​How The MCN Industry ​In India Will Evolve In 2015

Radhakrishnan Ramachandran, Samir Bangara, Sameer Pitalwalla, Rajeshree Naik share their thoughts on how MCN space will evolve in 2015

Indian MCN 2015

Today, India is in the top three video-consuming markets in the world. Indians on an average watch close to five billion videos every month, according to GroupM estimates. Not only are more Indians watching videos online, the average time spent in watching online videos per user has grown substantially. There has been a 27% increase in online video audience in 2014 over 2013.

YouTube and mobile have played a big role in increasing this habit among Indians. While YouTube remains the go to destination for online video consumption, video content will also account for over half of all mobile data consumption in the country in the next two to three years.

This has also given rise to a new breed of content creators – the creative entrepreneurs such as the likes of Viral Fever or AIB or for that matter singing talent Shraddha Sharma, among others. This year we have already seen how branded content has gone mainstream. Thanks to the Multi Channel Networks (MCNs) in the country that have not only made branded content appealing but also helped find fresh talent and set up the right stage for them.

But will it be the same in 2015? Lighthouse Insights spoke to some of the experts in the space to understand – ​How will the MCN industry ​in India evolve in 2015? Listed below are the edited excerpts.

Radhakrishnan Ramachandran, Founder & CEO, Pepper Media

The Game Changer: Branded video solutions

Radhakrishnan RamachandranHow soon can we get brands to be part of this eco system? For an industry, which is still starving for ad dollars, marrying brands with original programming concepts could just be the way of building an alternate revenue model.

We have made a beginning, when we launched India’s first online reality- show for fashion designers, sponsored by a leading fashion brand.

The Accelerator: Technology

When will brand managers see online videos as a cost effective and powerful alternative to TV? With TV viewing reportedly showing signs of a slow down, all this space needs is a push. Technology will play that key role in simplifying the model for brand managers, by helping them analyse the impact of their video campaigns on platforms like YouTube. It is going to be the key differentiator.

Sameer Pitalwalla, CEO, Culture Machine

Sameer PitalwallaThere will be an increase in the quantum of creators across verticals. Technology will play a more central role across the value chain, it’s pretty much impossible to scale without it.

The overall space will get legitimized; it has so far been represented by content boutiques as opposed to full blooded studios. Brands will grow warmer to digital video, as non-YouTube platforms become aggressive on distribution.

On the whole, audiences will win with great programming and the eco-system will be validated further as eyeballs continue to move to digital video platforms.

Samir Bangara, Co-Founder & MD, Qyuki Digital Media

From a brand perspective, 2015 will see a lot of brands looking into branded content opportunities, the whole content marketing will witness more Samir Bangara-minsubstance in terms of deal sizes and more number of deals. Till now brands have experimented content marketing with big ticket deals by going to big ad agencies. That is going to change and would move towards more talent based content marketing initiatives, leading to the holy grail of content marketing.

On the consumer side the country is witnessing a crazy growth in video consumption on YouTube which is going to grow more than 60 billion watch time on a monthly basis in 2015.

And on the creative side, more creative people being supercharged about the opportunity to create content and become creative entrepreneurs like a Shraddha Sharma or the Viral Fever or Siddharth Slathia.

Rajeshree Naik, Co-Founder & Director, PING Network

Rajeshree NaikAs I see the MCN space in India is increasingly developing a niche for themselves. Besides native advertising expectations from brands will grow in 2015. From asking to create a viral video brands are now asking what is the watch time, engagement with the subscriber base and this behavior is going to increase in 2015.

Brands are also coming up and asking how they could be integrated in existing content networks which is another interesting trend that will grow in 2015. A true relief for a publisher or a broadcaster in this space.