Decoding Media Evolution with Shailesh Kapoor of Ormax Media
Shailesh Kapoor, CEO of Ormax Media, brings two decades of expertise to the Indian media industry. In this interview, he discusses the industry’s evolution, emphasizing the role of audience data and analytics at Ormax Media.
He sheds light on successful marketing strategies and the impact of influencer marketing in India. Discover how his insights and Ormax Media’s innovation collectively shape the industry, offering consumer-centric solutions and steering the future of media.
Having worked in media, TV, and marketing for more than two and a half decades, can you share your insights and your experience over the years?
The Indian media industry was in a fairly nascent stage when I started working in 1999. Over the last 25 years, there has been significant growth, especially with the digital medium coming in over the last decade. This growth has also attracted global players to India, bringing in best practices and processes. Yet, the Indian entertainment industry remains unique, relying equally on its chaotic energy and remaining instinct-led in large parts. One of our biggest challenges at Ormax Media has been to educate the industry about the value of audience data and analytics for more informed business decision-making. This remains a work in progress, especially in the South markets, where entertainment businesses are run in a more traditional way.
Viewership habits have changed amongst the Indian audience over the years. As a seasoned expert who has witnessed the evolution first-hand, can you shed some light on today’s viewership behavior?
Each medium has its unique role in the life of the viewer, and the viewing behavior of that medium reflects that. For example, television is the family medium, allowing families to spend quality time together every night—an essential need even more pronounced in today’s digital age. Despite the decline in appointment viewing, which was once crucial for television, there’s a noticeable shift amidst shorter attention spans. Surprisingly, the decrease in appointment viewing hasn’t resulted in increased channel flipping, as viewers prefer sticking to familiar shows and channels. In this evolving scenario, the Holy Grail of television has shifted from appointment to destination, emphasizing the channel’s significance over specific time slots in the competition for viewership share.
OTT is a medium for solo consumption or with those of the same group (spouse/siblings). Hence, it’s a more personal and intimate medium. Movie-going is an outdoor activity, equally about the social and communal experience as it is about the content itself. With the advent of digital media and the manifold increase in media choices available to the audience, including social media, viewing behavior is highly distracted. Anything that cannot hold the attention of the viewer for a few minutes will be rejected.
Social media and digital media have become increasingly popular, but they have also brought with them the rise of fake news and misinformation. What are your thoughts on this? Has this shift from traditional to digital been the primary cause of declining news credibility? If so, how can we combat it?
A lot of digitally savvy audiences still use print and television to ‘verify’ the news they see on digital/social media. That is the nature of online news: It will be high on immediacy but suspect on credibility. Building a credible news platform digitally requires one to build a strong brand, and this is where legacy brands, ranging from TOI to Jagran to BBC to Aaj Tak, have an advantage. One of the reasons TV news and print medium will continue to stay relevant is the credibility they bring in.
With the diversity of content available on these OTT platforms, people are shifting away from mainstream television. What is your perspective on advertising on these platforms? Would it help brands establish equity with their audience and reach the right audience?
Digital advertising, whether through platforms like YouTube or social media apps such as Instagram or Facebook or through AVOD apps, is on the rise. This is because a significant cohort of the younger, urban audience is consuming digital content more than television. Given that India is such a vast country with varied demographics, socio-economic groups, and geographies, both television and digital advertising will continue to be strong options for advertisers to choose from. The death of TV, as is often predicted, is a Western idea. In the Indian context, both mediums have a strong standing, and advertisers must choose the one (or both) depending on what fits the context, target audience, and messaging of their campaign.
There has been a tidal wave of influencer marketing in India, especially thanks to the popularity of Indian influencers. How do you think brands and advertisers can leverage influencer marketing in India to gain brand recognition?
The choice of the right influencer is important, because influencers may give reach, but don’t always ensure message credibility. Hence, brands must be careful in selecting influencers who are credible and fit the brand, and not just those who have the reach/ followers.
Can you take our readers through some of the methodologies you use to obtain industry insights? What are a few successful marketing strategies you have seen where advertisers took advantage of data insights from Ormax Media?
This is a vast topic, and we deploy a variety of methodologies, primarily in the areas of content testing, tracking media brands and campaigns, forecasting, and analytics. Our website has details of these methodologies for those interested in more information. Our work is primarily for media platforms (film studios, streamers, TV networks) more than advertisers. However, we work extensively with advertisers to help them choose the right media options and the right celebrity endorsers, among other services.
Our tool, Ormax Mpact, helps advertisers evaluate the success of high-impact brand activation, such as a big sponsorship or a roadblock. Our tool, Ormax Celeble, helps brands select the right endorser/influencer that fits the brand profile. We also have various industry reports that help advertisers understand the market size and growth of various sectors to build an outlook toward the sector’s health.
Are there any emerging or concerning trends you see in the future? How are you preparing yourself?
A definite trend that’s emerging is that the lines between different media are getting blurred. Today, Reels on Instagram are competing with long-format content like web series, for example. Yet, each medium and content type has its unique experience, making it relevant to its audience. A lot of our work post-pandemic is about understanding the nuances of media intersection. We do not buy into binary narratives, e.g., TV vs. OTT, OTT vs. theatres. Instead, our effort is to understand media intersection in the right context. For example, media choices of digital vs. TV for IPL will operate in a very different context compared to the audience’s decision to watch a new film in the theatre vs. OTT. With the growth in media options, complexity will only increase, and the right data and analytics, combined with the right context, can help media brands and advertisers make consumer-centric decisions.
- Netra is a Dual Masters graduate in International Business and Marketing. She is a content-writing enthusiast and a social media addict. In her downtime, you will find her headbanging to Pop songs from around the world. She is also a sports fanatic and especially loves F1, Volleyball, and Cricket. Her hobbies are baking and watching Anime.
- MediaFebruary 26, 2024Reliance and Disney Ink Binding Agreement to Combine Media Business in India
- TechnologyFebruary 26, 2024Saudi Ministry of Culture Introduces World’s First VR History Tours in Metaverse
- MediaFebruary 23, 2024M&C Saatchi Names Zaid Al-Qassab As New Global CEO
- MediaFebruary 22, 2024MCN, Part of IPG, Bolsters Leadership Team in MENAT; Appoints Lizzie Dewhurst as Chief Communications Officer