rs 20 (sachet theory always works well in India), we can expect to see the emergence of freemium subscription models in the media industry around recent and real-time content.
Given the increase in individual content consumption and the ability to unicast content, mass content will evolve to suit new market needs. We can expect to see increased niches being created, even in the GEC space. Spurred by the increased rural weight in the BARC TV measurement panel, growth in the connected rural Indian, and better distribution infrastructure, we can expect to see the focus move from only mass products to mass plus niche communities.
Rise of e-celebrities
The proliferation of digital platforms have also given rise to the phenomena of 'e-celebs'. With the growing influence of similar home-grown celebrities in India, it is expected that such talent would be partnered extensively by content and brand players to build offerings for consumers on different digital platforms. Successful e-celebs can then be ported across media and given shows online, on TV, and other media.
Increase in digital gaming
With the increase in the number of mobile internet users, smartphones and tablets in India, mobiles will be among the most important platforms in gaming, garnering a 54 per cent share of the total Indian gaming market by 2020.
The report adds, "At a foundation level, the eight highlighted key trends will require M&E companies and content providers to develop much richer relationships with audiences. Players will also need to invest in the technologies that will enable them to analyse audience data, deliver deeper engagement with advertising, and prove incremental value to brands."
In conclusion the report says, "Digital disruption is here, but the opportunity is significant".
View full report below.
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