By Hersh Shah
2020 was an unprecedented 12 months for each sector, together with media and entertainment. Theatres have been compelled to shut doorways, and occasions like dwell live shows gave the impression to be reminiscences of a distant previous. Advert spends have been slashed, as companies reduce their prices, affecting revenues throughout the leisure trade. 10-12% of the nation’s cinemas have shut down completely, as of August.
The scenario appeared simply as dire in different elements of the world. China was dealing with the closure of 40% of its theatres, whereas within the US and UK, the second-largest cinema chain, Cineworld, closed store. The most important multiplex chain AMC Theatres was additionally threatened with imminent closure. The brilliant spots in 2020 got here within the type of online content, together with OTT, esports, and on-line gaming, which noticed outstanding development. The time spent on gaming apps elevated by 21% in the course of the preliminary nationwide lockdown, with the entire buyer base crossing 300 million customers.
The excellent news is that almost all consultants predict the downturn within the leisure trade to decrease, because it bounces again with an equal power. Based on a KPMG report, the media and leisure sector will see a robust revival by FY2022 rising by over 33% from FY2020. Whereas gaming and digital will lead the restoration, print and TV revenues may also slowly achieve floor. This bodes effectively for the sector, as industries like cinema and TV profit from revived advert spends.
The scenario is seeing some return to normalcy as cinema halls open up in some elements of the nation with restricted occupancy. The main target, for now, has shifted to deliver again audiences and resume operations, whereas following precautionary measures. Nonetheless, given the well being issues, the scenario continues to be unsure. Therefore, it’s crucial that any shift in operations be undertaken with a risk-conscious strategy, to mitigate any adversarial impression.
Danger Administration within the Leisure Sector
A well-planned danger administration strategy is crucial to instituting any proactive motion to fight the present scenario. This may contain figuring out the dangers that are actually dealing with the sector, their analysis, and remedy. Given the crucial state of many entertainment-based companies, the emphasis should stay on minimising dangers, whereas discovering new methods to develop content material and appeal to new audiences. The trade should take a look at revolutionary approaches to attain this purpose.
On-line/TV for dwell occasions: The pandemic opened up the digital medium as an avenue for retaining audiences. The 2020 IPL collection was among the many first few sporting occasions which confirmed how the lack of spectators on the bottom might be made up partly via TV viewership. IPL 2020 noticed a bounce of 23% over IPL 2019, in TV viewership, with the typical per match impression, based mostly on whole time spent, additionally going as much as 31.57 million. Even dwell live shows have shifted on-line, as evidenced by artists reminiscent of Coldplay, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga, who entertained their viewers in the course of the lockdown, with at-home live shows. Organisers can observe the lead by live-streaming future occasions. When bodily distancing norms prohibit the variety of viewers, dwell streaming can offset the drop in ticket gross sales.
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Monetising on-line content material: One of many challenges in monetisation of on-line content material is the sheer quantity of free content material out there, which has compelled suppliers to search out new technique of producing income. Some OTT platforms have staggered or consumption-based subscription price fashions that defend the margin, whereas capitalising on elevated demand. The upper prices may be decided in line with the kind of content material or as per the variety of viewers/screens. Comparable subscription fashions may be adopted by radio, on-line content material, or TV, to cut back dependency on ads.
Digital first: India is the world fastest-growing OTT market, and is anticipated to be the sixth-largest market by 2024. Based on a PwC report, subscription video on demand (SVOD) had, for the primary time, exceeded field workplace revenues. The most well-liked platforms for SVOD are OTT channels and therefore, an uptick right here signifies the rising reputation of OTT platforms. It has additionally revealed OTT platforms as a long-term income generator for the trade, as an alternative of an emergency measure. These platforms supplied a much-needed income for Indian creators, as established cinema manufacturing firms joined the bandwagon with hit collection. Many movie studios, together with the cash-rich South Indian market, have additionally fast-tracked their releases via the OTT route. Going digital first could, therefore, be essentially the most viable choice for the movie trade, at the least within the short-to-medium time period.
Cellular market: India has the second-largest web inhabitants, with cell phones accounting for 73% of the entire net visitors in 2019. The media and leisure trade has, due to this fact, made a transparent and discernible shift to the cellular house, with musicians utilising music-streaming platforms, and the podcast trade taking up radio. Artists throughout varied mediums are actually collaborations with completely different platforms on cellular, together with social media, esports, and podcasts, to extend their visibility and attain, whereas advertising and marketing on to the viewers.
Esports to go mainstream: The esports market in India has grown remarkably, virtually doubling its development within the span of the final two years, with income anticipated to succeed in $68 Mn by the tip of FY2020, and to develop even sooner in 2021. The following step can be to go mainstream with native and nationwide leagues.
These are among the alternate options to make sure viewers engagement within the present situation the place security restrictions and the chance of latest outbreaks nonetheless hamper full resumption of actions. As normalcy returns slowly, these measures will help mitigate the chance of viewers loss and income deficit. By guaranteeing viewers engagement, content material creators can guarantee revival and fast adaption with the altering scenario.
The creator is the chief govt officer at India Affiliate of Institute of Danger Administration. Views expressed are private.