The Internet Commerce Summit (ICS) 2021, India’s largest two-day e-Commerce intelligence business event organised by IMAGES Group in association with GreenHonchos, concluded today amidst star-studded discussions. The day featured an intriguing panel discussion on the rise of OTT in today’s age of Internet. Sharing her thoughts on how OTT and streaming platforms were rapidly changing the entertainment landscape, Actor and OTT Star Amruta Subhash said, “With OTT, actresses have been given the opportunity to face a different kind of content. OTT opened doors for me; I could do characters closer to me. The kind of content being shown on OTT made me free as an actor and also made my audiences free. That freedom was very welcoming.”
Joining her in the deliberations, Actor Rasika Dugal, OTT Star, spoke about the platform being a liberating space because of its lack of reliance on declaring numbers. “Writing is something that the OTT space has finally acknowledged and applauded. We hope we find a way to constantly nurture that because the loophole right now is that we find ways of giving enough time to the first season of a project, but there doesn’t seem to be a mechanism in place either in terms of time or in terms of writing setup or development funds for writing subsequent seasons. We have to find a way to nurture good writing,” she said.
Actor Maanvi Gagroo spoke about the growing audience for content that was more relatable. Gagroo said, “Before OTT, with television and films, there was one section of the audience that was completely ignored. They felt alienated because they couldn’t relate to the stories that were being told. The films were too aspirational and larger than life. Suddenly, there was OTT which showed content that was relatable, the characters spoke in a language that we all spoke in, and the characters had problems that we have all had or are still having. It caught the fancy of that one section that was largely ignored for the longest time. Now, that section is expanding and will continue to do so.”
Earlier, in a Fireside Chat with Rashmi Daga, Founder, FreshMenu, on entrepreneurs creating content that keeps the internet exciting, buzzing and interesting, Celebrity Chef Ranveer Singh Brar, sharing his thoughts, said, “The approach to content is slightly different when it comes to food. The objective of content, as I like to believe, is to touch, move and inspire. When it comes to food content, the objective is to touch, move, inspire and act. You can’t inspire. When it comes to food content, the objective is to touch, move, inspire and act. You
can’t create content if you don’t genuinely believe in this space. Food content is a beast that needs to be tackled. It requires more time and effort than regular content because there are more action points. There is, and should be, no shortcut to good food and good content.”
Another key discussion on how India consumed content had Ritu Kapur, CEO and Co-founder, The Quint; Sriram Iyer, Editor-in-Chief, Business Insider; Bhavesh Pitroda, Founder ICS and Director & CEO, IMAGES Group and Ruhail Amin, Senior Editor, BW Businessworld. Sharing her point of view, Kapur said, “If we were to agree that the future of sustainability of news media is reader revenue, then there are two critical aspects of retaining or reaching out to your audience. One is credibility, which, in the current news media environment in India, is becoming rare. The other is to have as unique and differentiated an offering in news as possible.” To this, Iyer added, “Content has a pace of its own and so does the customer. These are the two legs on which we run an organisation. We have been constantly trying to match the speed at which content is getting generated or other news events are happening, whereas the customer is at a different level, pace and language. We need to anchor ourselves to customers, know who they are, what they want, and match our pace with that. We can’t have two legs running at different speeds.”
Others who spoke included Navin Joshua, Founder/ Director, GreenHonchos; Kumar Guhan, Director, Solution Engineering and Head of Operations, Treasure Data India; Vinod Chandramouli, Principal Consultant for Business Transformation, Freshworks; Divya Dixit, Senior VP – Revenue & Marketing, ALTBalaji; Rahul Mishra, Head of Marketing, Shemaroo Entertainment; Ramakrishnan Lakshman, Senior VP & Head Marketing, Eros Now; Sunil Lulla, Founder & Chief Evangelist, The Linus Adventures; Palak Shah, CEO, Ekaya and Samrath Bedi, Executive Director, Forest Essentials, among others.