Scatmag.com

March 2020


B'BAND & IPTV NEWS


OTT SECTOR FUNDS INCREASE

MMA India-GroupM reports that OTT players are making great investments, approximately ₹ 250 crore for content creation and distribution in 2020. The Mobile Marketing Association India (MMA India), a leading global mobile trade body, in collaboration with GroupM, a media investment group, recently stated this in their third edition of ‘Mobile Marketing Ecosystem Report 2020’.

The report stated that original content creation and programming in digital media has come a long way. It noted that the journey began with independent YouTubers engaging their followers with User Generated Content, further giving birth to large-scale content creators such as Dice Media and TVF that introduced original webisodes, specifically catering to the taste of the Indian consumer.

According to the report, OTT players have further strategically introduced basic affordable packs to balance out the above capital investments. For example, the ‘Hotstar VIP’ low-cost subscription pack and Netflix powered ‘mobile-only’ plans introduced at a 50% cheaper rate. Amazon Prime and Netflix have even tied up with multiple renowned film production companies to produce cuttingedge original content.. The report also highlighted that among all active mobile internet users in India, which stands at approximately 451 million, entertainment is the purpose for a whopping 84%.

This is followed closely by communication at 79% and the use of social media at 67%. Net commerce and online shopping fall quite far behind in numbers at 40% and 23% respectively. This clearly indicates the need for digital video and OTT platforms to continue making the interface mobilefriendly, thereby ensuring a wide reach to all those actively consuming content on the go.

The report further stated that marketers believe that influencer marketing helps them engage with the customer in an interactive way and thus 80% of them would increase ad spend next year. With attention spans of consumers being short, short-format advertising content is key. Currently, India is the sixth-largest market in the consumption of video ads. It also noted that 90% of new internet users


BROADBAND & CABLE NOS SURGE

GTPL Hathway has 220,000 subscribers who are using a combo of cable TV and broadband services.

GTPL aims is to convert all its cable TV households into FTTX households. In the previous fiscal, the company had relaunched its GTPL Giga HD service, a dual service package that combines cable and broadband services under a single package in the price range of ₹ 499 to ₹ 799.

They have identified around 220k subscribers who are using both services and we are giving them as a special service. GTPL Hathway MD Anirudhsinh Jadeja said that the company and Reliance Jio are exploiting synergies in network infrastructure. Reliance Industries has acquired a majority stake in Hathway Cable and Datacom, which owns a 37.5% stake in GTPL Hathway.


STREAMING SERVICE FOR FLEMISH MARKET

DPG Media and Telenet are collaborating to launch streaming service for the Flemish market.

The new company will be launched by autumn. They will offer a combination of DPG Media, whose assets include commercial channel VTM, with the local and international content of Telenet that in recent months has acquired De Vijver Media channels VIER, VIJF and ZES.

Telenet serves more than 400,000 customers with Play and Play More, two services that are currently only available to Telenet customers, while DPG Media, following the successful launch of the free platform VTM GO, has developed a state-of-the-art platform for its own paid streaming service.The partners are also reaching out to other Flemish partners, including public broadcaster VRT.The new 50/50 partnership will have to get the approval of the Competition Authorities.



AMAZON PRIME VIDEO: HOPKINS APPOINTED

Mike Hopkins, Sony Pictures Television Chairman is quitting and joining Amazon and will oversee Amazon’s video entertainment operations, including Amazon Studios and Prime Video.

Amazon Studios head Jen Salke, will report to Hopkins and Hopkins will directly report to Amazon chairman and CEO Jeff Bezos. Salke, who joined Amazon in 2018, is expected to remain fully engaged with the creative community. Hopkins’ background is in distribution and business development. Amazon Video vice president Greg Hart will also report to Hopkins.

Hopkins joined Sony’s TV studio in late 2017 and is responsible for streamlining Sony Pictures TV’s operations, which had merged its media networks, television distribution and home entertainment businesses.


ANGA COM : GIGABIT & 5G THEME

Anga Com, Europe's leading Exhibition and Conference for Broadband, Television and Online brings together network operators, vendors and content providers on all issues of the broadband and media distribution. ANGA COM will take place from 12 to 14 May 2020 in Cologne/Germany.

The Broadband Summit is titled "Gigabit and 5G – How to achieve a profitable Roll-Out"

This year, ANGA COM has created a new area focusing on Streaming and AppTV in the exhibition hall. Within its core areas of broadband and audio-visual media, ANGA COM will thus further enhance new TV topics. The Streaming and AppTV Hub in hall 8 includes a new presentation area directly in the exhibition hall, the Innovation Stage.



RAJAT MUKARJI NEW DG OF BIF

Broadband India Forum (BIF) has a new Director General - Rajat Mukarji. Rajat, will be responsible for heading the directorate functions of the think tank body.Broadband India Forum is a policy think tank that works towards enhancing broadband services and constitutes various industry stakeholders like technology providers, telecom operators, internet service providers, satellite operators and service providers, MSO, Broadcasters among several others.

“We extend a very warm welcome to Rajat, a reputed and respected industry veteran, who has been closely involved in the growth and evolution of the sector, since its very inception. Rajat brings with him an invaluable balance of experience, knowledge, vision and expertise, which we are positive, will help in driving the BIF mission forward. With his keen grasp of the issues that need to be addressed to ensure the continued growth of Broadband in the country, we believe Rajat would effectively steer BIF to greater aspirations and achievements,” TV Ramachandran, President, BIF said.



ZEE5 PLANS EDU CONTENT

Zee5 has partnered with edu-tech startup Eduauraa to offer educational content on its platform. As part of the partnership, users buying one-year subscription of Zee5 before March 31, 2020 will get access to 6 months of free content from Eduauraa.

ZEEL MD & CEO Punit Goenka commented, “Education is the most important pillar of any economy. If the education of this Country can be revolutionized, then every individual can be empowered to improve their standard of living, thus having a trickle-up effect and in turn positively impacting the development of our Country. Zee5’s initiative with Eduauraa is our first step towards giving back to our extended family by delivering purposeful content at an affordable price.”



SONY: MUKHERJEE TO HEAD DIGITAL

Sony Pictures Networks India has appointed Saugata Mukherjee as head, original content, digital business. Mukherjee has shifted to Sony from Star India, where he worked as apart of the Hotstar team. He will now spearhead Sony’s video streaming service - SonyLIV.

“Original content is the mainstay for OTT in India. With the biggest brands putting their might in ramping up their originals slate, the idea would be to breakthrough with stories that engage, entertain and stand out from the clutter. As a part of SonyLIV, I will be spearheading all developments in this space and strengthen our originals offering," said Mukherjee.


GOOGLE FIBER DROPS TV

In a major move Google Fiber, part of the Access division of Alphabet Inc, which provides gigabit fibre broadband Internet and IPTV to a number of locations in the US, will no longer be offering a traditional linear TV product to its new subscribers. Current TV customers will continue to be provided with traditional TV service.

The company says how people watch TV has changed and that customers today just don’t need traditional TV.

Google has added FUBOtv to its line-up, in addition to one with YouTube TV, announced in December.


STRONG PROJECTIONS FOR OTT

Disney+ is expected to increase its subscriber base from 105 million in 2019 to 126 million by 2025. By this estimation Disney+ will reach 53 per cent of Netflix’s subscriber total by 2025.

Five global platforms will have 553 million subscribers by 2025, adding 196 million subscribers between 2020 and 2025.

Netflix will gain 51 million subscribers between 2020 and 2025, HBO Max will have 30 million subscribers by 2025 and Apple TV+, will have 26 million paying subscribers by 2025.


INTERNET COS TO PAY NEW TAX

The government is introducing a tax on overseas companies that advertises, streams or sells goods to an Indian consumers in India. This will be a move to a global digital tax. With this Ecommerce companies like Amazon, Alibaba and Ebay and companies like Facebook and Google, besides streaming services like Netflix will be liable to pay tax on their revenues. Those monetising data, through cookies for instance, will also be covered.

Earlier a 6% equalisation levy called‘Google tax’ was levied, in 2016. But this latest development is a significant move toward capturing tax on incomes earned by overseas companies through consumption by Indians.


NEW LAWS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA COS

New guidelines by government will, make social media companies accountable for all content including sponsored content published on their platforms. This practices is prevalent in the US and Europe, and will impact platforms such as Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

Currently Social media try to escape with the clause that they are mere platforms, without control on the content posted by users. But they will need to be accountable for all the content.



NET NEUTRALITY ROADMAP PROPOSED

TRAI has sent invitation asking for views for a roadmap on reasonable Internet traffic management practices that don’t infringe on rules around a free Web or hurt the consumer. The roadmap proposes a governance structure of a proposed multi-stakeholder body that would advise the DoT on ways to monitor and apply net neutrality rules.

The deadline for stakeholder comments and counter-comments has been extended till February 27.


VIACOMCBS NEW STREAMING SERVICE

ViacomCBS is planning to launch its new streaming service. Both companies completed their merger on December 31. Both Viacom and CBS currently have existing streaming services, including CBS All Access and Showtime, which combined have more than 10 million paying subscribers.

The streaming service will build off CBS All Access and include Paramount Pictures movies, which have thus far been leased to other streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.


BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY BOOST

The government has set aside ₹ 6,000 crores for broadband connection across India in rural areas. This scheme is under the flagship programme called BharatNet programme. Public institutions at the gram panchayat level such as anganwadis, health and wellness centres, government schools, PDS outlets, post offices and police stations - all will be provided digital connectivity. The fibre to the home (FTTH) connection through BharatNet will link 100,000 gram panchayats.

This will enable private sector to build data centre parks throughout the country. n