As countries across the globe struggle to contain the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), the broadcasting industry is said to see a significant jump in viewership of television and digital video streaming services (OTT).
In a conversation with BestMediaInfo.com, Megha Tata, Managing Director, South Asia, Discovery Entertainment Network, said the content consumption in the country would see a major spike. "Along with television, the OTT space will also grow in the current scenario. In earlier situations also, television gained when people were at home. Today I feel television is not the only option, there is OTT as well to be consumed, and people will consume it. Basically, content consumption will go up," she said.
“Coronavirus is a significant topic of discussion across the globe. We have a documentary that we are making available on traditional media and new media platforms. We hope people watch it at home and as a family,” she said.
Discovery recently entered the Indian OTT space with the launch of Discovery Plus. The broadcaster says the navigation friendly app with high-quality content sets it apart from others.
“We wanted to understand the consumer needs before we went ahead and launched the app. We wanted to focus on what barriers the consumers are facing. If you see the format of OTT platforms, you have to go to the search bar and type what you are looking for. We said why don’t we make it easier for them and do a semantic collection based on specific topics and genres,” said Issac John, Business Head, Digital (South Asia), Discovery.
John also said another barrier they noticed in the OTT space was the price point. “Most of the platforms operate at rates like Rs 499 and Rs 799. So, we thought what can we do about the price front so that people don’t have to think about subscribing to Discovery Plus. Our price is Rs 299 a year, which is less than Rs 1 per day,” John said.
Premium content at Discovery Plus is priced at an annual subscription for Rs 299 and a monthly subscription of Rs 99.
Tata said the platform wants to tap the non-scripted market. “Everyone is fighting in the scripted entertainment genre where the cost of content is a huge challenge, and everyone is trying to outdo the other. While everyone is fighting a scripted game, there is a market in the non-scripted space.”
“There is wide open space for audiences willing to consume content like this and for us, it’s a great opportunity. If anyone in the country could do this, it had to be us. We are leaders; we have that knowledge and depth of understanding of content,” she added.
“We noticed that audiences are consuming content on multiple devices now. They are watching TV, but they also want to watch it on other platforms on their own devices, in their languages. We sensed this and, hence, we wanted the opportunity to expand in the market,” she said.
Talking about the strengths of the platform, John said the content and the technology of the platform are its strengths. “We already have 4,000 hours of content, and each of our topics is about what is significant to mankind, adventure and travel. Our strength is we can continue to use these. On the technology front again the advantage we have is that we are built on a global platform, we use the same technology that powers OTT platforms internationally. We have significant strength there,” he said.