MediAvataar's News Desk
Starz, one of the leading premium global streaming platforms, has launched its independent direct to consumer OTT app 'Lionsgate Play' in India, the company announced today at a virtual press conference in the presence of Mr. Jeffrey A. Hirsch, President and Chief Executive Officer, Starz and Mr. Rohit Jain, Managing Director, Lionsgate South Asia. Building on its reputation for disruption, Lionsgate Play is committed to innovation in its content, technology, pricing, and accessibility by making premium Hollywood content available in multiple Indian languages.
The service has launched with a new price point in India, making the app available as part of two subscription models, INR 699 for a year and INR 99 per month, attractive price points that give Indian consumers the opportunity to enjoy the best of global entertainment affordably and at their convenience. In India the app will be available to download across a broad array of platforms and devices including Google Play store, Apple app store and Amazon firestick.
Starz first launched internationally with its Starzplay international premium streaming platform in 2018. This month it will expand its global footprint into 55 countries throughout Europe, Latin America, Canada, Japan and India, scaling to become one of the most widely distributed and fastest growing premium OTT services worldwide while entertaining millions of users with bold and curated content.
The platform anticipates continued strong growth in the Indian OTT ecosystem and is capitalizing on this opportunity by bringing a host of new, provocative, and edgy movies and web series to India with the launch of direct to consumer video streaming service Lionsgate Play.
The Lionsgate Play app features a broad portfolio of content ranging from the best of original feature film and television dramas, romances, comedies, thrillers and action favourites and premieres, bringing world cinema and television series directly to Indian audiences.
New content available at launch includes:
The Anna Kendrick starrer Love Life, a fresh take on a romantic comedy anthology series about the journey from first love to lasting love.
No Man's Land a Syrian civil war series that resonates with relatable themes like first love, fear of loss and family sacrifice set against the backdrop of war; and
The Goes Wrong Show, a laugh out loud comedy series with each episode having a different theme, including a period romance, spy thriller, a Deep South melodrama, and a Christmas fable.
The streaming giant will also premiere movies such as the Jennifer Lopez starrer Hustlers, Gerald Butler's action thriller Angel Has Fallen, the fantasy thriller Hellboy, and the action comedy The Gentlemen, starring Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant, just to name a few, with something for every audience.
Commenting on the launch Mr. Jeffrey A. Hirsch, President and Chief Executive Officer, Starz said, "India has always been a key market for us. The large and diverse population, increased data usage in urban and rural markets, and adoption of OTT across all demographics created an exciting opportunity for us to launch Lionsgate Play. We're confident that our unique, exclusive and exceptionally curated content will generate a great response from Indian audiences."
Mr. Rohit Jain, Managing Director, Lionsgate South Asia, added, "We are thrilled to launch the much-awaited Lionsgate Play app in India. We want to provide the finest, never seen before content that will captivate our audiences with bespoke entertainment drawing on the most exciting current releases and our premium library."
"We will also be launching Indian originals in the coming months, featuring untold edgy urban stories from some of the best creative minds in the Indian film industry" continued Mr. Jain. "And we will continue our Lionsgate Play journey by adding to our deep roster of premium content through partnerships with exciting millennial stars like Kriti Sanon, Tiger Shroff and Sanjana Sanghi increasing the breadth and scope of entertainment for our subscribers."
Strengthens its regional content slate
To create 10 originals across Tamil, Bengali and Marathi in 2021
With radical changes in the last couple of years, the digital landscape has diversified and evolved briskly, thus widening the scope for content players in the OTT space to experiment. The acceleration in the rate of content adoption and growing demand for content in native languages, has led to an increase in the appetite for regional content consumption. With an aim to capture this increasing potential and strengthen their position in the regional space, the promoters of Bodhi Tree Multimedia with the backing of Sumukha Capital have announced the launch of Studio Bodhi, a joint venture under the aegis of Sumukha Bodhitree Pvt. Ltd. to cater to the ever-growing need for content across the country.
The combined forces will develop exclusive original IPs to meet the growing demand of qualitative entertainment. In view of unlocking the next wave of regional growth with high-scale content, the studio will produce unique content in multiple languages across genres for the burgeoning OTT market. With eminent writers and directors on board, Studio Bodhi has 10 projects at different stages of production and will continue to work on numerous IPs in the near future. The studio is currently working towards producing a rich slew of original offerings in languages such as Tamil, Bengali and Marathi in 2021 and further expanding into Telugu, Punjabi and Malayalam by 2022.
Speaking on the launch of Studio Bodhi, Mautik Tolia, Managing Director, Bodhi Tree Multimedia, said, “Content today is region agnostic with good rooted stories transcending all barriers and can travel across the world. This content studio will prove to be a game changer in this space. Content consumption has witnessed an upsurge across all genres with regional content gaining momentum. Recognizing this growing demand in regional content, Studio Bodhi is our earnest endeavor to further widen our horizon to build a vast range of successful digital series to cater to every audience palate. Studio Bodhi will mark our foray into the regional OTT space starting with exciting shows across various regional languages like Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and further expand to other regions in the coming year. Over the past few months, with projects at various stages of development, we have diligently worked towards acquiring best of talents to put together a team together which we believe will deliver compelling content. With our new venture, we are looking forward to explore different genres and narrative styles.”
Commenting on Studio Bodhi, Santosh Kanodia, Founder, Sumukha Capital, a division of Sumukha Group said, “We are committed to investing ₹200 Crores in the entertainment industry ventures in the coming years. We recognize the need gap for regional content that is produced at top notch quality standards and feel this has the potential for exponential growth. The lineup is extremely exciting and the ambition is to move to producing a slate of 10 originals every year.”
With projects greenlit in multiple languages, Studio Bodhi aims to nurture the ecosystem with content that is relevant for regional consumers and make regional content mainstream. The alliance with proven excellence in creativity and production ushers in an exciting new phase in the business of content creation for Studio Bodhi.
Keeping in line with global television measurement standards, the world’s largest and India’s sole television measurement body, BARC India, will transition from using the term ‘Impressions’ to ‘Average Minute Audience’, abbreviated as ‘AMA’, in cognizance with the Technical Committee.
Data releases via the BARC India website for Week 47 (Saturday, November 21, 2020) onwards will reflect AMA. The change in terminology started reflecting on YUMI Analytics for BARC India subscribers December 1, 2020 onwards.
As a measurement body, BARC India is determined to evolve to keep up with changing times and provide the industry with metrics that are clear, match global standards, and that are a true representation of What India Watches.
Average Minute Audience (AMA) is defined as the number of individuals of a target audience who viewed an "Event", averaged across minutes. The methodology for the calculation of AMA will continue to remain the same as that of Impressions.
Speaking on the development, Dr. Derrick Gray, Chief of Measurement Science and Business Analytics at BARC India said, “At BARC India, it is our constant endeavor to ensure that our subscribers are provided with a currency which is true representation of What India Watches. At the same time, we are determined to provide our stakeholders with technology that is at par with global standards as well as clear metrics that match up to global metrics. We recently completed our transition to YUMI Analytics and as a step forward will move on to using AMA across data releases. We will continue to introduce world class practices and standards for our clients while evolving as a robust measurement body.”
Sonu Sood gets a special mention, chosen “Hero of the Year”
Sushant Singh Rajput is India’s ‘Most Searched Personality’; PM Modi is at No. 2 on list
Rhea Chakraborty edges out Deepika, Priyanka to be ‘Most Searched Female Celeb’
Baby brigade, Bollywood fitness icons bring cheer to fans online
Indian users found new role models to follow and chose hope over despair online in 2020. Yahoo today announced the 2020 Year in Review (YIR) for India, a collection of 2020’s top newsmakers and events, based on users’ anonymized daily search habits and an editorial selection of what was read, recommended and shared most on Yahoo through the year.
YIR 2020 Personality of the Year: COVID Warriors
COVID Warriors, the tribe of brave Indians who stepped up and made their effort count through the pandemic, were named YIR’s Personality of the Year 2020. Netizens were hugely inspired by COVID warriors from across India. From healthcare workers to police personnel, government officials, journalists, delivery boys, garbage collectors and citizen volunteers, this diverse group of unknown Indians gave online India a reason to cheer and hope -- one story at a time, one day at a time -- through the darkest months of 2020.
Yahoo Year In Review Special Mention: 'Hero of the Year' Sonu Sood
Actor Sonu Sood was a real-life hero for thousands of migrant workers left stranded and battered early in the COVID crisis -- from organizing food to mobilizing transport to recently launching the app Pravasi Rojgar to connect impacted workers to new livelihoods -- Sonu went above and beyond to make a difference. Online India was awed, with netizens tracking his initiatives and rooting for this on-screen villain turned real-life hero.
Sushant Singh Rajput is India’s ‘Most Searched Personality’
Grief over a young icon gone too soon, a slew of conspiracy theories and an endless news cycle combined to make late actor Sushant Singh Rajput India’s ‘Most Searched Personality’ of 2020. This is the first year since 2017 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not taken the No. 1 spot on the list -- he came in at No. 2. PM Modi was bracketed by actor Rhea Chakraborty at No.3, who grabbed headlines in one of the year’s biggest news stories. Besides perennial political newsmakers Rahul Gandhi, Amit Shah and Arvind Kejriwal, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and actor-activist Kangana Ranaut were propelled into the top 10 of this list, with users closely tracking their feud online.
Top Newsmakers of 2020
PM Modi stayed firm at No. 1 on this list, with Sushant Singh Rajput and Rhea Chakraborty at a joint No. 2 and Rahul Gandhi coming in at No.3. Controversial anchor and editor Arnab Goswami, parent-to-be Cricketer Virat Kohli, Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar and actor Sonu Sood made up the rest of the top 10.
Most Searched Male Celebrity: Sushant Singh Rajput
Indians bid goodbye to much-loved celebrities and beloved legends in 2020. Sushant Singh Rajput, Irrfan Khan, Rishi Kapoor and S. P. Balasubrahmanyam were among the top 10 Most Searched Male Celebrities of the year, deeply mourned online. While Sushant Singh Rajput was at No 1 on this list, actors Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan were other online favorites from 2019, who held onto their place on this ranking.
Most Searched Female Celebrity: Rhea Chakraborty
Rhea Chakraborty was a clear No. 1 on this year's list of Most Searched Female Celebrity. A relatively unknown name at the start of 2020, she toppled fan favorites actors Deepika Padukone, Sunny Leone and Priyanka Chopra. While they slipped lower on the list, Kangana Ranaut elbowed her way to No 2, through her fiery presence online.
Most Searched Politicians of 2020
PM Modi once again topped the list of Most Searched Politicians of 2020, with Rahul Gandhi back at No. 2 (edging out Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee, who claimed the No. 2 spot last year). Amit Shah, Uddhav Thackeray and Arvind Kejriwal made up the top 5, with Didi slipping lower down on the list. Netizens paid their respects online to Pranab Kumar Mukherjee, former President of India, who passed away in August, with a place on this list.
Most Searched Indian Sports Personalities in 2020: Dhoni takes top spot
With sports disrupted, sports personalities remained as much in the spotlight for their off-the-field antics and news. M.S. Dhoni, who announced his retirement from international cricket, was the top searched Indian Sports Personality of 2020. Virat Kohli, whose 'baby' news had fans cheering online, and Rohit Sharma, dogged by controversy, made up the top three in the ranking for Most Searched Indian Sports Personalities in 2020. This year's list had an equal number of women in sports, with Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu among those featuring in the top 10.
Glamour and guts icons: Bollywood’s top Fitness and Wellness celebrities of 2020
Move over Bollywood’s Most Stylish! In a year when fashion runways lay unused, online users found new role models with high fitness and wellness quotients. Malaika Arora, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Preity Zinta, Katrina Kaif and Shilpa Shetty were the top 5 Bollywood actor-influencers who inspired users to stay fit amidst lockdown bingeing. Among the cross-generation male role models, Karan Singh Grover, Milind Soman, Vidyut Jammwal, Tiger Shroff and Anil Kapoor showed fans how it could be done!
Business Newsmakers of 2020: Ambani rules
Ambani, Adani and Adar -- three ‘A’s topped the Business Newsmakers list of 2020. Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited, Mukesh Ambani remained unrivalled at No.1, followed by industrialist Gautam Adani who on the back of a successful year, saw his personal wealth growing most on India's rich list in 2020. Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India, burst into the list at No. 3, with a lot riding on the manufacture of the COVID-19 vaccine. In a year when traditional classrooms remained closed, Byju founder, Byju Raveendran's influence soared on the back of a rising user base, surge in funding and valuations -- giving him a place on the list.
Big and bizarre: Top Viral News of 2020
Controversial, political and at times just plain absurd news grabbed the attention of users in 2020. A video of an RJD leader losing his pants (quite literally!) while criticizing PM Modi, was the top viral news in 2020. Besides politically-divisive news that polarized users, clips that riveted netizens included a video of newsman Rajdeep Sardesai dancing to Baadshah after AAP's win in Delhi, and a Madhya Pradesh forest buried under a blanket of locusts!
The baby brigade: Celebrities with babies and pregnancy announcements in 2020
"And then, we were three!" Virat Kohli's tweet captured a popular celebrity-in-lockdown-trend: adding a new member to the family. Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Saif Ali Khan, Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra, Hardik Pandya, Kalki Koechlin and Amrita Rao all grabbed users' attention with their pregnancy and baby 'Good Newwz." Users couldn’t get enough of the updates, pictures, and posts in an otherwise sombre year.
Intrepid Fox South Africa Earns Carol H. Williams Together For Better Award
2020 Executive Jury Honors 4 Independents with Grand Awards: Vic Lee, Soda Producciones, Pepi Ginsberg, and Creatives for Kitchens
The Bowery Awards Executive Jury, led by Jury President David Sable, Senior Advisor to WPP, selected this year’s award winners from entries achieving finalist status determined by the Grand Jury. The Executive Jury awarded 4 Grand, 16 Gold, 5 Silver, and 22 Bronze.
“All of us at the Bowery Awards are thrilled to honor these creative freelancers and provide a curated showcase to shine the spotlight on their exceptional work. The innovation, creativity, and caliber of the entries exceeded our expectations and impressed the Grand and Executive Juries,” said Scott Rose, Executive Director of The Bowery Awards.
Intrepid Fox South Africa’s “Let’s Go Together” for client SportsHosts earned the inaugural Carol H. Williams Together For Better Award. The winning entry illustrates that families have been split down ideological and political lines and that there is a way to a common ground. Advertising Hall of Fame Recipient and Executive Jury member Carol H. Williams determined the winning entry from work submitted into the ‘Together For Better’ category that showcases work promoting unity and diversity.
Ms. Williams had this to say about the winning entry, “It’s a really excellent message to express the division in America today. Even in division one can find the love.”
The 2020 Bowery Awards Executive Jury awarded the following independents in their respective category groups with Grand Awards for their innovative work entered into the 2020 Bowery Awards:
DESIGN: Vic Lee United Kingdom: “Vic Lee’s Corona Diary 2020
Vic Lee’s Corona Diary 2020 earned the Grand Award for the illustrated daily journal he created when he initially heard about the COVID-19 virus in January 2020. The illustrator detailed his experiences in a 5-6-month period and published 100-page journal of illustrated stories that sold out of the 2,500 books published in just 7 weeks. Vic’s diary gained a reputation as a keepsake, a genuine and original piece of artistic work that captured a moment in our lifetime.
FILM: Pepi Ginsberg USA: “Bad Candy” IssaRoy Pictures LLC
Grand Award-winning Director Pepi Ginsberg’s film “Bad Candy” tells the tale of a seasoned grifter, portrayed by Orange is the New Black actress Constance Schulman, as she maneuvers her way through a series of near hits and misses in life, always staying true to her code.
Two innovative entries were honored with for Grand Awards in the category group, Quarantine Content “Behind the Mask” UN Woman and “Creatives for Kitchens” tied for the award in this year’s category offering showcasing creative work related to the 2020 COVID-19 quarantine or made under lockdown remotely.
QUARANTINE CONTENT: Soda Producciones Venezuela: “Behind the Mask” UN Woman (TIE)
The Grand-winning entry #BehindTheMask shows the terrible reality faced by millions of women in the world facing abuse. More than 243 million women have been victims of sexual and or physical abuse by their romantic partner in the last 12 months in the world.
QUARANTINE CONTENT: Creatives for Kitchens: Creatives for Kitchens USA: “Creatives for Kitchens” (TIE)
Christine Clayton’s, Grand award-winning charitable initiative Creatives for Kitchens was formed in May of 2020. Creatives for Kitchens connects over 400 volunteer creative professionals with restaurants affected by the COVID-19 lockdown. The award-winning project matches creatives to restaurants who have signed up for help. to provide pro-bono creative for light touch updates for items such as menus, copy, signage, and websites.
To view the 2020 Bowery Awards Winners, visit: HERE