Consumer choice & preferences will determine a sustainable revenue model for digital

Consumer choice & preferences will determine a sustainable revenue model for digital

Bandwidth limitation, high data charges, content size, piracy, payment mode, pricing and content production and aggregation were some of the major issues that OTT (over-the-top content) faced in India, stated Mr. William Pfeiffer, CEO, Dragongate, in his opening remarks on day three of FICCI FRAMES 2015 in a session on ‘Making Money off the Digital Native – Sustainable Revenue Models’.

The digital consumer is on his way to becoming the M&E king. It is he who will dictate future content trends, platform specifics and most importantly – revenue flows. How can the vast media and entertainment ecosystem channelize its vision towards a sustainable revenue system reaping off the all-encompassing digital landscape – overhauling payment gateways, broadband speed and consumer sensitisation were some of the issues discussed by the eminent panellists at the session.

Mr. Pfeiffer said that the future of digital lies in focusing on regional languages, catering to unique demands of consumers, discovering new talent, keeping a track of changing socio dynamics where consumer would switch to event-based viewing, creating great content, engaging in compelling interactions and adopting new technologies for serving the audience better.

Mr. Ajit Mohan, Head, Digital, Star India, said that from a consumer’s point of view, OTT space in India has been underserved but now it is fast gaining a market and India needed to shape its own unique revenue model and innovate as it had a mass market for digital. He added that the audience is ready to consume real content and now is the time to leverage it.    

Mr. Gurmit Singh, MD, Yahoo India, said that key to building a sustainable revenue model in digital is to understand the audiences’ choice and preferences. The technology today was allowing the service providers and content creators to collect more data that could help in understanding a consumer’s needs. However, he added that advertisements need to be in a subtle and receptive environment, rather than being forced for increasing  the probability of them being consumed and viewed by the audience.

Mr. Kenny Ye, Managing Director, UCWeb India, said that the Indian Government’s launch of ‘Digital India’ campaign would enable the digital platform to reach wider audiences. Internet through mobile technology would connect people and the relationship between service provider/business and consumers is the central to this economics.

Mr. Srinivasan Gopalan, Director & CEO, Global Voice & Data Business, Airtel, said that confluence of operators and content providers and an enabling ecosystem was needed for the digital platform to create a successful revenue model. He added that in India Internet usage was primarily taking place through mobile and the need was to look at revenue models that could support the Internet on mobiles.

The session was moderated by Mr. Matthew Amroliwala, Presenter, BBC Global News.