Want to break stereotypes of streaming platform content: Lionsgate's Jain

Lionsgate Play broke into the Indian over-the-top (OTT) space — already dominated by global giants and homegrown platforms — and that too in the middle of a pandemic. Post the release of their first Indian original, Rohit Jain, Managing Director, Lionsgate, South Asia and Networks-Emerging Markets Asia, speaks to Akshara Srivastava about the USP of the content platform and expanding its footprint in India. Excerpts: What prompted Lionsgate to launch its streaming platform, Lionsgate Play, in India in the middle of the pandemic in December 2020? In retrospect, it was the.....
Lionsgate Play broke into the Indian over-the-top (OTT) space — already dominated by global giants and homegrown platforms — and that too in the middle of a pandemic. Post the release of their first Indian original, Rohit Jain, Managing Director, Lionsgate, South Asia and Networks-Emerging Markets Asia, speaks to Akshara Srivastava about the USP of the content platform and expanding its footprint in India.

What prompted Lionsgate to launch its streaming platform, Lionsgate Play, in India in the middle of the pandemic in December 2020?

In retrospect, it was the best timing. We entered India in August 2019 by partnering with key telecom players like Vodafone-idea, Airtel and Jio. We saw phenomenal response from the Indian audience on these platforms for premium content. In December 2020, we went direct to consumers with our app with a strong premium curated lineup for Indian audiences and dubbed offering. During the pandemic people were left with no choice but to stay indoors, which led to the explosion of the OTT category, and we are very glad we could help entertain people when it was needed the most.

How has the response been, given that we have multiple streaming platforms already — from Netflix to Voot etc?

The response has been remarkable, and our journey has been fantastic so far. While there are existing players in the market, Lionsgate Play offers bespoke content specially curated for the Indian audience. We have series and movies from various genres and dubbed content in regional languages. There is something for everyone. Our award-winning titles such as Knives Out, Bombshell and many others have been watched multiple times. Action-thriller movies have done exceptionally well. We have witnessed a healthy growth in India and are expanding our presence rapidly. We are seeing growth in our subscription base from all across the nation, be it tier-I, tier-II or tier-III cities.

Who is your biggest competitor?

Our biggest competitor is good content. We intend to tell stories that are engaging and interesting. We want to break stereotypes when it comes to the kind of content available on streaming platforms and believe in entertaining the audience too.

Your first Indian original, Hiccups and Hookups, which shows a modern family  just released. What does your target demographic look like?

We are looking at millennials and Gen Z. Hiccups and Hookups is a modern and edgy series that throws light on family dynamics of today and reflects the current dating sentiment among young audiences. We are exploring the young adult space through this show, which is new and unique. The show will initiate conversations that families often shove under the carpet because they are considered taboo. Lara Dutta, Prateik Babbar and Shinnova along with Kunal Kohli have done a fabulous job.

What sets you apart from the major market players? Do you also plan to get into live television with content like Bigg Boss OTT and sports telecast?

Our global expertise of understanding audiences and telling stories that matter and stand out gives us a true edge. If you look at our global content slate — from John Wick to Hunger Games to Orange is the New Black — our expertise is to pick out stories that will not be told otherwise. We follow the same ethos in India. Our promise to be real and unconventional at the same time will help us stand out. Our first show is thus an obvious choice as we know this story will matter to the audience we want to cater to.

Do you think Lionsgate can become a major player in the Indian OTT space?

We have always said that quality content will be the ultimate winner. We intend to tell stories that are fresh and appeal to today’s audience. We release carefully curated content every month and constantly update our library.

What are your plans for the Indian mar­ket? Are you commissioning  new titles?

We have a host of young, spunky and irreverent shows lined up to rewrite the definition of content on streaming platforms. Lionsgate Play’s next show is a college drama. After that we have Feels Like Home, a slice of life series about four boys in their 20s who move away from home.


Key stories on business-standard.com are available to premium subscribers only.

Already a premium subscriber?

Subscribe to get an across device (Website, Mobile Web, Iphone, Ipad, and Android Phone applications) access to Premium content, Breaking News alerts, Industry Newsletters, Stock and Corporate news alerts, access to Archives and a lot more.


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel
Read More on

OTT USERS

ONLINE STREAMING

TELECOM SERVICES

COMPANIES

Q&A


Most Read

Markets

Companies

Opinion

Latest News

Todays Paper

News you can use