28th Convergence India 2020 expo held insightful deliberations in association with Webinar Partner ATEME amongst industry leaders pertaining to the OTT industry in the current landscape, as COVID-19 has changed life, and business as we knew it.
we are using our broadband connections to get news, connect to our work environments, and for entertainment purposes. With people staying in, working from home, and children being home-schooled; people are spending a lot of time using OTT services. This has presented an opportunity for OTT players to grow their businesses. Opportunities however come riddled with challenges, and the webinar saw leaders from the sector deliberate the challenges they face, & the measures being taken to overcome them.
The 90-minute webinar was attended by 175 people from across industries including OTT Platforms, Video Platforms, Marketers & Advertisers, Content Creators, Analytics sector, Cloud Storage Providers, Video Startups, Media Agencies, Content Delivery Networks, Video Marketing Agencies and others.
Moderator Mr. Raman Kalra, Partner (Entertainment, Media & Sports) PwC started the session by noting how the current global scenarios will bring about salient changes in the decades-old supply chain. “OTT has here the opportunity to claim a significant slice of the pie. Since fresh content creation will be a problem now, we see new challenges and opportunities arising,” he opined.
Mr. Tarun Katial, CEO, ZEE5 said, “Video on-demand was growing anyway, but COVID-19 was a black swan event that has essentially changed a few things for us: firstly, we were able to reach many more people organically, with our premium users increasing two-fold. Secondly, having a vast library of original content across several regional languages empowered us to attract more audience. Thirdly, we were able to capitalize on our apps created across devices- we actually saw a 70% rise in TV content consumption over a very short period of time.”
Ms. Kranti Gada, COO, Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd., stated that it was a combination of technological innovation, strong content library and vast distribution channels that have helped Shemaroo thrive in Covid times. “Whilst being a globally difficult time, we can also look at it as a social experiment. As most of us are self-quarantined, OTT consumption has gone through the roof. Having focussed on distribution aggressively, one of our most successful endeavours internationally was tying up with various Indian consulates, wherein our apps were promoted and heavily adopted by the expatriate Indian diaspora.”
Mr. Uday Sodhi, Sr. Partner, Kurate Digital Consulting noted the various trend changes in the ecosystem, including how TV as a medium is drying up, as is Sports-which was a big chunk of content for many players. “The ratios of revenue generators have changed, as has the aspect of consumption rate on connected devices & mobile changes- a direct result of people staying at home. The impact of these shifts will be a rise in the number of new entries in the OTT industry, and an increase in technological investment across existing players.”
Mr. Issac John, Director Digital Business and Partnerships, Discovery Inc. discussed emerging trends of content consumption. “Whilst science, learning and adventure travel have been our core categories at Discovery Inc., we have seen fascinating trends in terms of upwards trends across several sectors. Auto-related content and National Military content have done very well, and food-related content has outperformed most things.”
Mr. Remi Beaudouin, Chief Strategy Officer, ATEME discussed the increasing importance of content recommendation. “Especially in Covid times when children are being home-schooled and the need is high to enhance user experience, content recommendation is of utmost importance. Across France, rest of Europe and Latin America, we are witnessing a re-emergence of old channels and old content.”
Mr. Bharath Kumar Mohan, CEO, Sensara Technologies observed some fascinating consumer behaviour, noting “There have been big changes in domestic content consumption- Doordarshan emerged the big winner with a staggering 27,000% increase in audience. Some players won big, whilst some failed. Since social distancing has stalled all new productions, some broadcast networks attempted to buy original content from OTT service providers to run. However, this move did not pay off since a lot of OTT content is individual-driven and tends to canvass some darker themes, which is not always considered suitable for family viewing which TV channels typically serve.”
Dinesh Nair Appointed as Director for Consumer Business Lenovo India
Global technology leader Lenovo has appointed Dinesh Nair as Director, Consumer Business for India region. Dinesh succeeds Mr. Shailendra Katyal, who has recently been appointed Site Leader for Lenovo India and Managing Director of Lenovo’s PC and smart device business in India.
Dinesh Nair has been an integral part of the Lenovo India consumer business for more than 11 years and has worked successfully across several roles. His most recent role was as the sales & channel management lead for Lenovo’s consumer segment in India. He has handled leadership responsibilities across offline general trade retail, distribution management, field sales, eCommerce, large format retail and category management, and has been a key contributor to the company’s growth journey in India.
“During this difficult time in India, we are working hard to ensure the safety of our employees, partners and customers and I am grateful that we have excellent leaders in place to bring our team together and offer this support. I am proud to hand over the reins of the consumer business to Dinesh. At the same time, this is a demonstration of our commitment to developing talent internally. I am sure he, along with the consumer leadership team, will propel the business to new heights,” said Shailendra Katyal, Managing Director, Lenovo India.
ASUS ROG Announces ROG Masters Asia Pacific eSports Tournament
ASUS ROG will host its first ROG Masters Asia Pacific eSports tournament from March to April 2021. Due to COVID-19 pandemic affecting travel around the region, the tournament will be conducted entirely online, with quarterfinal to final matches livestreamed.
The ROG Masters tournament will feature Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) as the official game title will provide opportunity to teams with enthusiastic players to pitch their skills against each other, as well as the best professional teams from their market and in the region.
The tournament will see various teams from 15 markets across the region vying for the chance to be crowned as the first ROG Masters Asia Pacific Edition CS:GO Champion.
The tournament will be played in three stages played over the course of 2 months:
- Country qualifiers
- Country finals
- Asia Pacific finals
Country qualifiers matches for India will start in the second week of April 2021; 8th April and the finals to be held on the 10th April. The India finals to find the top three teams to represent the country will be livestreamed live on 10th April.
Professional teams from across the region will be automatically placed into seeded positions in the country finals. This gives a greater chance for non-professional, enthusiast teams from India to get through the qualifiers and meet the pro teams in the country finals.
Country Champions will then go on to experience battling winning teams from other APAC markets in the finals that will be livestreamed during 22nd to 25th April 2021.
3 qualifying teams from India finals will stand to win US$800 for first place, US$400 for second place, US$200 for third place. They will then go on to the Asia Pacific finals with the chance to win the following prizes for the championship:
|ROG Masters APAC Championship||APAC Finals (USD/ team)|
Registration and Official Tournament Website
Registration for the first ROG Masters Asia Pacific tournament opens on February 8, 2021 at the tournament’s official website.
Registration closes on February 28, 2021 Further details, match schedules, pro team information as well as rules and regulations can also be found on the tournament website.
Garena Launches Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars
Garena has announced the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars, Free Fire’s first-ever esports tournament for the South Asia region. Taking place on 6 February, the tournament will feature some of the gaming community’s favourite Free Fire streamers and personalities from India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
The Free Fire community has continued to expand in South Asia and across the world, with the mobile battle royale game the most downloaded mobile game globally in 2020, according to App Annie. Through the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars, Garena will look to continue its efforts to excite and delight its fast-growing South Asian community with exciting Free Fire content, and to support and develop the incredible online community in the region.
The Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars will feature a total of 12 teams. Each team will be led by one of the top 3 streamers from each of the 4 participating nations – chosen by public voting – in this epic clash to determine the best in the region.
The 12 teams will compete in the Battle Royale Squad mode for a slice of the 1 million diamond prize pool. The ultimate winner of this star-studded tournament will receive 500,000 in-game diamonds; the first and and second runners-up will be awarded 300,000 and 200,000 diamonds respectively.
The Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars will feature some of the most popular streamers and personalities from across South Asia.
The team captains for each nation are:
- Total Gaming (19.4 Million YT Subs)
- Desi Gamers (7.8 Million YT Subs)
- Two-Side Gamers (6.85 Million YT Subs)
- Gaming with Nayeem (1.6 Million YT Subs)
- Illusionist YT (479K YT Subs)
- Gaming With Zihad (698K YT Subs)
- Sooneeta (3.26 Million YT Subs)
- Bshow Mgr (399K YT Subs)
- Tonde Gamer (2.37 Million YT Subs)
- RKG ARMY (1.77 Million YT Subs)
- Unusual Gamer (81K YT Subs)
- The Skinzo FF (75.5K YT Subs)
Fans can witness all the high-octane action by tuning in to the live broadcasts of the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars. These will be hosted on Free Fire Esports India YouTube and Facebook, Free Fire Bangladesh Official YouTube and Facebook, as well as on BOOYAH!.
To cater to the diverse South Asian community, the matches will be streamed with live commentary in 5 languages – Bengali, English, Hindi, Nepali and Urdu.
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