Time has Finally Arrived for Indian Digital Content Creators

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Kandaswamy Bharathan, Joint Managing Director, Kavithalayaa

The wide level of internet penetration plays a huge role in the advent of Digital media. Easy access to the network makes it possible for the people to access the digital media anytime and anywhere, says Kandaswamy Bharathan, Joint Managing Director, Kavithalayaa. Kavithalayaa is at MIPCOM with its Digital series ‘Harmony with AR Rahman’

The Internet is the greatest thing that ever happened to the entertainment industry – Michael Ovitz.

India has always been the home for media content. There has been a steady increase of 11-12 per cent every year in the number of people turning towards Digital Media. The advent of Digital India Initiative in the year 2014 has played a pivotal role in the growth of
internet penetration. With almost over 477 million internet subscribers and over 300 million smartphone users in India (according to an EY study 2018), Digital Media is getting the necessary traction. This has enabled platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar etc.
to make their foray to get their slice of entertainment and business. ‘Binge watching’ web series became a house-hold habit. With the TV programs now being aired on digital platforms and applications, statistics shows that the number of people using their mobile to watch these shows are almost equal to that of the ones watching in television.

Social media is playing a huge part in propagating Digital Media. The Digital India initiative is noteworthy due to the ‘word-of-mouth’ culture that’s prevailing among the youth centric crowd which dominates the social media. The wide level of internet penetration also plays a huge role in the advent of Digital media. Easy access to the network makes it possible for the people to access the digital media anytime and anywhere.

India is not only known for movies and fictional content. We have noteworthy documentaries and non-fictional shows as well. Kavithalayaa is a 37-year-old production house, founded by the maverick story teller K Balachander, with 58 films under its production belt, and over 110+ serials to its name, has stepped into the Digital OTT platform with its very first non-fiction digital series ‘Harmony-with AR Rahman’, which is streaming globally and exclusively on Amazon Prime Video from August 15, 2018.

‘Harmony with AR Rahman’ is a curated musical and a visual exploration of the versatility of Indian music across years, transcending all barriers. Epitomizing the idea that “Sounds are many but Music is one”, this series is a true celebration of music with Mr Rahman
bringing about the mind, body and soul in harmony with themselves and with Mother Nature.

The five-part digital series which was aired this year on Amazon Prime, has Rahman travelling across the country in real-time to meet the musicians in their very own dwellings and experience their traditional art forms. As the series unfolds the lives of the musicians,
their day-today practices, performances and teaching of their craft to students, their stories of struggle and the challenges that come along, the audience will get to understand what it means to keep such a rich musical heritage and tradition alive in the 21st century. With viewers from India, USA and UK, this series has a rating of 9.5 in IMDb.

Indian content with international appeal has achieved a wide reach and a discerning global audience that has grown steadily. With an internet savvy audience and one of the youngest populations of the world (65% of India’s population are under the age of 45), the need for selecting the appropriate content has never been more critical. The OTT players in India sign up deals with both the television companies and digital platforms where the content either gets released on TV or the digital platforms first and then made available in the latter. They have to be on the constant lookout for fresh, differentiated and engaging content. The EY study forecast says that by 2020 the number of online consumers in India is expected to cross 4 million. So, the time for Indian content creators has finally arrived!

 

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