Indrani Sen: OTT has entered media mix of our campaigns

24 Apr,2017

By Indrani Sen


On April 22, ET Brand Equity carried a news item based on a report the research firm Gartner who has estimated that 65 per cent of all phone sales in India will be smartphones in 2018. The article while discussing the content of the report, mentioned that “report also said with increased push from the government for digital currency, as well as people becoming more open to using digital payment methods, the rise of digital currency is bringing a new use case for smartphones, which will trigger higher demands for smartphones”.


This is a huge jump from the earlier estimates of the growth of smartphones in India and has created quite a stir among the global vendors, who are busy planning for strategies to get a higher share of category sales from India. According to Gartner, Indian consumers are becoming tech-savvy and they are willing to pay more for smartphones with better features. The next question, which comes up inevitably, is the Indian consumer ready to pay for the content which she/he would be consuming on smartphones? Advertisers however are not concerned whether the consumer is paying for the content or not. They simply want to be the first to catch him/her in this new media environment.


Just the day before, on April 21, ET Brand Equity carried an interesting article on a related topic saying “OTT and VOD are steadily revolutionising the way we consume content, because of mobility and sheer range. They’ve seeped into our daily routine; be it catching up with the latest episode of our favourite web-series during loo breaks to late night binge watching.” The article described battle plans for capturing market shares by  Voot’s Gaurav Gandhi, SabGroup‘s ManavDhanda, YuppTV‘s UdayReddy and NexGTV‘s AbheshVerma. They all were shining with positive notes about the changes in media consumption habit acrossand counting on favourable reactions from the Indian consumers.


ManavSethi, Chief Marketing Officer at ALT Balajisaid in exchange4mediaon April19: “This change is more structural than cyclical in nature. This change is empowering. This change is latent and personal when it comes to entertainment. It’s not “prime time” only and it’s certainly not India’s prime time, it’s rather MY TIME; MY PLACE and MY VIEW, on MY DEVICE!”Sethi was optimistic about OTT’s future in India which he felt would soon take a definite shape through the interaction of more and more consumers (with access to smartphones) and the market forces.


On April 22, exchange4media carried another story about Ogilvy creating history by making India’s first TVC for Milton shot on a smartphone, more precisely with an iPhone. Conceptualised by Ogilvy Mumbai, the TVC shows the tough journey which theTiffinbox has to undertake every day to reach the office from home through regular city life and the chaotic traffic. Stories of such technical triumph is bound get consumers exited about viewing the same and producing similar contents shooting with their smartphones.


Informal interactions with industry experts indicate that OTT hasnot only arrived in India, but is steadilyclaiming its own share in the mix of traditional and online media for many campaigns. The media planners have no alternative but to work out thumb rule approaches for assessing the cost of OTT and its ROI. This state of flux will continue till BARC are ready to release their Ekam findings towards the end of 2018.


Indrani Sen is a veteran media agency and marketing services professional. She is currently an Independent Consultant and Adjunct Faculty, Media Management at Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication, Pune. The views expressed here are her own.


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