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How Digital Content is Driving the Growth in the Media Sector

The new era of digital revolution is increasingly blurring the lines between television, films and OTT platforms. The newly converged world entirely rests on the fundamentals of great content and technical ease for consumers. The tremendous growth of viewers on the digital platform has given rise to an intense competition and some great quality content on the medium. This time is one of the most incredibly exciting times for filmmakers who want to create content and experiment without any inhibitions. Moreover, regionalization of content in India has made the reach of video content wider. From 7 million in 2017, paid digital subscribers have grown to 15 million in 2018 in India. As per FICCI, 325 million people viewed videos online and 245 million people consumed news online in 2018. Streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Voot and AltBalaji are investing more on creating original web content. Also the old players of the film industry are getting into the digital platform given the thriving conditions and reach of the platform. However, new filmmakers are also getting lucrative opportunities due to this growth in the industry. And film schools are also adapting to the new techniques of filmmaking owing to the rapid change in the industry. How the Focus Shifted On the Production of Original Digital Content? • In 2018, Dharma Productions launched its digital arm, Dharmatic. Dharmatic aims to bring variety of content ranging from fiction, reality shows, food, travel and game shows for the OTT platforms. • For Eros Now, the company is planning to spend US $ 750 million in the next 3 years to produce original digital content. Their target is to produce 100 web series in multiple languages by 2020. • Netflix’s success with Sacred Games followed a range of acclaimed shows like Selection Day produced by Anil Kapoor’s production house, Ghoul by Phantom Films and Delhi Crime based on the 2012 Nirbhaya case. Shahrukh Khan’s Red Chilies Entertainment is producing Emraan Hashmi starring ‘The Bard of Blood’ for Netflix. The streaming platform is also going to come up with new series Leila starring Huma Qureshi and the prequel of Baahubali titled as ‘Before The Beginning’ along with Sujoy Ghosh’s ‘Typerwriter’. • Excel Entertainment went on to produce a number of web series for Amazon Prime which includes Made in Heaven, Inside Edge and Mirzapur. • Vikram Bhatt launched his own streaming platform ‘VB on The Web’. Their original series Untouchables, Zindabad, Twisted 1 and 2 deserve mention among many. • Amazon Prime has some high profile shows lined up for 2019 which includes Akshay Kumar starring ‘The End’ and Abhishek Bachchan starring ‘Breathe season 2’. Amazon also has sequels of Mirzapur and Inside Edge in pipeline. • Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms launched its digital arm AltBalaji and within a short period of time the streaming platform came up with fresh ideas and a plethora of diverse original content. Test Case, Haq Se, Puncch Beat, Karrle Tu Bhi Mohabbat, Bose : Dead or Alive are some of the popular web series on AltBalaji. In the period of December 2018 to February 2019, AltBalaji reportedly added 4.2 million viewers to its kitty. • Reliance has started Reliance Studios to produce original content for Reliance Jio. Digitization has also helped Indian content go global. Now India has the potential to become the epicenter of entertainment for the world. Our success stories just started and have a long way to go. • Out of every three viewers of Sacred Games on Netflix, two were from abroad. Due to high demand, the series was dubbed in Latin, Spanish, English, Portuguese and Brazilian languages. • Ghoul on Netflix received heavy viewership from US, UK, Australia and Canada. • Hotstar draws attention from worldwide audience through Live Cricket streaming and the Game of Thrones rage. Reportedly, Hotstar currently thrives with 150 million active users and 350 million downloads per month. • Amazon Prime’s director and country manager, Gaurav Gandhi, said about the web series Breathe, “One-third of the viewers came from outside India. And we’re getting a lot of love abroad for Made in Heaven. It’s there in the reviews and the chatter. The growth in interest has been very organic.” Digitization is pioneering the changes across all industries and is the major reason behind the new content strategy. Hence, keeping the needs and demands of the future in mind, iLEAD and MAKAUT have designed an under graduate and post graduate filmmaking course for students. Our programs of B.Sc in Film and Television Studies and M.Sc in Film and Television Art are comprehensive, scientific and completely industry oriented. It focuses on method education, real time projects and the kind of cinema that is relevant today. We finally have reached that stage wherein new generation filmmakers are taking the front seat to become the driving force behind the new digital India.

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