Lionsgate Play strengthens direct-to-consumer play

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani ñNew Delhi | Updated on December 02, 2020 Published on December 02, 2020

Lists India among its top five focus markets

Premium streaming service Lionsgate Play, which entered India last year in collaboration with telcos, is now strengthening its direct-to-consumer play with the launch of its independent app in the country.

Rohit Jain, MD, Lionsgate South Asia, told BusinessLine, that outside the US, India is among the top five focus markets for the streaming service. “ Due to the pandemic, in the past 8-10 months, there has been an accelerated adoption of digital and SVOD services in the country. This led us to fast track our plans for the B2C launch in India. We also believe the Indian OTT market is in the early stages of high growth. We expect to see a massive surge in terms of OTT subscriptions in the next 4-5 years in India and we aim to garner a substantial market share in the segment.”

The OTT app from the American-Canadian studio Lionsgate and its group company Starz, is ramping up its distribution in India and will now be widely available across Google Play store, Apple app store, Amazon firestick and Smart TVs. As per PwC estimates, India is currently the world’s fastest growing OTT market and will become the sixth largest globally by 2024.

Strong growth

Jeffrey A. Hirsch, President and Chief Executive Officer, Starz, said the company expects to see continued strong growth as it enters the Indian OTT ecosystem and it aims to have 15-20 million international OTT subscribers by 2025. Besides India, this month, the company is expanding its global footprint across 55 countries throughout Europe, Latin America, Canada and Japan. “We believe our offering with edgy and critically acclaimed original series and a film library featuring the biggest film franchises of Lionsgate, coupled with a competitive price, makes it’s a unique value proposition for Indian consumers,” he said.

Added Jain, “While there is a clutter of 40-50 OTT apps in the country, we believe the Indian market is highly underserved as far as premium content propositions are concerned. There are only 2-3 premium streaming service providers currently and we believe a market like India, will see the emergence of 7-10 premium OTT players in the coming years,” he added.

The streaming service plans to leverage on its library content slate to premiere movies such as Hustlers, Gerald Butler’s action thriller Angel Has Fallen, the fantasy thriller Hellboy, and the action comedy The Gentlemen, among others. It will also offer original series such as Love Life, No Man’s Land and The Goes Wrong

“Unlike some other OTT players that focus on a mass audience, our key target audience is young adults and urban millennial subscribers. Also, our content strategy is fairly differentiated and we put a lot of focus on offering curated content across a wide variety of genres,” Jain said.

Lionsgate Play is also stepping up its focus on Indian original content. “We will be launching Indian originals in the coming months, and we are working with the best creative minds in the industry. Our strategy is to focus on content that breaks the barriers of geography and language and hence we focus on making original content that can resonate with audiences across markets.”

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Published on December 02, 2020
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