BT Brainstorm: Freemium content, OTT tie-ups way to go, says SVP Elara Capital

There is some kind of subscription fatigue in India, where there are over 60-odd “Over The Top" (OTTs) media services, but the way to go ahead for such services are freemium content and OTT partnership, said Karan Taurani, Senior Vice-President, Elara Capital on Friday.

While interacting with Business Today TV's Prerna Lidhoo during the 'BT Brainstorm Budget 2022', Taurani added that a large portion of the content available in OTTs should be freemium in order to get a wider target audience - people who want to watch free content and people who want to watch paid content.

Talking about the importance of OTT partnerships, Taurani added, "I don't see lot of the niche platforms that are there sustaining for a long time as content cost are going to go off the roof, especially in such a highly fragmented industry... I don't see no niche apps sustaining and on the basis of that, they need to partner with larger companies, such as Amazon partnering up with niche content to get larger content target audience."

He also added that the when the smart TV penetration goes up, there might be partnership there as well. "A niche app cannot firstly, invest into content, and also in higher cost of customer aggregation, as well as customer retention," he added.

During the interaction, Taurani also pointed out, "We will see new monetisation models emerging in OTT, and there will be a transition from AVoD to SVoD," adding, "With multiple new streams of monetisation, even producers can make more large-scale content, and their content will go global."

Meanwhile, Karan Bedi, CEO, MX Player, added, "Business models and products in India are very different. What has worked around the world won't work here. We have to look way beyond AVoD and SVoD models."

Further, speaking on the variety of content creation in all regional languages, Sameer Nair, CEO of Applause Entertainment added, "Earlier, OTT audiences were segmented. But now they are appreciating content from everywhere in all languages and are comparing it with their local content."

Nair also shared that, "The metric for any S2 is always Season 1. Even for Scam1992, that is true. Tech is not going to save you if the content is not good."

Adding to the idea of partnership of niche OTT platforms with larger giants, Nair added, "Is it possible to create an App of Apps that allows people to buy shows from across platforms? Of course, it requires everyone to cooperate and that could be the ultimate sachet pricing."