According to industry stalwarts, consumers behaviour has evolved enough to make space for PPV’s success
Left to right (Clockwise) : Jehil Thakkar, Sunil Taldar, Shariq Patel, R Balki.
There is always room from new and fresh content and it’s even better if that content is available at the flick of a switch. With this concept, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) is all set to roll out its new proposition — Zee Plex, a pay-per-view channel wherein producers can premiere their movie for the masses. Interestingly, the pay-per-view model on TV was made available by DTH operators many years ago but till date, it failed to garner any result. However, now with theatres shut and the channel airing new movies, many believe this time around, it might succeed.
Pay-per view presents a much bigger opportunity in India, an opportunity which DTH operators, aggregators as well as producers did not exploit in the past, Sunil Taldar, CEO and director, Airtel DTH, said. “This opportunity is not limited to just films. From live events to online gaming, the television environment is conducive to PPV model only if platforms– DTH operators, producers, aggregators as well as digital payments– come together,” he added. He was speaking at the inaugural edition of BrandWagon Conclave 2020, held virtually. The panel was moderated by Jehil Thakkar, partner, Deloitte India.
According to R Balki, film maker, PPV has been co-existing with theatres everywhere in the world. For the first time in India, creators are not presented with any other choice but to explore the PPV model. “It does not make any economic sense for platforms to acquire content at exorbitant prices without any clear-cut way to recover the acquisition cost. Pay-per-view is a must for both creators as well as buyers of content to know the success of the content and the number of people it reached,” he exclaimed, adding that PPV provides producers with a lot of the same insights that theatres do.
Interestingly, one of the main reasons the PPV model did not see a success in the past was because of the issue of payment. Since viewers were already paying for the cable, the need to pay extra for a movie which would be aired on cable as well, deterred the consumers from paying. However, Taldar believes that due to Covid, the consumer has evolved and will not hesitate to pay for good content. “If we give consumers a very compelling reason such as quality of content, there is no reason why consumers will not pay for it,” he elaborated.
Echoing the sentiment and speaking from the point of view of a filmmaker, Balki highlighted how currently content made for the small screen such as over-the-top (OTT) is much better than the ones made for theatres. “A lot of movies are being made specifically for the OTT platform now. So going ahead, I believe that PPV will also become like a window for specially curated content,” Shariq Patel, CEO, Zee Studios, Zee Plex.