Even as time spent watching content on TV everyday grew 11.3% to 216 minutes in 2017 from the level in 2016, viewers have also taken to watching content on video over-the-top (OTT) platforms. Discussing the topic, ‘The future of TV’, on the second day of the ongoing Ficci Frames here, industry stakeholders reached a consensus that both TV and video OTT platforms would co-exist in India.
“Currently, about 780 million people have access to TV. However, only 52% of rural India is penetrated by television, while 87% people have access to it in urban markets. Also, 86% of India still uses cathode-ray-tube (CRT) TVs that are the old box set and 97% of the market own single TV. About 566 million people daily tune into TV. So, TV is here to stay and a large portion of the next phase of growth will be driven by rural markets, Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC, an industry TV ratings body, said.
Ajit Mohan, CEO, Hotstar, said in future, the kind of content viewers would like to watch on TV would change; on digital, people will look for fundamentally different content than what has been working on TV. People will gravitate towards long-form stories on digital that has been the bedrock of TV. And advertisers would pay a premium only in case of those platforms where there is a greater clarity on what kind of consumers its reaches to,” he said.
For Raj Nayak, COO, Viacom18, the future of TV is very bright. “The myth that youth don’t watch TV has been broken. 90% of people watch content on TV sets in the US. In India, about 27% consumers owned smart TVs in 2017 and this is expected to grow by 35% in 2018,” he said.
On ratings and monetisation, Nayak added that a supply demand situation exists. According to him as supply of content increases by creating more touch points be it through launch of new channels or other digital platforms, so would revenues.
MK Anand, MD and CEO, Times Network said, “With the advent of better technology running a broadcast business has become lot easier. Overall, the ability to churn out a channel and take it to the critical mass level is so much simpler at present compared to 2014 and 2015.”
Dasgupta added that TV, too, has evolved and has a strong future despite the growth of OTT platforms.