Digitisation continues to be a key growth driver for the Indian M&E sector with more and more audiences subscribing to the digital medium, says Rishika Lulla Singh, CEO, Eros Now
Eros Now is a visible digital platform today for content consumption. You have been a leader in digital space for over six years? Can this medium propel growth for the M&E sector?
We are on the threshold of a digital transformation and our significant digitized content library enables us to deliver optimum customer experiences across media spaces. We have succeeded in developing a service that engages a new digital generation of South Asians globally – when, where and how they want.
Digitization continues to be a key growth driver for the Indian M&E sector and with more and more audiences subscribing to the digital medium. Recent releases like Raanjhanaa and Go Goa Gone crossed more than a million views within just 2-3 days of its launch. Digital is the future and ErosNow aspires to be the leading South Asian digital brand of choice for consumers, advertisers and global media partners.
We have witnessed Eros Intl signing various multi-platform worldwide deals with telecom, IPTV and broadcasters. Do you see visible signs of consumption pattern changing?
Definitely, more and more specialist channels are coming up with digital consumption increasing. Recent trends indicate YouTube is already perceived to be the preferred choice for news and entertainment viewing, especially for the youth. Our recent collaborations with TalkTalk, Yupp TV and a host of other film content platforms point towards evident changes in consumption patterns.
What is your take on movie watching on tablets? Do you watch movies on the go?
The smartphones and tablets have entirely changed the measures of entertainment. What started as an obsession of playing games has now moved to consumers being addicted to their smart device to watch songs, movies, stream live matches etc. This has further gained momentum with high speed data either at home or with advent of services like 3G/4G.
Watching movies on tablet is a great source of entertainment while you are commuting or even when at home if one wants to enjoy his own space and his favorite movies. Its compact and user-friendly hence it’s not only entertaining but also makes life simple. I absolutely love watching movies on tablets. Whenever I am commuting which is very often with offices globally, I am either watching a movie or listening to my favorite music track. Moreover, tablets are handy and sleek and consume no extra space in your bag. So it’s a must in my travel list.
Internationally especially, people are more inclined to consume content on the go.. Studies have shown that almost a third of the time spent on a tablet is for entertainment. In India, despite certain technology and connectivity issues, we are slowly but surely getting there.
From innovation perspective Eros Now is a great case study? You have created a visible brand in no time? With Eros having all the ingredients of a successful start up how does it deploy innovation?
Eros Now is a one stop shop for Bollywood entertainment. Apart from the vast library of over 1900 films, we also premier many of our latest films on the platform within 2 weeks to a month of its theatrical release. We have been innovative with our membership offerings too – prepaid cards, a 48 hour movie rental window allowing movie viewing unlimited amount of times, instant steam of video etc. Additionally all content is in HD and we are also offering viewers a 14 day free trial where they can check out movies of their choice and finally subscribe to movies as per their pick. ErosNow extends its services beyond films and provides latest music from not just the Eros catalogue but also the entire T Series library for the listening pleasure of anyone visiting the platform.
How did you manage the challenge of traditional company embrace innovation for Eros Now?
Change is the necessity of the day and digital is the future. The Indian entertainment industry has undergone a paradigm shift in the last decade and studios like Eros have brought about corporatization of the industry. The monetization streams have also expanded. With a large library of 1900 films, our aim is to exploit the content across different formats and stay connected with the audiences 24×7 (In the digital space through Eros Now).At Eros we have always embraced technological advancements and with Eros Now we provide access to all our films, music videos, audio tracks and regional programming. Our services cater both premium and standard users. The key to success in this space is constant innovation and ease of content access.
From Eros perspective, where do you see the potential in the digital domain — do you see growth in domestic or international market? You have one of the finest library content?
In the short run, the dollars are coming in from the international markets, mainly due to better user experience and higher broadband penetration. India is still a “Freemium” market although this will change rapidly with the advent of 4G and other technological advancement.
Has this growth reflected in monetization for Eros? How has been the subscriber growth? Do you see a scalable model?
At Eros, our mantra clearly is maximization of the monetization. With a large library of 1900 films, our aim is to exploit the content across different formats and stay connected with our audiences 24×7.
For instance we have witnessed a huge growth on our YouTube channel from the time we launched it a few years back, the subscriber base has seen multifold increase. Also very proud to announce we recently crossed a million subscribers on the ErosNow YouTube channel.
What is Eros strategy with regards to digital piracy? Do you see piracy levels coming down with the death of DVD and increased digital consumption via multiple screens?
Earlier we used to put up Eros content (new releases) for digital fingerprinting post the theatrical release of the film. Now taking a step forward, we finger print our content prior to the theatrical releases, further curbing scope for digital piracy.
Also with shorter windowing of films, from theatrical to online (we showcase our films on Eros Now within two weeks to a month of its theatrical release), these initiatives do go some way in curbing the urge to watch the pirated version of the film.
Piracy also tends to happen because content isn’t readily available but with quality HD streaming, allowing users to access content whenever and however they want, erosnow.com aims to bridge that gap.