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The Rise Of OTT Platforms In India



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OTT (Over the Top) media services which offer direct streaming services to viewers, have been gaining popularity worldwide.  Some of the frontrunners of such services are Netflix and Amazon Prime, which remain popular worldwide. However, the scenario is quite different when it comes to the Indian OTT industry.  According to a report released by Counterpoint Research in April 2018, the Indian streaming platform Hotstar is the most popular OTT platform in India. Hotstar is closely followed by Amazon’s Prime Video and SonyLIV, while Netflix ranks 4th.

The popularity of OTT platforms is slowly rising with the increase of local OTT platforms like ALTBalaji, Voot and SonyLIV, which are giving direct competition to foreign platforms like Prime Video and Netflix.  Recently, the popular food delivery app Zomato also joined the OTT industry with the introduction of its Zomato Originals. The main reason behind so many new OTT platforms coming to the market is the increasing profits generated by such platforms in India. 

The video OTT revenue in India was Rs. 2,019 crores in 2017.  It is expected to reach Rs. 5,955 crores by 2022. With 500 million internet users, another number which is growing steadily at the rate of 8 percent, India has become the number one market for media and entertainment sector. It is also reported that the Indian OTT market is set to outperform the global OTT market and will likely be ranked among the top 10 by 2022.

With so many options, the competition between the various platforms has also grown.  The platforms are investing in originals produced by the platform itself in order to attract audiences.  The success of Netflix’s Sacred Games and Ghoul, Prime Video’s The Family Man and Hotstar’s AIB On Air and Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai proved original series are a working formula.  With Indian audiences looking for good original content, the platforms are taking full advantage in order to increase their revenue.

Another factor contributing to the popularity of certain platforms is the pricing of these OTT platforms.  The prices play a really important role as many local OTT platforms provide the majority of their content free of cost, while international platforms like Netflix and Prime Video have a process of monthly or annual subscription in order to let the users access their content.  This is a major reason behind the popularity of local OTT platforms.

With the explosion of OTT platforms in recent years and with the availability of affordable data, the consumption of digital media has also increased.  It will be interesting to see what kind of strategies these OTT platforms will follow in order to attract more audiences to their channels.

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Mercedes Hits the Brakes on EVs: Profit Woes Lead to Focus on Gas-Powered Cars



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Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz is experiencing a shift in gears, prioritizing gasoline-powered vehicles over its previously ambitious electric vehicle (EV) strategy. This comes after disappointing sales figures and shrinking profit margins for their electric offerings.

The Dream Runs out of Charge:

Mercedes, a leader in the luxury car market, had set a goal to be fully electric by 2030. However, sluggish sales of their electric vehicles, particularly the high-end EQS and EQE sedans, have forced a recalibration of their plans. The company’s profit margin dipped to a concerning 9% in the first quarter of 2024, falling below their long-term target range.

Why the Slow Charge?

Several factors are contributing to the lackluster performance of Mercedes’ EVs:

  •  Price Point Pinch: The high price tag of Mercedes’ electric cars, ranging from $70,000 to $120,000, limits their appeal compared to more affordable electric options. 
  •  Competition Heats Up: Other luxury carmakers like Tesla and BMW are offering strong competition, with some even surpassing Mercedes in EV sales growth. 
  •  Infrastructure Concerns: Gaps in charging infrastructure and anxieties about range remain significant deterrents for potential EV buyers.

Back to the Drawing Board:

In response to these challenges, Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius announced a revised strategy. The company will:

  •  Extend Focus on Combustion Engines:  Production of gasoline-powered and hybrid vehicles will continue well into the 2030s, catering to customer demand.
  •  Rethink EV Strategy: Mercedes will analyze consumer preferences and market trends to refine their electric car offerings. This may involve focusing on more affordable models or improving features to enhance range and charging efficiency.

The Road Ahead

The shift by Mercedes highlights the complexities of the automotive industry’s transition to electric vehicles. It underscores the need for car manufacturers to balance ambitious environmental goals with the realities of consumer behavior and market competition.

Is this a Permanent Pause?

While Mercedes is putting the brakes on its all-electric vision, it doesn’t necessarily signal a complete retreat from EVs. The company may leverage this time to strengthen its electric offerings and ensure they are competitive in the rapidly evolving market. Only time will tell if Mercedes can reclaim its position as a leader in the electric vehicle race.

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The AI Video Revolution: How Sora is Reshaping Marketing



Sora, an AI-powered video generation tool by OpenAI, has sent ripples of excitement through the marketing world. Its potential to create high-quality videos from simple descriptions is a game-changer, impacting how brands connect with audiences. 

Here’s how Sora is elevating engagement:

  • Hyper-realistic storytelling:  Sora can craft visually stunning videos in seconds. This lets marketers ditch expensive productions and create content that resonates deeply with viewers. Imagine a travel company whisking audiences away to exotic locales through captivating, AI-generated videos.
  • Personalized marketing on steroids:  Imagine video ads that speak directly to you, not a generic audience. Sora can personalize video content based on user data, creating a more impactful connection. A fitness app could use Sora to generate videos featuring exercises you enjoy, making the marketing message relevant and engaging.
  • Experimentation playground:  Sora empowers marketers to experiment freely.  Since creating video content becomes faster and cheaper, brands can test new concepts and narratives without breaking the bank. This fosters a culture of creativity and allows marketers to discover what truly clicks with their audience.

Of course, there are challenges. Integrating Sora seamlessly into existing workflows and maintaining the human touch in storytelling are aspects that require development. But Sora’s potential to revolutionize marketing by creating  engaging, personalized content at scale is undeniable.

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Entrepreneur Stories

Inside T-Hub: India’s Launchpad for Innovation and Entrepreneurship



Aerial view of T Hub Hyderabad

Imagine a building that’s not just a structure but a buzzing ecosystem. A space where startups, corporations, universities, and investors come together to create the future. This isn’t science fiction; it’s T-Hub, India’s largest innovation hub, and it’s rewriting the rules of entrepreneurship.

T-Hub isn’t just about workspaces. It’s a launchpad for ambitious dreams. They’ve empowered over 2,000 startups, turning ideas into thriving businesses. Think funding woes? T-Hub’s got your back, connecting entrepreneurs with angel investors and government grants. Need a mentor to guide you through the rough patches? T-Hub boasts a network of 2,000 mentors ready to share their wisdom.

T-Hub’s vision extends beyond startups. Here’s a glimpse into what makes T-Hub special:

  • From Seed to Scale: Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur with a bright idea or a scaling startup ready to take on the world, T-Hub has programs to support you. From the “seed-accelerator stage” Lab32 program to the “early-stage technology startups” RubriX program, T-Hub provides the tools and guidance needed to thrive.
  • Corporate Muscle: Innovation isn’t just for startups. T-Hub bridges the gap between startups and established corporations like Facebook, Uber, and Boeing. This collaboration allows startups to tap into corporate expertise and resources, while corporations benefit from the agility and fresh perspectives that startups bring.
  • Funding Powerhouse: T-Hub is more than just an idea incubator; it is also a reality maker. Through initiatives like T-Angel and the Digital India Scaleup Program, T-Hub connects startups with high-net-worth individuals, angel investors, and government funding sources.
  • Global Ambitions: Thinking Beyond Borders? T-Hub has you covered. With partnerships across the globe, from the UK government to La Trobe University, T-Hub helps Indian startups access international markets and provides foreign startups with a foothold in India.

And it doesn’t stop there. T-Hub 2.0, their new colossal campus, is a testament to their ambition. This behemoth is not just the world’s largest technology incubator; it’s a microcosm of innovation itself. Universities find a home here, churning out future tech leaders. Foreign partnerships open doors to international markets for Indian startups. It’s a melting pot of ideas, cultures, and expertise, all focused on creating a brighter tomorrow.

T-Hub’s story is far from over. They’re aiming to empower a staggering 20,000 startups in the next five years. With their focus on internationalization and capacity building, they’re poised to become a global hub for innovation. So, if you’re an entrepreneur with a dream, T-Hub might just be the launchpad that takes you to the stars.

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