27 October 2020 11:08

MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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Considers how consumer dynamics have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and how consumer's relationship with digital services such as messaging apps and group calling has shifted.

COVID-19 is having a profound effect on just about every aspect of our lives; the impacts are far from over and could be compounded as many nations hover on the brink of a second wave of the pandemic. This makes now a critical juncture to consider how consumer dynamics have changed during the course of the pandemic so far, how the consumer relationship with digital services has shifted, and what worries consumers most about the future. In 1H20, Omdia conducted a survey among consumers in the UK, US, and China and a forthcoming report explores these issues and more, surfacing insights that will help service providers, vendors, and other stakeholders better navigate uncharted terrain.

Usage of digital services has risen across the board during the pandemic, in some cases, to a dramatic degree. Group video conferencing services have received a huge boost as millions of employees and students have become home workers and learners. Over half of our COVID-19 survey respondents have increased their use of group video calling services. At the same time, a high proportion of consumers are using messaging apps more as a result of COVID-19, underlining the central role that these apps play in consumers’ daily lives. Indeed, for China and the UK, usage of messaging apps is even more amplified than group video calling. This is likely because messaging apps also enable VoIP and video calling, including group calling.

Lockdowns, travel restrictions, and social distancing has had a catastrophic impact on physical retail but has benefited e-commerce as more consumers than ever before shop online. The survey underscores these shifting dynamics, with 53% of respondents having increased online shopping for non-grocery products during the pandemic, while 42% have done likewise for groceries.

COVID-19 has confined people to their homes for prolonged periods, with expanded time on their hands and the need for resources to keep them occupied and entertained. In these circumstances, it is not surprising that over half of survey respondents have increased their usage of online video subscription services. Omdia predicts total number of subscriptions to online video services such as Netflix will be 3–8% higher in 2020 than predicted by our pre-COVID-19 forecasts, passing 1 billion and generating $65–68bn in revenue.

Although surges in digital service usage will be expected to normalize as COVID-19 subsides, between a quarter to just over a third of respondents intend to maintain increased usage levels for news and health information, online shopping, online video subscription services, and group video conferencing. This is a highly significant boost for the services in question. Plans to maintain increased usage for other services such are less dramatic, notably apps to help with home working and education. This likely because as COVID-19 abates, more people assume they will be back in the office or in the classroom.

When it comes to the bigger picture, people are most acutely concerned about the negative impact of COVID-19 on the economy, how long the pandemic will last, ability of health services to cope, and government competency. These fears will be amplified as we face a second wave of the pandemic and particularly for many people in the UK and US, which according to the Omdia survey are far less confident than Chinese respondents that their governments will lead them out of the crisis.



Delivery of virtual pay TV and aggregated OTT video via telco-branded streaming devices and big-name tech/CE vendor platforms is on the rise. The shift away from set-top box will reduce costs and expand reach.

The long-running debate around the future of the set-top box (STB) continues, and while most pay-TV distributors are adapting to the online world via hybrid platform implementations, a growing number are preparing for (or accelerating their migration to) a predominantly streaming delivery environment.

A substantial number of telcos—including market leaders as well as those with limited pay-TV presence—have deployed branded streaming media devices as an alternative to the traditional STB, and Omdia’s research shows that such implementations are on the rise, particularly among MNOs and fixed broadband providers. Service providers for whom traditional pay-TV plays a substantial role within their overall service portfolio tend to opt for hybrid STB platforms, whereas several lower-tier players have deployed either streaming-only devices, or streamers with embedded decoders (typically DTT tuners in Australia and Italy for example, and DTH in India). Among the two major US deployments of proprietary streaming pay-TV device platforms, Comcast’s Xfinity Flex is currently confined to its existing fixed broadband footprint, but could readily be extended off-net, while AT&T has made clear its intention to gradually migrate the DirecTV customer base to the AT&T TV streaming service it launched in March.

As telcos and other video entertainment distributors experiment with hybrid and streaming-only device platforms, many are taking strides towards a “box-free” scenario, where pay-TV—or virtual pay-TV—services are delivered directly via apps to standard tech-vendor’s branded CE devices. In some cases, access via these devices is enabled as a multiroom alternative, while in others it serves as an STB replacement. Besides the ever-growing list of big-name smart TV models that carry operators’ online TV service apps, popular streaming-only platforms such as Apple TV 4K and Amazon Fire TV are increasingly being adopted by operators as an alternative delivery channel. By June of this year, Telefónica España’s Movistar+ pay-TV offering was being accessed via around 2 million connected TV devices (in addition to 3.5 million regular STBs) each month.

Recognizing consumers’ growing preference for popular tech device brands, some telcos are looking to cement loyalty by providing these directly to their customers with attractive financial terms. EE bundles Apple TV4K devices free with their video or broadband subscriptions, Proximus offers them at a discount (€69) ($80.9) to multiplay customers, while in France, Bouygues is selling smart TV sets from €49.

Bezeq (Israel), Telenor (Denmark), SFR (France), and Sunrise (Switzerland), are among the growing list of telcos enabling long-term, interest-free payment plans (along with carrier billing) for streaming devices and smart TV sets. Such measures are an effective tactic for locking customers into a minimum contract period and securing deeper and longer-lasting service commitments.


Dentsu International has now entrusted Gautam Mehra, currently CEO, dentsu Programmatic & Chief Data Officer, dentsu - South Asia, with the additional charge of Chief Data & Product Officer - Asia Pacific (APAC) with immediate effect.

He has been assigned to this new role with the intent to build a strong and unified APAC data and product offering across the dentsu network. Based in Mumbai, Gautam will report into Zhengda Shen, President of Merkle APAC for his additional role.

Over the years, Gautam has been responsible for driving the data quotient for dentsu across India and South Asia, both internally and with clients. Notably, he led the creation of dentsu’s proprietary adtech product, the dentsu Marketing Cloud ecosystem – a cohesive system that brings together a slew of dentsu proprietary ecosystems such as the Facebook Marketing Partner (Ad-Tech) Badged DMC Explore, dentsu Play, dentsu TrueValue and other proprietary mar-tech tools used in over 32 markets globally. He has also led the unification of the Data Sciences and Amnet teams to create dentsu Programmatic, the leading programmatic player in India today.

Gautam started his career 20 years ago with his entrepreneurial venture, which was one of the first Web Development firms in India. Over the years, he did several stints in digital advertising working with the top brands in the country such as Viacom, Government of India, Standard Chartered Bank and Microsoft. In 2013, he joined dentsu following the acquisition of Communicate2 and led the Social & Display businesses of iProspect, the leading performance marketing and search agency of the country. Subsequently in 2016, he took on the role of Chief Data Officer for South Asia and has driven the groups data narrative in the sub-region.

On the appointment, Ashish Bhasin, dentsu Asia Pacific CEO said, “Data is central to our business strategy and the ability to handle data well and utilize it to its full capacity is critical in fine tuning way of reaching, interacting, and causing a reaction from the consumers; it ensures advertising efforts are in the right direction.”

“Having Gautam drive this data agenda for us is crucial in the era of data explosion. He has earned a reputation of developing and delivering highly innovative data-led initiatives while embodying the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurism. This is a well-deserved promotion and I look forward to working closely with him,” Ashish added.

Zhengda Shen, President of Merkle APAC said, “Organizations are constantly challenged to evolve with agility and speed and adapt to ever changing consumer dynamics. Providing leadership for clients by integrating data, media, content and technology to navigate through this shifting landscape is a critical function of agencies. Gautam’s track record for driving innovations and developing globally scaled solutions makes him perfectly placed to help our clients in the region and to ensure that dentsu international continues to lead through innovation.”

Gautam said, “There are almost no limits to what we can uncover by studying consumer behavior and their interplay with brands. I’m excited to apply my leadership, knowledge, and experience in delivering globally adopted tech driven products and solutions to further the data-driven culture of dentsu international and to build the practice across APAC, further cementing our dominance in this area within the region in using cutting edge technology to solve everyday client challenges.”

To announce winners on Oct 4

Garnering a staggering number of over 42,000 responses, the one-of-its-kind engagement drivewill end on a glamorous note with Bhojpuri superstars Chintu Pandey and Gunjan Pant announcing winners on a special half-an-hour show on Sunday, Oct 4, at 11:30 am

On the occasion of Dance Day (September 19), ZEE Biskope presented fans with a unique dancing treat in the form of its recently-curated engagement drive – Kamariya Kare Hip Hop. Taking the channel experience far beyond the realm of their blockbuster movies, the initiative, a category first, reached out to audiences located even in the most interior of regions. The channel launched a rap version of their brand song composed by 5 Tricks – a rap group from Bihar. Viewers were invited to perform on the rap song and share their videos with the brand through their Whatsapp number. Encouraging people to put their best foot forward, show their passion for dance and shake a leg, the immense appeal of Kamariya Kare Hip Hop saw it receive a terrific tally of more than 42,000 responses. This humungous response has a milestone moment in the channel’s legacy yet again.

Leaving no stone unturned towards celebrating the resounding success of the campaign, the channel has now come up with a special half-an-hour original show for its viewers on Sunday, October 4 at 11:30 amwhich will be hosted by none other than the celebrated Bhojiwood superstars — Chintu Pandey and Gunjan Pant. The show will not only feature the winning videos but will also project the significance of dance in Bhojpuri movies and how celebs have banked on it to entertain audience. Viewers will get to see the latkas, jhatkas & thumkas of their favourite superstars and the shake a leg with the channel’s brand song rap. The energetic Jodi of Chintu & Gunjan will entertain the audience with their superlative chemistry highlighting the charisma that the initiative has achieved. It’ll be a groovy joyride on a Sunday morning.

Making the day all the more entertaining for viewers, a special movie festival ‘Lachke Kamariya Nache Bhojpuriya’ has been curated. The movie line-up with ‘dance’ being the core theme will featurethree tantalizing movies for viewers to enjoy onOct 4. The festival start sat 9:00 AM with ‘Nirahua Satal Rahe’ featuring the popular jodiof Nirahua and Amrapali Dubey matching steps on some peppy dance numbers.It will be followed by ‘Challenge’ at 12 Noon featuring Pawan Singh &Madhu Sharma. Next in the line will be Deewanapan, yet another blockbuster in 3:00 PM slot which features KhesariLalYadav& KajalRaghwani.

Speaking about the success of the KamariyaKare Hip Hop, Samrat Ghosh, Cluster Head East, ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd said, “The monumental response received for Kamariya Kare Hip Hop in just a few days is a testament to the consumer centrism in curating unique offerings that viewers not just relate to, but actively participate in. A digital contest extending to TV platform with an original showis a unique way to engage with our viewers while capitalizing on the strengths of both the mediums. It’s an attempt to make the brand accessible to the viewers providing them with a platform to showcase their talent.”

Sharing his thoughts about the same, Amarpreet Singh Saini, Business Head, ZEE Biskope and Big Ganga said, “Since its inception, ZEE Biskope has been differentiated, curated and engaged with novelty at its core. It’s the first channel in the category which extends movie experience beyond mere viewership to up close and facilitates personal involvement of viewers with the brand. Keeping that promise, Kamariya Kare Hip Hop contest’s finale has been given an original show format with popular starcast for the first time ever. We believe theshow will elevate the entertainment quotient of our viewers taking them for a hip-hop joyride.”

KamariyaKare Hip Hop is all set to stage its finale on the coming Sunday as participants across the region will stay glued to their TV screens hoping to see their videos featuring on the channel. ZEE Biskope is available on Airtel (channel no 663), Tata Sky (channel no 1120), DEN Bihar(channel no 840), DEN Jharkhand (channel no 839), DD Free Dish (channel no 31), d2h (channel no 859), Dish TV (channel no 1555), Siti Cable (channel no 214) and Darsh Digital (channel no 189). It’ll soon be available on all other major cable platforms.

Stay tuned and make the most of entertainment only with ZEE Biskope.

Fans get up close with Sima. We list down some exclusive anecdotes from Sima’s virtual party at Inorbit Malad

The landmark of Malad, Inorbit mall had a surprise visitor. Known for her overnight fame with the show “Indian Matchmaking” that was aired on Netflix – renowned celebrity match maker Sima Taparia was spotted at the mall exploring the latest trends in footwear, potlis and scarfs. Sima’s style statement is a kurta with a scarf. Sima has a fetish for footwear, scarfs and purses and she ensures that whenever she goes out shopping these three are on her list. When it comes to favourite colors, pastel shades are her favourite. She also has an eye for good fine jewellery.

Post shopping, Sima not only interacted live with her fans from Inorbit Malad but also shared some unknown facts about her. We share some anecdotes from the virtual party.

The proud Mumbaikar says life took a complete 360 degree turn when Indian Matchmaking released on Netflix. Post the tremendous response to the show, Sima was flooded with close to 2000 calls and 5000 emails. The bug of match making bit Sima in 2005 where she did her first match making for one of her relative, post which she realized that the society needed such kind of a consulting when it comes to choosing your life partner.

Imparting the success mantra to her fans she says it is all about balancing your personal life and professional life & give your 100% in whatever you do. On being asked what it take to be a successful match maker, she says “One must have the passion for match making and the ability to understand the personality of an individual. It is her unique ability to understand her audience that instantly establishes the connection. Being passionate to her profession, Sima has evolved as an inspiration to many.

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