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Abhesh Verma

Abhesh joins nexGTV with over 16 years of experience across several industries such as entertainment, e-commerce, SEO, advertisement, Venture Capital and Real Estate. He was previously associated with the digital entertainment portal Saavn and Saavn Interactive as its Chief Growth Officer and CEO. In his new role at nexGTV, he will be spearheading executive decision-making and long-term strategic planning for the organisation.

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Digital Versus Traditional: Is Original Digital Content Consumption Overshadowing Traditional TV?

The rise of original digital content on OTT platforms has dramatically changed the mindset of viewers today, who no longer want run-of-the-mill content but demand premium content that speaks to them, their likes and dislikes, their issues and challenges, their dreams and ambitions.

Photo Credit : digitalinformationworld.com,

We belong to an era where technology is evolving at an exceptional rate. Today’s state-of-the-art gadgets will become antiques tomorrow. This intervention of digital technology is even changing the way that we do things, ever so swiftly, and nowhere is it more apparent than in the way that we consume entertainment.

Barely a decade or so ago, the definition of spending quality time with the family in India meant sitting in front of the TV in a crowded living room and watching programs and soap operas that were telecast according to a prefixed schedule. But as technology evolved, TV sets became slimmer and more user-friendly. Then entered smartphones, and entertainment was changed forevermore. Empowered by the on-the-go accessibility and greater control over their viewing experience, the younger, digitally-savvy generation has taken to this latest iteration of entertainment enablement like ducks to water. But has digital content truly replaced TV-based viewing as the go-to entertainment option for Indian viewers?

In the last few years, audiences in India have increasingly preferred OTT platforms over the traditional appointment-based viewing of the cable TV format because most of the content; from popular TV shows to movies and music, are already rapidly moving onto the internet. The digitally-enabled Indian viewers, however, are demanding more diversity to their entertainment options that go beyond just the satellite channel. That demand, today, has resulted in content developers creating original entertainment content that meets the evolved viewing sensibilities of the Indian audience. The focus has shifted towards enabling original, digitally-led, personalized content relevant to the viewer’s specific interests and viewing preferences through videos, web series, and other digital programming options. With digital content not subjected to the roadblocks, censorship, or challenges that other mediums generally face, it has paved the way for the country’s promising artists to showcase their talent to a massive digital viewership, which are not restricted by geographical boundaries or limited airtime. With a ready viewer base constantly on the lookout for quality entertainment, OTT platforms are helping the creative talent pool to increase their popularity by uploading and sharing video-based content. By creating a world parallel to the prime time television viewing and the movie industries, original content targets a more specific group of people. Even though it focuses on more and more original content production, it avoids the traditional television’s ROI-led practice of pushing content quality to second priority.

The rise of original digital content on OTT platforms has dramatically changed the mindset of viewers today, who no longer want run-of-the-mill content but demand premium content that speaks to them, their likes and dislikes, their issues and challenges, their dreams and ambitions. They want content that they can relate to and engage with, and they prefer watching personalized programming which is niche and can be accessed through different devices on the go.

But while critics may have started debating whether original digital content is replacing TVs, they are ignoring the fact that it is just the next phase in the continued evolution that entertainment has gone through over the ages. The advent of smart TVs is already marrying the originality and convenient access of digital content with the familiarity of TV-based viewing. Today, android and iOS-powered smart TV units can deliver all the wonderful video-based content that the World Wide Web has to offer with super-rich image quality and amazing audio. To be precise, TV sets have become much more immersive and better-equipped as a digital device by mirroring the screen of a smartphone, providing high-quality video and audio entertainment enabled by better interconnectivity.

With the internet blurring the lines between different types of media and providing limitless opportunities for viewing new and dynamic content, consumer expectations are undergoing massive changes in an environment where infrastructural changes are also occurring simultaneously. Viewers want to enjoy unlimited entertainment on their digital devices as well as TVs. The scenario holds great promise for both content creators and consumers, and underlines the paradigm-changing shift that original digital programming is bringing about in the Indian entertainment industry.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house



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