In conversation with Social Samosa, Lionsgate India's Amit Dhanuka puts the spotlight on the global player's India strategy, content differentiation, and the ever-evolving world of OTT.
Claiming to be committed to bringing exciting premium content to India and other South Asian countries, Lionsgate Play set foot in the market. Last month the service announced its first line-up of original series along with launching campaigns with Ananya Pandey and Tiger Shroff. We get in touch with Amit Dhanuka, Executive Vice President, Lionsgate India to know more about the OTT platform's content strategy, distribution, creating differentiation, digital marketing, and more.
Content Differentiation & Price Point
Lionsgate India claims to stand for curated and premium offerings as their USP. From bringing Golden Globes nominated shows like Normal People or political dramas from the UK like Brexit. According to Amit Dhanuka, the content consumers will see on the platform will always be Urban, Edgy, and gripping.
The global OTT player made the app available as part of two subscription models in India-- INR 699 for a year and INR 99 per month, competing against other similar platforms. Dhanuka shares that most premium platforms are priced between INR 299-600 a month in India and Lionsgate Play is priced for the value proposition it provides. Annually most players are priced between INR 999-1499.
"We are opening a new price bracket for the Indian consumer. We are making premium content available at a very attractive price point. It has been about 4 months and as a premium service platform, we are incredibly happy with subscriptions," he adds.
Considering India a cost-value market, Lionsgate Play claims to have extensively worked on a strategy that is affordable and with a massive content lineup available on the app and that will be released further.
TG & Media Mix
Lionsgate India's core TG is young adults (Male and Female) 25- 40 years of age, individuals who are avid users of the OTT category and are always looking for global shows that are cutting edge.
"We entered the Indian market when the time was right. Overall, the growth of OTT players around the world is blooming. Hence, we look at a 360-degree approach right from TVC, print, OOH, digital performance to influencer outreach. The idea is to leverage the global brand and create a pull while the role of performance/ digital is serving as reminders and make the final sale. While we have tried almost all advertising platforms so far we are biased to the digital platforms," asserts Dhanuka.
Tiger Shroff & Ananya Panday
The target audience being young adults, Lionsgate Play India looked at content that can draw attention towards the platform. It has partnered with personalities that follow this kind of content and to be one was Ananya Panday, along with Tiger Shroff who is known for his action, dance and humor is also a great fit to the brand as his reach is extremely wide.
According to Dhanuka, both are bold, young, and funny which helps to resonate with the character of Lionsgate's content. "If you see the kind of associations we do with them are also not the regular run of the mill but new formats like Instagram takeovers, Ask me anything, or interesting contests," he shares.
Creating a Local Footprint
Big players like Netflix, Disney + Hotstar and others have targeted family audiences, and Lionsgate is only looking at an audience who is a teenager to somebody who is around 45 or so. While the content is global, it is adding a considerable portion on localizing Indian languages (Hindu, Marathi, Telugu, Kannada, and Tamil) with the recent edition Bhojpuri.
Apart from this the platform recently announced its first Indian Originals an adaptation of the American Comedy show “CASUAL” starring Lara Dutta, and Prateik Babbar in lead directed by Kunal Kohli slated to release by the end of 2021 while the second original is all set to start production from this month.