The OTT Age! Part 4 : The Future of Content

Lot of Disruption to the content pipeline

New productions likely won’t be greenly until late 2020, or 2021

Challenges for platforms dependent on new content offerings

Limited access to financing in a potential recession

Increased competition from new entrants

Consolidation in a global marketplace

Impact on consumer choice

The distinction between different formats is blurring

Cinematic content comes in all shapes and sizes, and filmmakers often work across multiple formats ( series / documentaries)

Franchises are more important than formats

Long term enterprise value created through IP ( e.g Marvel, star wars, merchandising and video games)

Major studios will continue to focus on large releases with built-in audiences

Small speciality producers and distributors will exist to satisfy the gaps in the marketplace, and target underserved audience.

Read part 3 here

The OTT Age! Part 3 : The Content Discovery

Digital innovation is putting the user experience at the centre of value proposition.

Device manufacturers are aggregating content from multiple subscriptions ( Apple TV)

Speech recognition and recommendations to improve navigation and content discovery

Real time feedback allows services to adapt to audience preferences

E.g  Adding more regional content to MUBI INDIA and expanding access to older content with library

Ease of access widens the breadth of content available

Consumers are no longer restricted by geographic location, time, format, platform, or connectivity

Streaming time is ever increasing- the average American streams 8 hours of content per day under lockdown.

Digital distribution enables audience to discover films considered too niche or obscure ( OXONE in Netflix)

MUBI INDIA highlights alternative cinema, including our Parallel Cinema and New Voices series.

Localisation makes international content more accessible to audience

The proportion of non-English language content on platforms like Netflix is increasing with multiple subtitles and audio-tracks available to users

Example—— Dark – German

Platforms are able to focus on specific Genres or Verticals

  Disney+ ( Kids / family),

Shudder ( Horror / thriller)

Crunchyroll (anime)

BritBox ( UK TV /film)

In the next part, we will look into the Future of content.

Read Part 2 here

The OTT Age! Part 2 : The Growth

SVOD consumption has overtaken pay TV in almost 30 countries

Total worldwide subscriptions are forecast to reach over 1 Billion by 2025, including huge growth in India and China.

India is forecasted to have the third highest number of SVOD subscribers worldwide by the end of 2020 due to increasingly affordable devices, cheaper data and faster internet access.

This growth will be driven by new services like MUBI, with Amazon and Netflix’s combined market share decreasing from 42% today to 34% by 2025.

Consumers in major markets are embracing multiple platforms and devices.

Stacking streaming services has become the norm

SVOD penetration will accelerate due to the heavy promotion by top services like Disney+ and HBO Max

SVOD stacking will accelerate as consumers adopt these new services without canceling existing subscriptions

74% of all US households have at least one SVOD service

51% have more than one SVOD service

How many OTT platforms have you registered? I have 3.

Exclusivity means that there is little overlap between different platform offerings.

Increased investment in content has turned streaming into a game of quantity vs quality

Platforms are optimising for time spent and size of library, others are focussed on increasing the quality of content and improving the user experience. 

OTT and Engagement

Online platforms are engaging the audience beyond the viewing experience

Social and editorial features foster dialogue and a sense of community

Social viewing creates new opportunities for engagement 

Examples for social viewing : 

MUBI watch party

Netflix party

Twitch viewing parties  

Social features mimic the collective experience of watching and discussing content with friends or family, while allowing for social distancing

To Be continued. 

In the next part, lets look at How is digital expanding the scope of Cinematic content

Read Part 1 here

The OTT Age! Part 1 : Cinema Vs Digital

I recently attended one virtual conference on live streaming / OTT platforms. Thought of sharing some of the highlights from the conference.

These are the excerpts from the keynote speaker Efe Cakarel, CEO and co-founder of MUBI.

Cinema Vs Digital

COVID-19 has accelerated the following changes

Cinemas (Theatres) are facing acute challenges and are forced to close temporarily

  • Social distancing, combating fears over returning, implementing health and safety measures
  • Massive closures: 41 % of UK venues said they cannot reopen with social distancing guidelines
  • Right-holders ( production houses) shortening windows – e.g Disney eliminating waiting period altogether 

Online distribution can substitute for the theatrical release

Rights holders (Producers) opting for digital distribution

Film festivals cancelled ( but resurrecting online)

New content production paused ( But now slowly started in various places)

MUBI’s virtual preview of EMA debuted in multiple territories with over 25,000 views in one day.

Universal’s digital only release of Trolls World Tour netted $95 million in 3 weeks.

SVOD Consumption

Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) / Digital consumption is overtaking traditional forms. 

Technological innovation is reshaping the way we consume content

UX design is the focus of further innovation

Design thinking – what do we use technology for?

We want to be connected and be constantly entertained, and are designing new technologies to satisfy these desires

Technological innovation is going to bring lot of changes, to make it faster, smaller and cheaper.

Innovation has led to greater portability and new use cases like Internet of Things (IOT) and smart home which can create new forms of engagement.

New platforms specifically optimised for mobile are struggling in the current climate ( Quibi)

SVOD platforms have the benefits of increased data

  • What are people watching? when? How are they viewing content? What will they finish? What won’t they finish? What will they binge?
  • <80 of the TV shows watched on Netflix are discovered through the platform’s recommendation system 

Platforms use these data to refine their acquisitions strategy

  • Netflix has increased reality and documentary content based on indicators that these perform better amongst viewers.
  • But this also narrows the experience – you only see what’s in your recommendation ‘bubble’.

To Be Continued.

Parvathy can almost single-handedly steal the show!

Malayalam cinema has always had some incredibly talented actresses. The reason being, the industry has seen many films having strong and powerful female-oriented performances.  If it was Sharada and Sheela in 1960-70s, Shoba dominated during 1970-80s. The 1990s saw some great performances from actresses like Shobana, Revathy, Urvashi and Manju Warrier. Meera Jasmine continued the trend in the 2000s and Parvathy can be considered as the one who can showcase fine acting in the present generation.

Last year, in 2017 Parvathy did her Bollywood debut in the super hit Romantic comedy film “Qarib Qarib Singlle” and now ZEE5, one of the leading OTT Platforms in India, is showing “Almost Single”, the Malayalam dubbed version of “Qarib Qarib Singlle”.

Parvathy

Right from her debut, Parvathy’s performance reminded me of some of the powerful performers like what I had mentioned earlier. Undoubtedly, we can say that Parvathy is one of the best performers Malayalam cinema has seen in recent times.

 From the Teenage artist!

Right from the Notebook, the much-acclaimed Rosshan Andrrews film which dealt with the subject of teenage pregnancy where she played one of the three main characters, Parvathy’s career path was steady with good performances and many hits. She was also careful enough to choose films where she had the opportunity to perform. So if we look at her filmography, we can see so many power-packed performances – a luxury for today’s actresses.

Memorable Roles

There are many to choose from. There is the self-confident, wheelchair clad RJ Sarah and her search for true love in the super hit film Bangalore Days. Then, there is the curious girl who goes in search of a mysterious man in ‘Charlie’. She then transformed into the ever strong-willed “Kanchanamala” who sacrifices her life for her love “Moideen” played by Prithviraj ( I feel Prithviraj-Parvathy on-screen chemistry is the best) in the critically acclaimed movie “Ennu Ninte Moidheen” and the strong Malayalee Nurse struggling to escape war-torn Iraq during the ISIS era ( A true story) in “Take Off”.

When you look at her best performances, you see a pattern. In all her roles you see shades of the ever confident, strong and opinionated modern Malayalee woman.

Kannada, Tamil  films

She was equally successful in other south Indian languages like Kannada and Tamil. Her role in the Tamil film “Maryan” where she paired against Dhanush, was especially a memorable one and she was applauded for her performance.

Hindi Debut

When you share screen space with an actor like Irrfan Khan who is an epitome of fine and natural acting, you need to be at your best and Parvathy has done just that in her Bollywood debut movie “Qarib Qarib Singlle”.

In the movie, Parvathy plays a widow leading a loveless, monotonous life and having all the insecurities of metro life. Through an online dating site, she meets this ever charming, happy-go-lucky man called Yogi played by Irrfan Khan. The movie is all about how they discover each other during their journey together. The script is the highlight of the movie where there are many hilarious situations during their journey together. The onscreen chemistry of Parvathy and Irrfan is also another highlight of the movie.

Almost Single

“Almost Single”, the Malayalam dubbed version of “Qarib Qarib Singlle” is now available in ZEE5.  If you like Parvathy’s acting style (and I am sure you like Irrfan Khan), Almost Single is a must watch rom-com. I am sure you will love it.