Jio’s content material push could stir an OTT turf conflict

NEW DELHI : JioCinema, the video streaming platform owned by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd, is about to disrupt the Indian OTT market with its free native language programming, which units it other than rivals comparable to SonyLIV or ZEE5, who’ve comparable content material behind a paywall.

Furthermore, JioCinema’s latest acquisition of Warner Bros Discovery content material, which incorporates widespread HBO Originals, and the addition of Common Studios content material poses a menace not solely to Disney+ Hotstar, which has additionally misplaced the IPL rights but in addition positions the Viacom18-owned service alongside established gamers like Netflix and Amazon Prime, recognized for premium worldwide programming.

Business consultants anticipate that the transfer might have implications on content material manufacturing and expertise acquisition that would develop into dearer with the entry of a Reliance-backed deep-pocketed participant, placing stress on rivals to re-evaluate pricing and methods.

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ Hotstar and JioCinema didn’t reply to Mint’s queries on Jio’s emergence as a brand new participant. SonyLIV and ZEE5 didn’t reply both.

“The largest notion over the previous few months is that JioCinema is now competing severely within the premium English content material house that was as soon as occupied by Disney+ Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime. They’re additionally in talks with different studios within the US to deliver extra non-Netflix or Prime catalogue to the nation,” stated a senior govt at a rival streaming platform calling Jio’s acquisition of the HBO and Peacock catalogue a transparent menace to Disney that now has programming that primarily caters solely to children.

By introducing largely free programming, Jio has proven an understanding of the Indian market the place individuals aren’t precisely prepared to pay for content material, stated Balkrishna Hari Singh, founder and CEO of Frenzi, a single-window search and advice app for streaming content material. “They’re clearly seeking to earn via promoting and enhance in information consumption to allow them to goal an aggressive 5G rollout,” Singh stated. So far as rivals go, the mixed Zee and Sony entity will command a powerful regional library, which explains why Jio is focusing on languages like Bhojpuri and Marathi. Having seen Jio disrupt the telecom market, they’re anticipated to goal to disrupt OTT in India by overwhelming the patron with quantity and high quality of content material set at below-market pricing, stated Sunder Aaron, co-founder and managing companion, Locomotive International Inc, a manufacturing home, identified. In reality, their foray into IPL set the tone for his or her strategy, Aaron stated.

“Creating high quality programming is pricey, and promoting income is the important thing to JioCinema’s technique. There’s a massive rural crowd, entertainment-starved pockets, and a considerable cost-sensitive market that may purchase into JioCinema’s choices, even in its present avatar. And, Jio will work laborious to make sure that there’s a regular stream of promoting alternatives in these sectors,” Vinod Kunj, founder and chief artistic officer, Thought Blurb Communications, an promoting and design company, identified.

That stated, a senior media analyst emphasised the present Jio technique of bombarding customers with content material leaves exhibits and films with little recall. Over the previous few weeks, the platform has launched titles like Bloody Daddy, Sergeant and Mumbaikar and introduced a number of others, comparable to Ishq-E-Nadaan, Blind and Taali, in fast succession. “They’re placing out a lot that it’s a case of too many issues carried out too quick,” the individual stated.

To make certain, Jio’s aggressive push on free programming is prone to influence India’s fast-growing paid subscriber base, which noticed an enormous surge throughout the covid-19 pandemic and has stabilized since then. “The paid subscriber base will certainly see some correction and should develop at 5-10% yearly as an alternative of projected charges of 30-35%. Value hikes are anyway not attainable now, however the content material will even more and more develop into costly with the entry of a brand new participant,” stated Karan Taurani, senior vp at Elara Capital Ltd.

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Up to date: 05 Jul 2023, 10:39 PM IST