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BW Businessworld

Why Content Will Be King

In this issue, we look at the booming OTT (over the top) video industry in India that is attracting global attention and investments, and where Indian players are proving to be more than a match

Photo Credit : Shutterstock


“How can you build a house without a blueprint? The answer is: you can’t. In the same way, a video without a storyboard is like a house without a foundation.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently made a significant observation: “Why should one be wary of being seen with an industrialist — is his contribution towards nation-building any less than, say, a bureaucrat, a banker, or for that matter anyone else?” The remark came at a gathering that was attended by industry leaders like Kumar Mangalam Birla, Gautam Adani, among others.

Many saw a shift in the PM’s stance here. Didn’t he argue, for instance, during demonetisation, that the rich and the well-off, were also responsible for many of the ills plaguing the country — an argument that was lapped up by the vast swathes of the poor and the impoverished. Many had seen this posturing as a natural response, smarting as he was against the “suit-boot sarkar” jibe of the Opposition.

If the latest shift is a course correction, it’s only to be welcomed. Industry not only helps generate jobs and keep the GDP growing, it also helps in building the nation — Mahatma Gandhi had emphasised as much.

Corporate India, in this results season, meanwhile, should also thank the government for creating an enabling environment that has, by and large, seen encouraging performance. Little wonder then that the markets are booming, and the bull-run continues unabated.

In one of the cover stories in this issue, anchored by Clifford Alvares, we look at the phenomenon of the booming markets — which, in a way, is a follow-up of our stock markets cover two years ago, wherein we had predicted that the Sensex would touch the 50000-mark.

In our first cover this issue, we look at the booming OTT (over the top) video industry in India that is attracting global attention and investments, and where Indian players are proving to be more than a match.

We argue that unlike newer media platforms such as social media or messaging, where global giants dominate the space in India, in the OTT video sector, Indian consumers have sided with ‘Made in India’ brands. These include names from international companies but are locally born such as Hotstar, Voot or Sony Liv or independents such as Yupp TV, Viu, Arré and several others. And these are forcing behemoths like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix to bring their A-game.
We have based this argument on the numbers available from a variety of sources.

The cover is a riveting read, with dollops of data and statistics. Ashish Sinha’s package on OTT as well inputs from Noor Fathima Warsia and interviews make this a cover that foretells the future.

In this issue we also look at the data protection debate in the wake of the Justice Srikrishna Committee report and ask if it’s a step forward towards a model law. MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar also makes an intervention.

The outgoing TRAI Chairman R.S. Sharma was in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. In this issue’s Last Word, he shares the hits and misses of his tenure, even as he emphasises on more powers for the regulator.

This issue of BW Businessworld comes packed with all other regular features, and columns.
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Happy reading!