Q] Take us through the one-year journey so far for Lionsgate. What have the big learnings and highlights been for the company during the past year?
The journey so far has been very exciting and encouraging. The first leg of our journey was bringing Hollywood content in English and popular Indian languages to Indian consumers.
We started off with strategic partnerships with leading telecom players in the country like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea to reach out to maximum number of viewers. Recently with the launch on Jio FTTH, our content is now also available to consumers who prefer watching content on the big screen. The biggest milestone for us is going to be Lionsgate Play App launch, scheduled for the end of this year.
Q] With the OTT business really taking off in the past couple of years, how are you positioning Lionsgate in this fast-growing market?
We have seen a lot of action in the OTT category in the last five years and I would say this is just the beginning. The demand for good content is only going up by the day as the penetration of the category deepens far and wide. Lionsgate Play is a bespoke premium OTT service.
Our promise will always be to bring the world of curated entertainment to our consumers. Our target audience are those in the age group of 20-45 years and who enjoy edgy, premium and gripping content.
Q] Does the Hollywood-only content restrict or limit the platform in a way? Will you consider creating regional content in the future, like Netflix and Amazon Prime have done?
India is a unique market, we are a country with many small countries within where food and language preferences change every 100 kilometres. We have kept that in mind while designing our offering for the India.
Though we are a premium Hollywood content service, we have dubbed many of our key titles in regional languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Telegu, Kannada and Bhojpuri to break the barrier of language and deepen our reach. We’re a country that enjoys English content, not necessarily in the English language.
We’ve invested a massive amount for dubbing, to make our content available in regional languages. We are also in the phase of developing original content for the Indian market, and we believe good content is the ultimate winner. We are in the process of producing some edgy shows in India but we will share further details in the last quarter of the year.
Q] How do you plan to market and position the upcoming Lionsgate Play App?
The Lionsgate Play App will have some cult movies as well as exclusive TV series titles for Indian audiences. We will also release Indian original shows along with many popular shows from Lionsgate’s vast content library. We are in the process of building a solid brand in India. Our approach is to map our consumer and create touch points wherever they spend a lot of time.