Industry received a massive push by the efforts of the Government in initiating movements like ‘Digital India’ and ‘Cashless Payments’. Many services like banking, travel, Taxation, Rail and Airline etc. have become completely digital. Today one can get most of the government services online.
A recent example of importance of new media is the IPL auctions held last month in which 24 companies bought the bid papers. These included companies like Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Yahoo, Reliance Jio, STAR India, Sony Pictures, Discovery, Sky, British Telecom and ESPN Digital Media. These companies already have a strong presence in the new media market. Although Star India was the Lucky winner bidding 16347 crores for combined media rights of television and digital media till 2022, thousands of crores were bid for the digital rights by other companies. This underlines the importance of content distribution in the digital domain.
With the large penetration of smart phones in India new media has a great future in the country. Mobile penetration globally is projected to reach 70% by 2022 - almost double the total number of users in 2008. According to research company Forrester, global mobile device usage is expected to reach more than 5.5 billion users by 2022. “We expect the number of global smartphone users to reach 3.8 billion by 2022, crossing the 50% mark for smartphone penetration by population in 2017 and reaching 66% by 2022,” the global research firm predicted in a statement last month. “Large-screen smartphones are contributing to the decline in tablet users: In metro China and India, 65% and 62% of online adult smartphone users, respectively, have a screen size between 5.0 and 6.0 inch,” Forrester said.
India’s mobile phone subscriber base has reached the one billion users’ mark, according to data released recently by the Telecom Tegulatory Authority of India (TRAI), country’s telecom regulator. India currently has a smartphone user base of over 300 million. With decrease in data rates, more and more people are accessing internet on mobile devices. Total number of Internet subscribers has increased to 431.21 million at the end of Jun-17.
According to TRAI, total mobile data users as on 30th June, 2017 are 409 million. About 34.5% of the total mobile subscribers used data services in the Q.E. June, 2017. 1.28 During the Q.E. June, 2017, total wireless data usage was 4,206,415 terabytes. Out of which, 2G data usage was 100,390 terabytes, 3G data usage was 690,743 terabyte, 4G data usage was 3,999,012 terabytes and CDMA data usage was 16,270 terabytes.
Today most of the broadcasters want to bring their content on new media OTT platforms since they already have a captive audience. We have Hotstar from Star, Sony Live from Sony, Ditto and Ozee from Zee, Voot from Viacom18. Many of them are distributing original content on these platforms to attract viewers. Iinternationals giants like Netflix, facebook, Twitter, Google, and Amazon etc are already ahead in creating video content distribution platforms in the global market including India.
Growing long-form video share is being driven by an increasing amount of premium content coming online from content owners looking to connect with Millennials. Changing trends, fastrack life and creation of multiple genres to entertain and inform a more diverse audience has made users in all demographics to adopt the “closest screen as the primary screen” … especially if it’s mobile.
The research indicate that between tablets, PCs and smartphones, the longest average time watched with long form video was 44 minutes, about the length of an hour-long television episode (sans commercials). Smartphones saw averages of 38.5 minutes and PCs just 25.3 minutes since PCs and laptop computers are slowly seeing a role change in online video.
Content creators are being pressed to roll out titles at an ever quickening pace. As the OTT industry continues to expand its ability to offer Global entertainment channels, those titles often have to be crafted for consumption in multiple languages and to match up with local mores and, sometimes, disparate government regulation on content.
With introduction of 4G, mobile broadband has become much better and migration to 5G will make it even better. The government has set up a high-level 5G committee with a mandate to lay down a road map for rollout of the technology by 2020. "We have created a high-level 5G committee that will work on vision, mission and goals of 5G. When the world will roll out 5G in 2020, I believe India will be at par with them," Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha had said.
Content security is a big issue that has to tackled by stake holders as well as the Government. There are no regulations for distributing content on OTT and other digital media. Although the telecom regulator TRAI has initiated the move and the government is coming up with new policies to control the misuse of new media from time to time, it is yet to be effective in curbing piracy and misuse.