As the world ushers in the Fourth Industrial Revolution riding on the crest of digital innovation, automation, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, technology is set to disrupt and radically impact the way we live, work, access information and consume goods, services and entertainment in the city.
For example, fintech is slated to be one of the most disruptive technologies that is poised to change how the world banks, insures, transacts and trades in the 21st Century. At the same time, digital content creators are disrupting the way we consume entertainment, moving beyond films and television. Improved access to information allows commuters a smoother ride to and from work, while the transport system can be optimised using big data; and local government made more easily accessible through digital means, while also being able to gather data for evidence-based policy-making.
With this in mind, the Observer Research Foundation, India’s leading non-profit, independent, multidisciplinary public policy think tank, presents Mumbai Tech Talk. An inclusive multi-stakeholder platform, Mumbai Tech Talk will explore, discuss and debate how Mumbai and other Indian cities should prepare to exploit the numerous opportunities that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will provide. It will explore the role of, and opportunities for, technologies and innovation in transformations across different aspects of urban life. Seeing these possibilities through the urban lens, this series will discuss how these transformations should be tailored to improve quality of life in Urban India.
While the lens is on Mumbai and other Indian cities, the broader aim is to understand the role of technology in the transformation of mega cities in India and the Global South.
The Mumbai Tech Talk series will engage and bring together stakeholders and communities across disparate sectors, and spheres including academia, private sector, civil society, think-tanks and the public sector, through quarterly expert talks, panel discussions and workshops.
India’s cultural and creative industries are changing rapidly with the advent of new technologies, and video streaming services are at the center of this revolution. In just one year (2017-18), the Indian media and entertainment industry grew by 13 percent to reach $ 23.9 billion. In 2019, the filmed entertainment sector is estimated at $ 2.8 billion, while the digital video content sector is expected to grow to $3.21 billion.
Mumbai Tech Talk will explore innovative business models that can help keep digital media successful, while providing affordable content by tapping into new delivery media. It will also seek to address the challenge of catering to the growing regional language audience in India, in this era of digital evolution.
Currently, a majority of Indian streaming services bank on subscription and advertising for their revenues. For now, telecom companies are aggregating content and bundling video streaming subscriptions to get more data subscribers. However, this isn’t sustainable in the long run. The industry will have to think of creative ways to monetise their content and create long-term sustainable models. Newer models are necessary as piracy is on the rise again as more streaming services get exclusive rights to shows and users cannot keep signing up for more subscriptions. Thus, while it is the golden age for content creators, industry experts have yet to figure out what really works. It might be worth experimenting with the ‘glocal approach’, and promote shows and movies from regional languages to reach a larger audience. This gives India an ideal opportunity to build its soft power through entertainment on the global stage.
It is against this backdrop, the Mumbai Tech Talk will seek to identify ways and means to grow India’s vibrant digital video ecosystem.