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OTT players have tied up with TV channels to push their content.

OTT players bank on content archives and work on content syndication to meet the rising demand due to the COVID-19 lockdown

OTT players have tied up with TV channels to push their content.
  • After the comeback of epics such as Ramayan and Mahabharat, there is a huge demand for classics. Riding on the nostalgia wave, OTT players are also using their old content.
  • For the first time in history, to overcome the restrictions and market their content in the best way possible, OTT players have tied up with TV channels to push their content.
After Doordarshan brought back its two epics, Ramayan and Mahabharat, Star TV and Sony followed the trend and is taking us back to the golden era by rerunning some old shows like Sarabhai VS Sarabhai, Khichdi, CID, and Aahat respectively. Now owing to the fact that production has been stalled till the lockdown is lifted, OTT platforms are taking a similar route.

While ShemarooMe is premiering Bollywood movies every Friday, it has also seen a huge jump in people watching classic movies.

“There is a lot of experimentation happening right now -- the audience is actually going back and watching blockbuster movies from the past such as Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron or older shows like Nukkad. And it’s been consumed by the younger generation too. So, that's opening up a new set of content for a new set of audience who have not been exposed to it till now. And that's sort of interesting for us as a platform to wait and watch,” shares Rahul Mishra, Head Marketing and Communications, Shemaroo Entertainment.

ALTBalaji, on the other hand, which already has a huge library of content, is also considering bringing back a few of its classic, much-loved serials. Moreover they are also in talks with other platforms for content syndications, to broaden their content offering.

“We are utilising this time to do business syndications, we did one with ZEE. We are also utilising our vast content library and queuing up our originals ready,” said Divya Dixit, SVP, Marketing, Analytics & Direct Revenue, ALTBalaji.

Discovery Plus is also leveraging its global partnerships to help consumers stay indoors and stream the outdoors. To stay relevant in today’s environment, they have lined up COVID-19 documentaries.

“Discovery has a lot of content that hasn’t been exposed to Indian audience. We have a strong global library to sustain for a long period of time. For us, it’s a mix of marquee specials, global library and partnership content. We already had a couple of pieces ready on Coronavirus, we are trying to stay relevant as we can,” said Issac John, Business Head – Digital (South Asia), Discovery.

Moreover, with gaming seeing a spike across the world, platforms like MX Player, that had recently introduced gaming on its platform, has an edge as people are on the lookout for different modes of entertainment. “We introduced gaming about 8-10 weeks back and in the last five weeks, it has seen a 4X surge in engagement. And we are using that inventory available on our platform to cross promote our own shows. In terms of the number of games played by one user and the time spent by that user on the gaming tab is actually something that we didn't expect and we are actually using that to cross promote our own shows,” said Abhishek Joshi, Head of Marketing and Business Partnerships, MX Player.

He also shared that MX Player has recently inked a content deal with Sony Pictures Television and Paramount. “We are the first Indian AVOD platform to have struck such a deal with an international studio.”

Tough times are pushing marketers to come up with creative ways to sell their content.

Disney+ Hotstar original series Hostages is now airing on Disney-owned TV channel Star Plus. For the first time in history, OTT content is broadcasted on a TV channel. ALTBalaji has also partnered with ZEEL to broadcast its originals such as Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain, Baarish, Karrle Tu Bhi Mohabbat.

Joshi says, “While this integration has happened at an unfortunate time, it will help the OTT players embark on a collaborative journey rather than an either-or strategy, which we have always been speaking about.”

COVID-19IndiaCases: 226,770Deaths: 6,348Recovered: 109,462
COVID-19WorldCases: 6.42mnDeaths: 383kRecovered: 2.87mn
COVID-19USACases: 1.82mnDeaths: 106kRecovered: 485k