The pursuit of excellence of the human mind is individual and that’s what makes creativity great. This is what Amit Khanna, former chairman CII National Media & Entertainment Committee and former Chairman, Reliance Entertainment said at the CII Big Picture Summit 2012.
Amit Khanna, media guru, poet, lyricist, writer, filmmaker and historian will be giving his thought leader address crystal gazing where the media industry is heading at the 9th edition of CII BIG PICTURE SUMMIT 2020 (December 16-18)
SPECIAL ADDRESS: Amit Khanna, CII BIG PICTURE SUMMIT 2012
It has always been said that time has come for India to reap its demographic dividend. We are a youthful nation, What does Young India mean specifically for media and entertainment? It has been noted over the years by experts and sociologists that it is the young who not only consumes M&E but also are trendsetters. However, in the recent past, trends have emerged in more developed markets that as we move towards a digital world (a networked society) more and more niches emerge in the media and entertainment universe. There are sufficiently large pockets of people who are willing to consume different kinds of films, television, new media. Hence it becomes a larger pie with more people able to consume it.
One of the realities which many of us seem to overlook is a change which will happen in the next ten years. In the digital universe demographics get blurred. Because the ease of access gives the ability across ages across psychographics to access news, information, entertainment often from sources which were unattainable till a few years ago.
We are way down in the per capita consumer spend on media and entertainment. In more developed markets they are as high as five or six per cent. In some of the other competing markets like Brazil or China it is still much higher than India. As people become more aspirational, connected with different devices, through the development of viewer access technologies and with all content ultimately resting in the cloud consumption will go up in geometric progression. It has been noted that society grows in arithmetic progression. It is a slow progress. But, technology propels in geometric progressions. It takes leaps of several generations with each technological advancement. The problem is trying to reconcile the pace of social change with the rapid speed of technological change which is happening simultaneously. We all know of the famous analogy of several India’s exist together in different times and space. However, it is imperative for us to tap and address each and every citizen of these India which ultimately create the whole India.
Similarly, the ad spend to GDP ratio is amongst the lowest in the world (in top twenty countries of the world). There is no other way as consumption goes up these ad spends will go up audience measurement techniques will emerge and you will see ad spends rising in a competitive landscape.
Short term predictions
What we are heading toward is something Walter Manning, founder of Jwt said forty years ago when he was setting up the media lab at MIT. He said 21st century media will be all about personalised segmentation of media. It is that what we are heading to. We are going to see enhanced, relevant, curated content being consumed. Time is the only finite factor in consumption. You have only 24 hours to do work, play and entertained. Within that space there will be lot of competition in trying to monetize leisure. Leisure has become a larger world used when we talk about media and entertainment. It is no longer about watching news or listening to the radio or going out to a concert or watching cinema in your neighbourhood multiplex it is also events like Formula One. It is also about going to other social gatherings. We have seen social media groups form community groups which meet often and are now just about beginning to get monetized. HDTV or 3D Cinema are in the beginnings of what I would call enhanced viewing experience. You will in the next five or seven years come towards immersive TV, come towards films which will have multiple endings suiting different markets. It will be the same narrative but the filmmaker shoots two or three different ends depending upon the geography or demographics to suit those audiences. The most significant thing is curated. As digital technology develops, and we move from the present semantic web (Web 2.O) to intuitive web (Web 3.O) and the next which is currently being finalised in the labs we will find machine to machine talk becoming easy (Web 4.O). These huge large databases will talk to each other figure from our digital footprints what our interests are lead us on to that entertainment, news, information, music. It is for us to monetise these new revenue opportunities. Cross Section, Cross Segment competition is something we have to be cautious about.
The only thing in this world which is not fungible in this global world is talent. Talent, cannot be outsourced. Everything else can be. Processes, manufacturing. Talent is individual. The pursuit of excellence of the human mind is individual and that’s what makes creativity so great. More such opportunities are there in this huge currently untapped digital landscape. It is almost as if the mariner has landed on the mars and just dug up a little sample and telling us what is in store for us.
With the main motive being exchanging of ideas and strengthen the film community, the 12th edition of the Ventana Sur will organise as many as 50 conferences.
The conferences will address the new trends in storytelling in the face of the restructuring of the industry with the emergence of various digital platforms that promote new roles for authors and new trends in content creation.
Digital platforms are gaining momentum due to the momentum and it has a great impact on the Latin America and Europe.
Amazon Prime Video, one of the leading OTTs in the global market, has achieved an interesting positioning in Latin America based on original productions and strategic alliances. For its part, Netflix, the global giant SVOD, is working on two fronts to continue growing: complications for production and the incentive for consumption, a specific paradox that arises in a pandemic.
Co-productions have intensified, and stories based on real events, thrillers, travel shows, kids and factual stories are growing. In addition, the “Covid-proof” formats in the entertainment world are gaining relevance. How is the return to production in Covid’s time and what are the new business models and future perspectives of the audiovisual markets? The particularities of four major markets in the world: America, Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.
Funding around the world: we are presenting an overview of the numerous funding opportunities from research conducted by Projeto Paradiso, Brazilian Content and Cinema do Brasil together with LatAm cinema. We will look at institutional innovations in the framework provided by Covid-19 and new proposals linked to current public policies.
The section of panels, included in the category of animation, challenges us with a series of ideas and strategies related to the development of characters as crucial elements of the narrative. After all, a powerful story needs strong, multi-faceted characters who are kind to the audience. In this sense, Masha and The Bear, the Russian series that represents a success story and its own creators participate in Ventana Sur, where they tell us first-hand how the process of development and realization of the project went. The same is true of Rick and Morty, the American animated television series.
Another great axis has to do with the inclusion of women and non-binaries in an industry that is going through falling mandates and structures. It is about unmasking harassment and bullying, hearing the voices and giving prominence to Latin American collectives that, through different actions, seek to generate changes to safeguard the integrity and ensure the equality of female and male workers. That is why we are investigating the protocols to change the work culture and exchange perspectives, strategies and challenges
This has opened a new scope in the audiovisual content consumption as the digital media has become a battleground of the giants.
With all these changes it is become imminent that a discussion on these developments should be held to get a clear picture of the future.
These conferences will also create opportunities to develop the maximum potential, radicalize filmmaking from its storytelling and aesthetic proposals. This will ensure that the audience get a far more better experience.
After a successful partnership for Cannes, the Marché du Film has once again roped in Paris-based Blue Efficience to increase the security of online screenings for Ventana Sur beginning November 30.
Blue Efficience will monitor anti-piracy of 150 films to be screened for buyers and delegates virtually during the LATAM market.
A total of 872 films benefited from Blue Efficience’s expertise during Cannes Film Market 2020. Thanks to the antipiracy measures implemented by the Marché du Film and its technology suppliers Cinando and Shift72, including encryption and watermarking of films, Blue Efficience did not detect any piracy resulting from the virtual screenings that took place during the Marché. On the contrary Blue Efficience were able to see that some films had already been pirated well before the Marché du Film Online.
Blue Efficience is also valued on the market for its closeness to its interlocutors, its great reactivity, its efficiency and the quality of its work.
From antipiracy enforcement to the promotion of legal amenities, the company offers a 360-degree service around films. The company also invests strongly in research and development which enables the company to offer the best technical and innovative solutions to fight piracy.
Cinemarket is an online film and TV market for buying and selling rights anytime, anywhere. It’s an innovative platform for film professionals, for both buyers (distributors, OTT platforms, broadcasters, festivals and cinemas) and sellers (sales agents, producers and filmmakers). Pickle chats with ADRIAN LUGOL, Founder and CEO, Cinemarket.io
Adrian Lugol and Florian Glatz met in 2016 whilst working in the technology and creative industries in Berlin. They both wanted to find a way for film professionals to buy and sell film and TV rights in a seamless and secure way, cutting out additional costs. The idea of Cinemarket.io was born.
Tell us about Cinemarket?
Cinemarket is the one-stop-shop for the film industry, the only place where everything from film screening to film licensing, license payments and material delivery can happen in days instead of months.
We began in 2016. We were one of the first to really try to combine the potential of blockchain technology and shared database in bringing the film industry come together.
At the moment what we can do is when you look for films rights, you can browse different filters, what kind of rights you are looking for — theatrical, VOD, — or the countries or the continent, and for which period of time, exclusive or non exclusive, as entered by the seller to the buyer. It is automated. The Cinemarket platform generates a contract once a buyer and seller agree to buy or sell. The transfer of rights for the period is generated on the back end of the database.
How has been the journey?
The journey was not easy at all. We never gave up, because, we still see the potential. Our project was first presented at the development stage at the Berlinale Talents market hub in 2017. It was supported by the Creative Europe Media programme at the development stage. Our Beta version was unveiled at the Cannes Marché du Film’s NEXT programme in 2018. We went live this May 2020 during Marche.
We have built our team over the years. Our tech team is strong. But, the film industry itself is a bit complex. I will not say film industry is blocked, but a little bit controlled by gatekeepers. And the gatekeepers are people who are in positions for three to four decades and want to maintain status quo.
They like the business to be done in same fashion. They want like people to travel to buy movies. But COVID-19 has accelerated digital space in films. It is a little sad that a virus has shown the potential. But, now nobody has a choice. So everybody adapts. Some people are against our initiative. Sometimes, you wonder if they want to help filmmakers or just care about their own business.
Sometimes a few people are rude to us. They say, we don’t want to help you and don’t contact us and so on. But, on the other end, there are young talented filmmakers in festivals and markets. For many, who take four or five years to make a movie, they don’t have good experience with the past. We met a producer in Rotterdam, who said that they don’t have sales agents and do everything on their own. Our digital tool can help buy or sell films. We are not Amazon or Netflix. We are a pretty small startup with passion for cinema. It is still going to take sometime for change. But, COVID-19 has accelerated everything. We see it.
Can you illustrate by example of how it works? Why is Cinemarket an exciting place to be?
It’s very simple. Buyers can watch movies online. make an offer, scout for available rights, buy for a specific time period, or even for few days, exclusive or not, make payment in euro or dollar, revenue share, minimum guarantee or flat fee.
As a seller, you can check the summary of the offer and expected time of money transfer, preview contract. And you will be able to give your films to film festivals for just a few days.
We have signed deals with Eurovod, T-Port Media, Filmdoo, Perspective Films, Vesoul Asian Film Festival, and Filmotor among others.
It is a dream for a startup like us to realize that there is not a central meeting point for the film industry where people can make more than just exchanging some news, but also engage in business. In the coming times, we will have to have as many people as possible. We will also soon have four or five languages on our platform to facilitate buying and selling.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned from the time you have started to now?
When we were ambitious and naive about technology, we started a lot with blockchain two or three years ago. And I will not say we made wrong investment. In 2017 and 2018, there was still a lot of R&D to be done. We created a beta where you could login for security reason with your private key on MetaMask. We even stored files on the blockchain. We could automate payments. In our demo in 2018, if someone is the right owner, and you have someone watching the movie, the right owner receive his/her share in less than three seconds. But we realized that there is too much of a gap for this to happen. It is a reality, that you cannot go directly to the future. It’s too early because the film industry is too slow to adapt.
Today, we are focusing only on the marketplace. We have a lot of interest from film festivals, institutions and big corporations.
What is it that makes people come to this platform?
Two things. The first thing is filmmakers or producers who are looking to find new ways to promote their films and find distributors. Many look for new digital tools like us because, they give their film to sales agent, who puts it in their catalogue, and you have no option, but to wait. In many cases four or five years. That’s one kind of people who are interested in our platform. We also have buyers who are looking for new content.
We are the first digital European-based film market enabling rights-holders and sales companies to securely showcase new catalogue titles to potential buyers. All formats are permitted, from feature-length films and TV series, to documentaries and shorts.
Can content owners sell rights to universities in UK or USA who buy film rights?
Yes. We have one company with a special license that just looks for university rights, because it’s a specific rights. Producers and filmmakers can sell film rights to universities.
Is the Cinemarket registration free?
So we make sure that people who register with us are film professionals. We don’t allow people to sell porn or propaganda. We cross-check profile with different databases that exist in the world. The registration is free. We take a small cut (2% for works by young emerging filmmakers and 8-10% for big companies) if you sell your film on our platform. If you make a deal, we make a deal. If no money comes to you, we don’t charge you anything.
How do you make sure that they do the deal with your platform after coming to you?
We can’t. That’s also not our business model. So when we talk to lawyer, they told us, that’s their business model. So when you believe in blockchain and you want to build transparency and fight opacity, you need also to take some risk and believe that people are not all corrupt.
You always have access to information. When we see deals that happen on our platform, we will contact to see if they are honest. If not, we will kick them out of our platform.
Is film industry unique to digital transformation?
You can try to stop the digital transformation, you can try to stop technical improvements. Every industry has been transformed by digital. And the film is just one of another one. Everybody has their own job, you can use our platform as a sales agent. Everybody in the beginning said Linkedin is going to kill the job of people who are in HR. In the end, people who are in HR are using Linkedin. It is always the approach of how you have your mindset. Innovation doesn’t arrive if there is no problem to solve. And in the film industry, I think in every stage, from financing to production, distribution to exhibition, there are always problems. There are great people, brightest minds in the film industry. But there are also lot of in-between people. We believe in digital transformation.
Sometimes, do you get frustrated running this…
Frustration exists, but it comes on any challenge. It there is no frustration it is super easy. Everybody would have done it before. And challenges are exciting. My team is great. We have 10 to 12 people who are intelligent, talented and passionate. People who love tech, movies, creativity and marketing. Startup has to be fun. If it’s too easy, it’s not fun. Finding solution to challenges is what makes our work rewarding.
Berlin is one of the startup capitals similar to Silicon Valley?
Yeah, well, but not for the weather. And, weather particularly this year was bad. The summer is horrible. But, the startup scene is about the brains that interconnect. We built our company in the beginning with three or four friends. I don’t think I would have found them in south of Italy or even in south of France. Because people who have ambition, go where the challenge is. That’s what Berlin offers.
Finally, what is the biggest challenge now for films waiting to be sold?
The saddest part is most of the films are created to die on the Hard Drive. And, Hard Drives are like grave of the movies. And it is very sad. I think films should exist. It should be made available to people across cultures. Like this rich history where everybody could have access at any movie anytime, more or less. And one should pay the film rights owner.
‘In a time of disruption, professionals from around the world still look for occasions to come together, share innovative ideas, buy and sell content, and find creative ways to collectively forge ahead towards a safer, healthier,and inclusive future,’ says Geoff Macnaughton, Senior Director, Industry & Theatrical, giving details about this year’s TIFF Industry.
How has the TIFF Industry shaped this year?
We made an early decision to go fully digital for TIFF Industry. We could still engage with the global delegates. We could still engage with them versus working through travel restrictions and things like that. So, we have our online screening platform for press and industry screenings. We have a mix of what we’re calling this year, industry select titles, which are a collection of hot sale titles from around the world, that will be shown to buyers and anyone interested in acquiring content. And they will also have private screening. So similar to the Marche, there’ll be a handful of select private screenings, where people can watch them.
Tell us about the TIFF Industry Conference this year…
The five-day event, taking place September 10–14 during the Festival, will inspire and incite discussions for creative and business entrepreneurship. The Conference is an inspiring professional development opportunity for delegates to experience high-profile speakers, intimate conversations, provocative panel discussions, and user-friendly presentations designed to help build resourceful, innovative, and financially sustainable business practices.
We have a really strong conference lineup. We have around 34 different sessions. They are big names in the industry. We have some of the greatest speakers who are really changing the industry in a significant way. And then, we have these more targeted sessions called microsessions and national spotlights that will really focus on very specific subject matters that the audiences will find interesting.
This is a pivotal moment in recognizing the unsung heroes, whose work will pave the way to a more sustainable and equitable industry. This year’s Industry Conference will be a catalyst for change, examining new trends and championing diversity, racial equality, and gender parity. Talent Development continues to be a cornerstone of TIFF’s year-round work and we are exceptionally proud of the programme we’ve curated for the participants, and are excited to see them grow.
What are the tools deployed by TIFF Industry?
There are three kinds of tools that we are using for TIFF Press & Industry access. We are using Shift 72 for our screening platform. We are suing Cinando’s Match & Meet App as a networking tool for professional business meetings. Industry Talk is run by Paragon. Delegates will be able to navigate TIFF digital spaces through these tools.
Are there any physical events for TIFF Industry? Will there be live audience for Industry talks?
We don’t have any in-person physical industry events. Everything will be digital. And everyone across the world, will have multiple ways to see it. So for instance, if a conference conversation goes live digitally, noon Eastern Standard Time, then anyone outside of that timezone either can watch it within their own time zone and if their timezone is in off hours or when they’re sleeping, they can catch up on that conference talk the next morning.
In a time of disruption, professionals from around the world still look for occasions to come together, share innovative ideas, buy and sell content, and find creative ways to collectively forge ahead towards a safer, healthier,and inclusive future. This year, delegates can expect to find community, connection, inspiration, and talent — the foundation that will serve as the way forward. All Industry engagement and opportunities will be online, including business and talent development and its Industry Conference.
What has been the delegate registration feedback?
We expect that it would be the same numbers, with a similar per centage of participation in previous years. We are happy that a large number of industry delegates are engaging with us.
What about participation from National Pavilions and Agencies?
Instead of the TIFF Industry Centre this year, all national agencies have been given the option to have a spotlight on our digital platform. Essentially, it’s a curated page to highlight their content, their films, co-production initiatives, locales and services. We have 20 to 25 countries in the National Pavilion. They will have a footprint on our Industry platform. They can be engaged through Cinando’s Meet & Match App for meetings.
ads2OTT, a home grown OTT advertising exchange is set to launch in India in October 2020 aiming to provide a one-stop solution for brands to advertise across OTT platforms.
“This is India’s first integrated OTT ad exchange medium that will enable advertisers from nook and corner of India to place ads in OTT platforms that they would want to target,” says Arun Tyagi, Founder, ads2OTT under the aegis of 361 Degree Entertainment & Media Pvt Ltd. “India is one of the most promising OTT markets in the world”.
The demand for content streamed via OTT is increasing day by day in India. Today, India ranks number two in digital video consumption in the world. With 8.43 hours of consumption per person per week, the second-most populous country is way above the global average of 6.8 hours. For example, Amazon Prime has reach in 4000 towns and cities in India. Indian OTT market is currently pegged at $2.3 billion with over 300 million subscribers.
There are over 50 OTT platforms in India and poised to grow to $5 billion in the next three to four years. According to Counterpoint Research, India has 620 million active Internet users and expected to grow to 850 million by 2022. India also accounts for the fastest adoption of smartphones now used by over 500 million users.
Though there has been a substantial increase in subscription numbers, the potential of the advertising revenue is yet to be realised. Today brands and agencies are facing a challenge to reach out to multiple platforms in existence. Hence, there is a need of an exchange that offers ad inventory available across platforms, under one roof.
ads2OTT’s futuristic construct, promises to fulfil advertisers’ requirements of focused advertising, which is both impactful and result oriented. With one seamless transaction you can reach viewers across any part of India, with high-quality and on-demand content across popular TV shows, movies, LIVE sports and more.
The focus is to go beyond metros and target regional and local advertisers especially in tier 2 and 3 markets. The exchange will specialise in helping brands, agencies and advertisers understand and navigate this revolutionary media landscape.
Shivi Chopra, Co-Founder, ads2OTT says, “The rise of OTT platforms has presented a great opportunity for advertisers. The advent of the festive season along with the upcoming IPL will boost advertising and brands will look at investing in the OTT space in a big way.The question is no longer about whether to invest in OTT but rather How and How much. OTT offers a formidable combination of the impact of television along with the power and precision of digital. Our prime focus will be to help regional and local brands to experience the efficiency and effectiveness of the category. At the same time, we will be catering to national brands who are looking at conveying their brand’s message or extending their existing broadcast reach. We are extremely bullish about the future of OTT and the exponential ROI it will generate for advertisers.”
Economic downturn and budget limitations could force marketers to adopt creative solutions to attract users. In the near future, ads2OTT will experiment with innovative formats such as in-show monetization, with shoppable content embedded directly in the stream as there is a need to think holistically.
Advertisers will aim to capitalize on the OTT boom but will have to become more particular of the media sources and their proportion impacting the consumer mind space. Brands are increasingly allocating their marketing spends to OTT platforms as the digital medium becomes highly influential and consumers are deeply engaged with this medium.
NürnbergMesse India has announced the launch of Content India Show (CONTX 2020) in online format from October 29-31 focusing on the digital and traditional content creation and consumption across media platforms. NürnbergMesse Group is one of the 15 largest trade fair companies in the world and has a network of international representatives operating in more than 100 countries. Its portfolio includes around 120 German and international trade fairs and Congresses.
Content India Show’s We Go Digital Edition has been created with the aim of connecting content creators with the leading broadcasters and digital platforms enabling them to promote and distribute their catalogue and ideas in one of the largest, and most lucrative, entertainment markets of the world.
The event will be held under the parent umbrella of A.B.I.S.- ASIA’s BROADCASTING & INFOTAINMENT SHOW with two other co-located events BROADCAST INDIA SHOW ( India’s leading event for Broadcast, FILM, TV, Radio Technology) and SCAT INDIA TRADESHOW ( Leading Exhibition for Cable TV, Broadband, IPTV & Satellite Industry ), providing three days of seamless networking experience and will then transition into a yearlong active online networking platform.
Earlier this year, NürnbergMesse expanded its international portfolio by acquiring the Indian exhibition SCaT India. SCaT India is a trade show focused on the entertainment and infotainment industries, which has been taking place in Mumbai every year since 1993. In 2016, it acquired Broadcast India Show, India’s leading trade fair for production and post-production in TV and film technology.
NürnbergMesse India, one of six international subsidiaries of NürnbergMesse, is ramping up its involvement in the entertainment and infotainment industry. “Content India Show will be presented digitally in its first edition. It’s a very well-timed show for buying and selling of content, contributing enormously in forming new connections and generating new business. Furthermore, by presenting all the three leading shows on a single platform covering the domains of broadcast, cable, satellite, content, broadband, media and infotainment, we expect that this combination will benefit the industry at large,’’ says Sonia Prashar, Managing Director, NürnbergMesse India
She further added, “Technological disruptions and these unprecedented circumstances, have also ushered an era of change for the content industry. How they meander through present times and fully utilise the opportunities on offer will define the future of this growing sector.
It is now up to the broadcasting and infotainment industry to cater and adapt to the changing times, plus capitalise on some of the emerging value drivers in this space.”
The sentiment is also echoed by Aparna Acharekar, Programming Head at ZEE5: “Content India Show is a great initiative by NürnbergMesse India. OTT content is being consumed like never before and there is a continuous need for newer stories and formats to keep viewers entertained. This show will enable a global exchange of programming to the benefit of all,” she said..
Arun Thapar, President- Content & Communication, AETN 18 said, “Its about time the world’s largest producer of audio-visual content got its own dedicated content marketplace. Best wishes to Team Content India.”
Saugata Mukherjee, Head – Original Content, SonyLiv at Sony Pictures Networks India said,” I wish the event the very best for its first edition and Congratulations for organising the event digitally in these trying times. There’s no better time for content to travel globally and new associations to be formed. Hope the event is a great success and brings in many synergies.”
CONTX 2020 will feature a mix of technical sessions, technology showcase and networking. The platform itself will offer numerous features including meeting scheduler, product spotlight, attendee profiling and others, thus enabling seamless connectivity.
HT Media has acquired Mosaic Media Ventures that operates digital media properties VCCircle and Techcircle. Adding to them, Mosaic Media also operates subscription-based research databases, VCCEdge and SalesEdge. News Corporation (News Corp), an American mass media and publishing company had acquired Mosiac Media Ventures in 2015.
Facebook has introduced ‘official music videos’ in India to showcase music videos from labels like T-Series Music, Zee Music Company, and Yash Raj Films on its platform. The music video experience on Facebook is available in India, Thailand, and the US. Users in India will be able to watch content from the country’s top music labels – T-Series Music, Zee Music Company, and Yash Raj Films.
Microsoft has confirmed that it is continuing talks to purchase the US operations of Chineseowned video-sharing app TikTok. Microsoft chief Satya Nadella had a conversation with President Donald Trump about the acquisition, the tech giant said.
James Murdoch, the younger son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has resigned from the board of News Corporation citing “disagreements over editorial content”. In a filing to US regulators, he said he also disagreed with some “strategic decisions” made by the company. The exact nature of the disagreements was not detailed.
Eros International Plc and STX Entertainment have completed merger to form Eros STX Global Corporation. Combined company creates a financially robust global studio leader across 3 continents with strategic content and distribution partnerships for an ‘unprecedented global footprint’.
Sony has announced two-new 4K televisions under its Bravia lineup. Named as Bravia X8000H and X7500H, the models come with the company’s own TRILUMINOS display and are powered by X1 4K HDR Picture Processor. The all-new TVs are equipped with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos technology
Chinese drama Enigma of Arrival quashed Dolittle and Jojo Rabbit to take the top spot in theaters’ second weekend back in business, while a local animation bested the whimpering China debut of Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog. The $87 million-budgeted Sonic’ broke records in its February premiere stateside, attaining the highest opening figures for a video game movie adaptation to date with an estimated $57 million three-day debut. In China, it opened with just $1.27 million, according to leading Chinese data tracker Ent Group.
Netflix is finally rolling out a feature to let subscribers stream content up to .5 times slower or 1.5 times faster. Now, Android users are officially able to control their streams on their mobile devices, letting audiences manage the speed of their binge-watching in the palms of their hands.
Xiaomi has announced a partnership with Disney+ Hotstar, India’s leading premium streaming platform. The association brings the latest and biggest Bollywood movie titles directly to millions across the country, under the Multiplex banner. The Multiplex Banner feature on Mi TVs will allow the viewers to access these movies two hours prior to the official release.
Mainstream TV OTT was launched when the world of Malayalam movie goers barely had any options to watch and enjoy movies. Mainstream TV is available on iOS, Android, Fire TV and Chromecast. One can book the ‘Balcony Ticket’ in Mainstream TV and enjoy the movie same way as you enjoy it in a theatre.
Over two dozen theatre owners representing single screen theatres in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Karnataka and Kerala participated in a recent virtual meeting organised by South Indian Film Chambers of Commerce
With the government (I&B Ministry and Home Ministry) working on standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the reopening of cinema halls, which remain shut due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown, owners of single screen theatres have urged for separate SOPs, compared to multiplexes. Over two dozen theatre owners representing single screen theatres in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Karnataka and Kerala participated in a recent virtual meeting organised by South Indian Film Chambers of Commerce.
Majority of them, who are GST payers, have complained that banks are not lending to them under the Central government’s scheme for the MSMEs. According to them, single screen theatres are not to be treated on par with multiplex theatres. Both work on two different sets of guidelines, concessions, rules, strategies, policies and enterprises.
They said renewal for theatre licence must be worked on auto renewal mode for an additional year and there shuld not be separate additional fees or procedure other than an online request Theatre owners said property tax should be reduced by 50 per cent. There are existing property tax rebates in Andhra Pradesh which have to be given in all states in India.
“Electricity charges will be paid only on the consumption and not on minimum due, irrespective of high tension, low tension or commercial establishments category,” they said and added that the Licenced projector operators mandatory clause has to be removed as it is only digital projection these days and that is a draconian law which has to be modified. Local Body Tax is to be exempted in states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala, theatre owners urged the government.
“Clarification that theatres operate in the gambit of MSME sector and all concessions given to MSME sector (loans criteria, concessional interest, interest wavier during moratorium period) must be given the exhibition sector.”
According to theatre owners, harsh enforcement conditions should not be imposed during opening of theatres post covid scenario. Theatre staff and workers should be included under cinema workers scheme and some necessary support should be given to them, they said and added that GST tariff has to be put under a reduced tax slab from the existing 18 to 12 and 12 to 8 per cent.
“Theatre construction rules should be simplified and ease in conversion needs to be given from one big screen to two small screens. Ease the setbacks condition, rules, application and sanctioning formalities”.
It has been decided to send letters recommending the above to Central and State governments by e-mail, post. It has also been decided to directly meet the Chief Ministers concerned representing the issues and concerns in person with a team of prominent exhibitors form each State.
“Cash flow is the need of the hour as working capital for single screens. Banks should be advised to lend under MSME scheme equivalent to 3 to 6 months of fixed costs which could be the hard costs of rentals; electricity; wage bill. These could be easily established by a self-declaration with the auditor’s confirmation.” theatre owners said. They also wanted the proposed increase in electricity tariff to be deferred.
“The above mentioned recommendations and requests are critical for the survival of the single screens in India,” owners felt. Out of 9500 screens in the country, 3500 are multplex screens and South India has many single screen theatres, which are part and parcel of not just the Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada film industries, but also an integral part of the lives of people for whom cinema is like a religion.
Whether one likes it or not, India will soon have level playing field in policy and regulations for the media and digital platforms. This is very clear from signals left by policymakers in various sessions. After years of dilly-dallying, there will be light touch regulation beyond the self-regulation call by the industry.
NO GO LIST
Technological changes will outpace regulation, so it would be optimal to create a negative list (No Go list). Like how Singapore has done. Outside this list, any platform can function without other regulations.
NO & YES
Many in the industry don’t want regulation (specifically on content) in the OTT space. However, they have no issues with regard to investments, protection of investments, piracy and digital platforms.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Finance and NITI Aayog are on consensus to grant infrastructure status to the broadcasting sector. For this, stakeholders should arrive at a common understanding on what infrastructure will be covered and definition of infrastructure. Once infrastructure status is granted, broadcasters and distribution platforms will be aided with affordable financing options.
COLLAPSED BY COVID
Industry leaders estimated that Media and Entertainment Sector in 2020 will shrink to $15 billion from $20 billion in 2019 because of COVID-19. Around 20% of workforce may lose jobs, impacting nearly a million people.
The film, television and online video services industry in India generated a total economic contribution of $49.8 billion and 2.6 million in 2019, says a report by Deloitte, Producers Guild of India and MPA. The report indicates a growth of 61% in these sectors.
OTT ON DEMAND
The demand for content streamed via OTT is increasing day by day in India. Today, India ranks number two in digital video consumption in the world. With 8.43 hours of consumption per person per week, the second-most populous country is way above the global average of 6.8 hours. Can you imagine Amazon Prime has reach in 4000 towns and cities in India?
Sixty per cent of video streaming worldwide is on mobile devices. The game changer for the media and entertainment sector in the coming days will be 5G. Also, mobile and video gaming will be a huge market in coming years.
MADE IN INDIA
The Indian M&E industry is the biggest in the world by output, with over 5 lakh hours of television content made every year, 80,000 newspapers published daily, and more than 2,600 feature films produced each year – 98% of all these outputs are shaped and made in India.
THRUST ON TRUST
Businesses will have to develop consumer trust in brands, as “trust” will play a major role in post pandemic world. This will require businesses to build social platforms based on freedom of speech.
To accelerate filmmaking and fillip to the Indian media and entertainment sector, Government of India is coming up with incentives in all sectors, including TV serials, filmmaking, co-production, animation and gaming.
It is not OTT versus cinema theatres. But OTT and theatres coexist together. Some of the biggest proponents of OTT are waiting to watch movie in big screen. And Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is their first choice.
Unlike a few countries like the UK, which has done a $ 1.5 billion to the creative sectors, India as a country might not be in a position to do so at this point of time. Indian M&E industry sought help from the government to provide access to capital. The organized verticals within the media and entertainment industry require capital today.
The actors and technicians still don’t feel safe to come on board for shooting. Everyone wants to make a creatively good product. So when we are working on a film, if the creativity quotient is removed and are only constantly worried about sanitization and other stuff and your whole mind is of that, then you will not creatively come out with a great product.
There’s no doubt today that Indian cinema is India’s soft power and that our films are seen in over 100 countries. Thanks to OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, it is instantly visible and experienced now.
AROUND THE WORLD
While Indian content reaches 100 countries with streaming platforms, smaller countries like South Korea, Israel, Turkey have bigger media businesses with their content travelling globally. Indian films and TV dramas do not travel globally because of the ambitions set are small. The immediate priority is to focus on India’s content to be consumed globally.