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'Put TV's best shows on OTT': Disney+Hotstar Content Head decodes the evolution of entertainment

'Put TV's best shows on OTT': Disney+Hotstar Content Head decodes the evolution of entertainment

At FICCI Frames Fast Track 2022, a convention organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in Mumbai, Gaurav Banerjee says that content producers are accountable to the society, and we must never forget this.

Disney+ Hotstar led the viewership of Hindi language OTT originals in India in the first half of 2022, according to a report by media consulting firm Ormax. Disney+ Hotstar led the viewership of Hindi language OTT originals in India in the first half of 2022, according to a report by media consulting firm Ormax.

India's television industry has come a long way in the last few years, headlined especially by TV channels like Zee TV, Sony Entertainment and Star Plus. With the advent of OTT (over the top) platforms, the content as well as the audiences has changed drastically. Gaurav Banerjee who has served as the president (Hindi entertainment) Star India for over 14 years has seen it all. At FICCI Frames Fast Track 2022, a convention organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in Mumbai, Banerjee says that content producers are accountable to the society, and we must never forget this. He believes in the power of content that has the potential it has to create an impact in the society. 

"I have to go back to early 2000s to understand when did content become big in India," he says. He divides the revolution in the television into three broad phases. "Star Plus shows like Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, Kyuki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, etc. were putting women at the forefront of storytelling for the first time. The impact was massive and significant," says Banerjee who heads Content at Disney+ Hotstar. 


Due to these kinds of shows, he says, tolerance for domestic abuse decreased by 10%. "The second phase stared when the women did more than actually went out to work. We had shows like Diya aur Bhaati hum where the protagonist was a woman IPS officer. TV was telling us there was no job that a woman can't do. Even in phase 2 the institution of marriage was sacred. Phase 3 started with a show called Anupama in 2020, a show watched by over 250 million people in our country," he said.

He said that this kind of powerful storytelling is possible across platforms like television and OTT. "People like me are given a choice that you can either do things for profit or do it for larger social good. I believe you can do both. We did that with Satyamev Jayate when no marketing budget was spent on any of our other shows and it was a great business decision because everybody was motivated to do better as they believed they were a part of a larger cause," he adds. "Doing the right thing has massive business benefits."

Disney+ Hotstar led the viewership of Hindi language OTT originals in India in the first half of 2022, according to a report by media consulting firm Ormax. After sports, TV shows like Anupama drive significant traffic on Disney+Hotstar. "For me it's all about co-existence of the two, OTT and TV going forward. Therefore, we put out TV's best performing show Anupama on OTT first. We believe that there are new audiences that OTT opens up but at the end we must believe in the power to content and its impact on people," he said.

StarPlus is an Indian Hindi language general entertainment pay television channel owned by Disney Star (formerly Star India), a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company India.
 

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Published on: Sep 28, 2022, 5:11 PM IST
Posted by: Tarab Zaidi, Sep 28, 2022, 5:00 PM IST