The Great Indian Entertainment Revolution
How the leap in digital communications is bringing the country together
By: HT Brand Studio
The new face of the consumer is here. There is an excess of mass media and an array of platforms on which to experience it, leading to radical shifts in the consumption of entertainment. The newest entrant in the market is Amazon Prime, in addition to the already established Netflix, Hotstar, and other streaming services. These services are available at fairly affordable prices, and have been major game-changers, both internationally and in India. They offer immediacy, ease of access, and the ability to decide exactly what you want to watch and when. This has altered the viewing habits of consumers considerably, mirroring the rapid pace at which technology has been progressing in the Internet age. So it's no surprise to find dozens of people glued to their cell-phones and watching something each time you enter a crowded place these days.
It's a drastic shift from just a decade or two ago, when the television used to reign supreme. What began as a luxurious black-and-white platform in the late 1950s in India gradually evolved to colour screens and more widespread ownership. The revolution truly struck when the socio-economic reforms of '91 opened the floodgates, allowing private and international broadcasters to enter the market in a limited capacity. In the time since, there has been a shift from cable television to Direct-to-Home set-top boxes. This has allowed the airing of hundreds of new channels—local, national and foreign—for consumers to choose from. Also, YouTube's entry into the streaming space led to a new way in which consumers could access video content. Unlike before, the people now had the power to choose at will—they could decide exactly what to watch, and when. In one go, this reduced the considerable might of the television. It was a new concept, and one which was embraced wholeheartedly by the masses. It has only grown from there. Today, you have popular streaming services such as Netflix or Hotstar, which are sustained by faster broadband Internet and 3G/4G connectivity. Moreover, the thriving mobile industry has completely redefined the experience of watching video content, shifting the medium from the television screen to smart devices — from phones to laptops to tablets.
Consumers have welcomed these technological advances. They have made the shift to cloud-based transmission, thus placing the onus on broadcasters to keep up at a sustainable rate or face extinction. Newer business models, hyper-intensive competition, and ever-evolving consumer viewing habits have made this an exciting, albeit tricky, space to navigate. There is now a greater emphasis on HD-level quality as well as the need to minimise costs. Easing the burden on the broadcasters, Tata Communications provides a range of innovative solutions and services to help them tackle the market vagaries.
"We're on our way to going beyond 'big audience, now' scheduling to delivering singular live streams to viewers whenever and wherever they want," says John Hayduk, Corporate Operations Officer at Tata Communications. "That will mean that I can decide I want to see that concert and have it streamed to me, even if no one else has requested it, even better, how good would it be to have your son or daughter's game or recital streamed to you? So, despite ever increasing time at work, you can still be there when travel plans wouldn't otherwise permit it."
Broadcasters need to ensure that their transmission costs are manageable, while at the same time retaining quality. The , Cloud Master Control by Tata Communications serves as a useful solution in the content playout space. It provides secure, good-quality 24/7 linear playout capabilities, functioning as a cloud-based service to reduce costs and enhance flexibility. Their broadcasting services are also a valuable tool, as they allow transmission of content to users worldwide. The service enables uplinks on vertical and horizontal polarisation and ensures a consistent and high-quality uplink data rate. The Video Connect service further provides single-point access to end-to-end solutions.
There have been rapid changes in the market and increased competition. Traditional broadcasters are trying to keep pace with modern trends and new entrants. Given these developments, it becomes important to have any kind of edge to keep you afloat. Tata Communications also offers a complete spectrum of innovative media and entertainment services. These services become all the more attractive given their status as a global leader in this space, boasting the largest undersea fibre cable network in the world, as well as top-notch satellite uplink facilities.
Another useful solution they have is their OTT Platform, which allows organisations to deliver linear, catch-up and VOD content to any device. It's a , cloud-based service delivered over their global video network. It allows companies to launch new channels at pace, while also helping them monetise their content through transaction and subscription packages to build new revenue streams.
With the challenges at hand - ensure quality and high speed, ease of use and comfortable interfaces, greater connectivity, reduced costs - that organisations face in transitioning from traditional to cloud-based platforms, it becomes essential for businesses to identify the new capabilities required to succeed in the continuously evolving market. Stay tuned to learn how businesses can enhance their customer engagement with a robust and scalabale digital backbone.