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Manager
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Joined: 27 Sep 2015
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Stanford’s Future of Media Conference  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2018, 14:02
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: Stanford’s Future of Media Conference
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
Manager
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Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 107
Schools: Stanford '14
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Product Management for Startups = People Management  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2018, 13:02
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: Product Management for Startups = People Management
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I’ve held several product management roles in very diverse settings over the past four years. I led the development of an influencer marketing platform for a European adtech company, managed two very different Stanford-based startup teams (one primarily designer-led in ed-tech space and another engineer-led in the healthcare sector) and worked with the UK government, a large charity and an impact investor to design and launch an incubator for public services in the UK.
In each of these roles, no matter how different the actual work, teams, and outcomes we were working towards, what worked- in terms of allowing us to align on a vision, undertake deep need-finding exercises, build prototypes, work together effectively and ensure that we released our product on time- was always the same.
These are my key lessons:
Keep the product roadmap as simple as possible + get buy-in early
Your product will keep evolving: you will never get it to be perfect. Your role is to build a common vision across very different teams, keep things moving, align teams, solve problems and get buy-in.
To do all those things, all day, everyday, you need to keep the product and process as simple as possible. Particularly when each team you work with has its own vocabulary, culture and norms. Ensure all your stakeholders agree on what the bare minimum viable product looks like- and that this version is genuinely usable. You can dress it up later.
Manage towards outcomes: build trust
Your role isn’t to tell people what to do: it’s to facilitate your teams. Create a set of project team norms and values for each product that you work on, that are continuously reinforced. Be friends with the people you work with. Take your teams out for dinner and drinks, get to know them personally. Get their buy in. Understand what excites them, stops them, or frustrates them. Protect them and remove obstacles. Don’t control the process. Give people the freedom to create. Inspire and motivate them. Then leave them to it.
Over-communicate: it’s not obvious to everyone
Getting buy in across teams is not easy. Your role is to be the trusted confidante. You should be the first one to know if something is going wrong; or if a deadline is going to slip. Your team needs to know exactly what is expected of them; and why. Deliver bad news upfront and early. Stay direct. Ask for and give feedback regularly.
User perspective + empathy: it doesn’t matter what you think
User design is always much complicated than it seems on the surface. You will never get it right. It can always be better. Don’t get dragged down a rabbit hole. Don’t get distracted by the way things look. There are no right answers. Continuously put yourself in the user’s shoes and design for them. Make sure the experience is simple, easy + intuitive- if not delightful.
Move fast: decision-making & measurement
You can collect as much data while you’re developing a product.In the end, you’re going to have to make some calls that are unscientific: based on your gut, instinct and qualitative feedback. Act quickly and decisively. You role is to say no, cut out the bullshit and keep going.
BUT make sure that you’re continuously refining your KPIs- and that you invest in defining what data you want to collect from your users upfront before you release each iteration of your product. You want to balance releasing a version of your product with being able to test whether it is actually ‘working’- and feel free to get a little creative in defining what ‘working’ means.
Prioritisation: say no
You’re not going to be able to put out every fire, or keep every stakeholder (the design, engineering, client and senior management teams) happy at all times. Balance the urgent v/s the important: don’t lose sight of what you’re end goal is. It’s okay to say no, as long as as a team, you’re still heading where you want to go.
Stay authentic: do what works for you
Genuine leadership is an exercise in influence: understanding what motivates people, getting people with very different perspectives and backgrounds to align on a single vision, and work together, and then carrying your team across the finish line. Use your own style to make it work.
Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
Manager
Manager
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Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 107
Schools: Stanford '14
Reviews Badge
Product Management + Startups = People Management  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2018, 16:02
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: Product Management + Startups = People Management
Image
I’ve held several product management roles in diverse settings over the past four years. I led the development of an influencer marketing platform for a European adtech company, co-founded and managed two very different Stanford-based startup teams (one primarily designer-led in the ed-tech space and another engineer-led in the healthcare sector) and worked with the UK government, a large charity and an impact investor to design and launch an incubator for public services in the UK.
In each of these roles, no matter how different the actual work, teams and outcomes we were working towards, what ‘worked’- in terms of allowing us to align on a vision, undertake deep need-finding exercises, build prototypes, work together effectively and ensure that we released our product on time- was always the same.
These are my key lessons:
Keep the product roadmap as simple as possible + get buy-in early
Your product will keep evolving: you will never get it to be perfect. Your role is to build a common vision across different teams, keep things moving, align teams, solve problems and get buy-in.
To do all those things, all day, everyday, you need to keep the product and process as simple as possible. Particularly when each team you work with has its own vocabulary, culture and norms. Ensure all your stakeholders agree on what the bare minimum viable product looks like- and that this version is genuinely usable. You can dress it up later.
Manage towards outcomes: build trust
Your role isn’t to tell people what to do: it’s to facilitate your teams. Create a set of project team norms and values for each product that you work on, that are continuously reinforced. Be friends with the people you work with. Take your teams out for dinner and drinks, get to know them personally. Get their buy in. Understand what excites them, stops them, or frustrates them. Protect them and remove obstacles. Don’t control the process. Give people the freedom to create. Inspire and motivate them. Then leave them to it.
Over-communicate: it’s never obvious
Getting buy in across teams is not easy. Your role is to be the trusted confidante. You should be the first one to know if something is going wrong; or if a deadline is going to slip. Your team needs to know exactly what is expected of them; and why. Deliver bad news upfront and early. Stay direct. Ask for and give feedback regularly.
User perspective + empathy: it doesn’t matter what you think
User design is always much complicated than it seems on the surface. You will never get it right. It can always be better. Don’t get dragged down a rabbit hole, or get distracted by the way things look. There are no right answers. Continuously put yourself in the user’s shoes- by actually asking them what they need/want + also observing how they interact with the product- and then design the product specifically for whichever segment you’re initially targeting. Make sure the experience is simple, easy + intuitive- if not delightful.
Move fast: decision-making & measurement
Run the tests. Let the data speak first. But while you can always collect more data while you’re developing a product, in the end, you’re going to have to make some calls that are unscientific: based on your gut, instinct and qualitative feedback. Act quickly and decisively. You role is to say no, cut out the bullshit and keep going.
On the other hand, sure that you’re continuously refining your KPIs- and that you invest in defining what data you want to collect from your users early on, and revise this before you release each iteration of your product. You want to balance releasing a version of your product with being able to test whether it is actually ‘working’. Also, feel free to get (a little) creative in defining what ‘working’ means.
Prioritisation: say no
You’re not going to be able to put out every fire, or keep every stakeholder (the design, engineering, client and senior management teams) happy at all times. Balance the urgent v/s the important: don’t lose sight of what you’re end goal is. It’s okay to say no, as long as as a team, you’re still heading where you want to go.
Stay authentic: do what works for you
Real leadership is an exercise in influence: understanding what motivates people, getting people with very different perspectives and backgrounds to align on a single vision, and work together, and then carrying your team across the finish line. Use your own style to make it work.
Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
Manager
Manager
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Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 107
Schools: Stanford '14
Reviews Badge
What No One Tells You Product Management  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2018, 18:01
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: What No One Tells You Product Management
What No One Tells You About Product ManagementImage
Product management + startups = people managementI’ve held several product management roles in diverse settings over the past four years. I led the development of an influencer marketing platform for a European adtech company, co-founded and managed two very different Stanford-based startup teams (one primarily designer-led in the ed-tech space and another engineer-led in the healthcare sector) and worked with the UK government, a large charity and an impact investor to design and launch an incubator for public services in the UK.
In each of these roles, no matter how different the actual work, teams and outcomes we were working towards, what ‘worked’- in terms of allowing us to align on a vision, undertake deep need-finding exercises, build prototypes, work together effectively and ensure that we released our product on time- was always the same.
These are my key lessons:
Keep the product roadmap as simple as possible + get buy-in early
Your product will keep evolving: you will never get it to be perfect. Your role is to build a common vision across different teams, keep things moving, align teams, solve problems and get buy-in.
To do all those things, all day, everyday, you need to keep the product and process as simple as possible. Particularly when each team you work with has its own vocabulary, culture and norms. Ensure all your stakeholders agree on what the bare minimum viable product looks like- and that this version is genuinely usable. You can dress it up later.
Manage towards outcomes: build trust
Your role isn’t to tell people what to do: it’s to facilitate your teams. Create a set of project team norms and values for each product that you work on, that are continuously reinforced. Be friends with the people you work with. Take your teams out for dinner and drinks, get to know them personally. Get their buy in. Understand what excites them, stops them, or frustrates them. Protect them and remove obstacles. Don’t control the process. Give people the freedom to create. Inspire and motivate them. Then leave them to it.
Over-communicate: it’s never obvious
Getting buy in across teams is not easy. Your role is to be the trusted confidante. You should be the first one to know if something is going wrong; or if a deadline is going to slip. Your team needs to know exactly what is expected of them; and why. Deliver bad news upfront and early. Stay direct. Ask for and give feedback regularly.
User perspective + empathy: it doesn’t matter what you think
User design is always much complicated than it seems on the surface. You will never get it right. It can always be better. Don’t get dragged down a rabbit hole, or get distracted by the way things look. There are no right answers. Continuously put yourself in the user’s shoes- by actually asking them what they need/want + also observing how they interact with the product- and then design the product specifically for whichever segment you’re initially targeting. Make sure the experience is simple, easy + intuitive- if not delightful.
Move fast: decision-making & measurement
Run the tests. Let the data speak first. But while you can always collect more data while you’re developing a product, in the end, you’re going to have to make some calls that are unscientific: based on your gut, instinct and qualitative feedback. Act quickly and decisively. You role is to say no, cut out the bullshit and keep going.
On the other hand, sure that you’re continuously refining your KPIs- and that you invest in defining what data you want to collect from your users early on, and revise this before you release each iteration of your product. You want to balance releasing a version of your product with being able to test whether it is actually ‘working’. Also, feel free to get (a little) creative in defining what ‘working’ means.
Prioritisation: say no
You’re not going to be able to put out every fire, or keep every stakeholder (the design, engineering, client and senior management teams) happy at all times. Balance the urgent v/s the important: don’t lose sight of what you’re end goal is. It’s okay to say no, as long as as a team, you’re still heading where you want to go.
Stay authentic: do what works for you
Real leadership is an exercise in influence: understanding what motivates people, getting people with very different perspectives and backgrounds to align on a single vision, and work together, and then carrying your team across the finish line. Use your own style to make it work.
Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 107
Schools: Stanford '14
Reviews Badge
What No One Tells You About Being a Product Manager  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2018, 19:02
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: What No One Tells You About Being a Product Manager
Image
Product management + startups = people managementI’ve held several product management roles in diverse settings over the past four years. I led the development of an influencer marketing platform for a European adtech company, co-founded and managed two very different Stanford-based startup teams (one primarily designer-led in the ed-tech space and another engineer-led in the healthcare sector) and worked with the UK government, a large charity, a global infrastructure company and an impact investor to design and launch an incubator for public services in the UK.
In each of these roles, no matter how different the actual work, teams and outcomes we were working towards, what ‘worked’- in terms of allowing us to align on a vision, undertake deep need-finding exercises, build prototypes, work together effectively and ensure that we released our product on time- was always the same.
These are my key lessons:
Keep the product roadmap as simple as possible + get buy-in early
Your product will keep evolving: you will never get it to be perfect. Your role is to build a common vision across different teams, keep things moving, align teams, solve problems and get buy-in.
To do all those things, all day, everyday, you need to keep the product and process as simple as possible. Particularly when each team you work with has its own vocabulary, culture and norms. Ensure all your stakeholders agree on what the bare minimum viable product looks like- and that this version is genuinely usable. You can dress it up later.
Manage towards outcomes: build trust
Your role isn’t to tell people what to do: it’s to facilitate your teams. Create a set of project team norms and values for each product that you work on, that are continuously reinforced. Be friends with the people you work with. Take your teams out for dinner and drinks, get to know them personally. Get their buy in. Understand what excites them, stops them, or frustrates them. Protect them and remove obstacles. Don’t control the process. Give people the freedom to create. Inspire and motivate them. Then leave them to it.
Over-communicate: it’s never obvious
Getting buy in across teams is not easy. Your role is to be the trusted confidante. You should be the first one to know if something is going wrong; or if a deadline is going to slip. Your team needs to know exactly what is expected of them; and why. Deliver bad news upfront and early. Stay direct. Ask for and give feedback regularly.
User perspective + empathy: it doesn’t matter what you think
User design is always much complicated than it seems on the surface. You will never get it right. It can always be better. Don’t get dragged down a rabbit hole, or get distracted by the way things look. There are no right answers. Continuously put yourself in the user’s shoes- by actually asking them what they need/want + also observing how they interact with the product- and then design the product specifically for whichever segment you’re initially targeting. Make sure the experience is simple, easy + intuitive- if not delightful.
Move fast: decision-making & measurement
Run the tests. Let the data speak first. But while you can always collect more data while you’re developing a product, in the end, you’re going to have to make some calls that are unscientific: based on your gut, instinct and qualitative feedback. Act quickly and decisively. You role is to say no, cut out the bullshit and keep going.
On the other hand, sure that you’re continuously refining your KPIs- and that you invest in defining what data you want to collect from your users early on, and revise this before you release each iteration of your product. You want to balance releasing a version of your product with being able to test whether it is actually ‘working’. Also, feel free to get (a little) creative in defining what ‘working’ means.
Prioritisation: say no
You’re not going to be able to put out every fire, or keep every stakeholder (the design, engineering, client and senior management teams) happy at all times. Balance the urgent v/s the important: don’t lose sight of what you’re end goal is. It’s okay to say no, as long as as a team, you’re still heading where you want to go.
Stay authentic: do what works for you
Real leadership is an exercise in influence: understanding what motivates people, getting people with very different perspectives and backgrounds to align on a single vision, and work together, and then carrying your team across the finish line. Use your own style to make it work.
Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 107
Schools: Stanford '14
Reviews Badge
What No One Tells You About Being a Product Manager  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Mar 2018, 06:01
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: What No One Tells You About Being a Product Manager
Image
Product management + startups = people managementI’ve held several diverse product management roles* over the past four years. In each of these roles, no matter how different the actual work, teams and outcomes we were working towards, what ‘worked’- in terms of allowing us to align on a vision, undertake deep need-finding exercises, build prototypes, work together effectively and ensure that we released our product on time- was always the same.
These are my key lessons:
Keep the product roadmap as simple as possible + get buy-in early
Your product will keep evolving: you will never get it to be perfect. Your role is to build a common vision across different teams, keep things moving, align teams, solve problems and get buy-in.
To do all those things, all day, everyday, you need to keep the product and process as simple as possible. Particularly when each team you work with has its own vocabulary, culture and norms. Ensure all your stakeholders agree on what the bare minimum viable product looks like- and that this version is genuinely usable. You can dress it up later.
Manage towards outcomes: build trust
Your role isn’t to tell people what to do: it’s to facilitate your teams. Create a set of project team norms and values for each product that you work on, that are continuously reinforced. Be friends with the people you work with. Take your teams out for dinner and drinks, get to know them personally. Get their buy in. Understand what excites them, stops them, or frustrates them. Protect them and remove obstacles. Don’t control the process. Give people the freedom to create. Inspire and motivate them. Then leave them to it.
Over-communicate: it’s never obvious
Getting buy in across teams is not easy. Your role is to be the trusted confidante. You should be the first one to know if something is going wrong; or if a deadline is going to slip. Your team needs to know exactly what is expected of them; and why. Deliver bad news upfront and early. Stay direct. Ask for and give feedback regularly.
User perspective + empathy: it doesn’t matter what you think
User design is always much complicated than it seems on the surface. You will never get it right. It can always be better. Don’t get dragged down a rabbit hole, or get distracted by the way things look. There are no right answers. Continuously put yourself in the user’s shoes- by actually asking them what they need/want + also observing how they interact with the product- and then design the product specifically for whichever segment you’re initially targeting. Make sure the experience is simple, easy + intuitive- if not delightful.
Move fast: decision-making & measurement
Run the tests. Let the data speak first. But while you can always collect more data while you’re developing a product, in the end, you’re going to have to make some calls that are unscientific: based on your gut, instinct and qualitative feedback. Act quickly and decisively. You role is to say no, cut out the bullshit and keep going.
On the other hand, sure that you’re continuously refining your KPIs- and that you invest in defining what data you want to collect from your users early on, and revise this before you release each iteration of your product. You want to balance releasing a version of your product with being able to test whether it is actually ‘working’. Also, feel free to get (a little) creative in defining what ‘working’ means.
Prioritisation: say no
You’re not going to be able to put out every fire, or keep every stakeholder (the design, engineering, client and senior management teams) happy at all times. Balance the urgent v/s the important: don’t lose sight of what you’re end goal is. It’s okay to say no, as long as as a team, you’re still heading where you want to go.
Stay authentic: do what works for you
Real leadership is an exercise in influence: understanding what motivates people, getting people with very different perspectives and backgrounds to align on a single vision, and work together, and then carrying your team across the finish line. Use your own style to make it work.

*I led the development of an influencer marketing platform for a European adtech company, managed two very different Stanford-based startup teams (one primarily designer-led in the ed-tech space and another engineer-led in the healthcare sector) and worked with the UK government, a large charity and an impact investor to design and launch an incubator for public services in the UK.
Image
What No One Tells You About Being a Product Manager was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
Manager
Manager
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Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 107
Schools: Stanford '14
Reviews Badge
What I Learned as a Second Year Stanford MBA Student  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2018, 19:01
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: What I Learned as a Second Year Stanford MBA Student
Image
Doing an MBA is like drinking from a firehouse. You will have more opportunities- in terms of internships, jobs, classes, friendships and travel- come your way than you can imagine. The two years are a gift. But learning what options to ignore, and what to chase, is an art.
I’m incredibly grateful to have had the chance to study at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. I’ve learned more in the past 18 months, professionally and personally, than I thought was possible. These are my key takeaways on making the most of the MBA program.
Focus: pick a topic, sector, person, question
Build a brand- or rebrand professionally- particularly if you’re looking to change geographies, functions or industries. Use that lens to choose your classes, internships and club leadership experience. Once you’re known as the ‘fill in the blank’ person, you’ll start getting opportunities passed your way, without you having to do any of the ground work. Don’t underestimate how amazingly thoughtful + well connected your classmates are.
Get some real-life work experience on the side
It’s hard to truly absorb everything you’re learning, no matter how phenomenal the classes or speakers, until you try and apply it yourself. I wouldn’t have gotten half as much as I did from the program, if I hadn’t worked on startups and done a second internship. Not only does this allow you to develop practical skills: this is an entirely risk-free time. You can be as experimental as you want with your side projects. I had the chance to work on two wildly different startups, with two wildly different teams*, and loved having the chance to learn from both.
Don’t forget the professors
Invest in your coursework: this is your chance to build a relationship with some stellar thought leaders. Take your professors out for coffee or lunch: if you can, do a research project or write a paper with them. This gives you the incredible ability to to call up or meet whoever you want, in order to answer a question of your choosing. Doing an independent study on the rapidly evolving digital media landscape in India with Stanford’s ex-Dean was one of my most professionally meaningful experiences at the GSB.
See yourself from a distance
You will be given the chance to reflect, ask yourself what you truly want to do with your life, and develop self-awareness, through your classes, workshops and classmates. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Ask your peers for feedback regularly: they can often see your strengths and weaknesses more clearly than you can.
I had the chance to deliver a TALK (a GSB institution, where every week, a classmate delivers a highly personal 30 minute reflection of the key events that have shaped them, to hundreds of other classmates). It was incredibly difficult to write and deliver, and painful at times, but the event will undoubtedly be one of the first things I will remember ten years down the line. This community will perhaps be the most supportive + collaborative one that you will ever experience. Let yourself fall: you will be caught.
Organise a trek, conference or trip
I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to organise a trip or conference, given all the administrative hassle associated with the process, until I Co-Chaired Stanford’s Future of Media Conference this year. The logistics were definitely as painful as I’d expected, but the upside, in terms of the lessons I learned around teamwork, branding, facilitation and operations was so much greater.
Travel, host dinners and go out
Make room for spontaneity, and to truly have fun. You don’t have to plan every day. Your classmates are the biggest gift of these two years. They will change the way you see the world, and yourself. You’ve no doubt heard already heard that you will make friends that will last lifetime. This is true. But don’t forget to take an interest, and be generous + kind to the people you don’t know too. Build the community you want to be a part of.
Don’t follow the herd
Ultimately, each one of your classmates will have a unique experience, based on the choices they make. You can’t escape FOMO, but stay true to yourself. Spend your time the way you want to. Invest in what you consider meaningful. No one has the answer, because there isn’t one.
Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
Manager
Manager
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Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 107
Schools: Stanford '14
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You Can’t Go Home  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2018, 17:02
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: You Can’t Go Home
Image
You’re excited to move back to your home country, after living abroad for ten years. You’re enthusiastic about the potential to bring back new ideas, about the professional opportunities. You’re always stunned by how quickly your country is changing, in terms of consumption patterns and tastes when you visit. There’s so much left to be done and built.
But you’re also scared. Everything seems to stay the same, but you feel less at home every time you go back. You know you’ve changed. You make an effort to sound and look like your old self- and you do admittedly regress around your parents.
But you look at the world differently now. You value space and independence in a way that you didn’t know was possible, when you were growing up. You can’t help being bothered by the disregard people seem to have of boundaries. They seem so comfortable asking intimate details of your personal life, commenting on your appearance and life choices.
Why does no one seem to value time or space here? Maybe it’s because they’ve never experienced it themselves.You’re not being used to told what to do, who to meet or what to wear. When you talk about your professional ambitions, you’re asked who will take care of the house and/or your husband. Have you traveled back in time?
You’re often dismayed at how women are viewed in conversations- but they don’t seem to be upset themselves. The constant gender segregation at dinner tables, the fact that women are expected to go into the kitchen and serve the men at parties, when the men don’t lift a finger or acknowledge the effort, makes you angry. You’re almost beginning to miss the hidden, subtle sexism you’re used to facing.
You’re not here to solely support others. You intend to live life your life on your own terms. You consider speaking up. You share your thoughts with some of the women back home. But they can’t understand why you’re getting indignant on their behalf. They don’t want the choices you want them to have.
You know there is no right way to live. You tell yourself you don’t care what the community will think, but you’re watching and judging them too. Are you any better? You don’t want them to hold you to their standards, but you’re holding them to yours.
Not every decision or act is intended to be an act of rebellion. But maybe it needs to be.
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Startup Lessons at Stanford  [#permalink]

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New post 01 May 2018, 17:01
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: Startup Lessons at Stanford
I worked on two very different startups, with two very different teams, during my MBA at Stanford.
Image
Image
One team was focused on building a language learning platformfor first-generation immigrants, in order to help them build their confidence and speak English more frequently. We were based at Stanford’s d. school, focused deeply on need-finding using design thinking principles, and had two product designers and a computer science major on our team.
The other team’s goal was to build a non-invasive tool to help glaucoma patients measure their eye pressure, in order to proactively manage their condition, and prevent blindness. We were based at Stanford’s Engineering School, had two electrical engineers, a patent-holder and professor, and an economics major on the team.
I am very grateful for the diversity of experience and learning, but am also struck by how transferable the lessons I learned from these very different experiences are. These are my key takeaways:
Start somewhere: your product will never be ready
The starting point for both teams was different: on the first team, we had a blank sheet of paper, and began by defining user need. On the second team, we had a patented technology that we were trying to commercialise. Our level of fear, uncertainty and excitement differed based on our stage of development. However, surprisingly, this didn’t make as much difference as I thought it would to our day-to-day activities- except when it came to raising money.
You’re always going to have to continuously iterate and improve your product, no matter the stage you’re at: the challenge is ensuring you have enough time and resource to be able to fail fast, and developing a clear set of priorities of what you want to change and build over time, based on user feedback. Defining our minimum viable product was often one of the most challenging exercises we undertook at every stage.
Empathise with and delight your customers
Both teams used design thinking processes to understand consumer need, prototype and iterate, given that we were building consumer-focused software in both cases, and were aiming to help our users create new habits, albeit in very different contexts.
We were often surprised at how wrong our initial assumptions about our target consumers were, when we did in-depth consumer interviews to gain insight into their pain-points.
You have to be able to develop empathy with your users, and put yourself in their shoes when you’re trying to develop an understanding of their needs, or get feedback on your product. However, you also have to retain the ability to deviate from what they tell you they want- and surprise them- in the hope of delighting them- because they don’t always know what they want or need until they see it.
Great processes are easier to replicate than cultures
Both the teams I worked on very extremely high functioning. The diversity of skill-sets and perspectives, based on education, professional experience and nationality, greatly enhanced our productivity. However, the same factors also sometimes made seemingly straightforward tasks, such as scheduling interviews and gathering customer feedback, more difficult. We worked through this by agreeing upon team norms and values (such as being transparent, asking for and giving regular feedback, asking for help when needed) upfront. The importance of regularly discussing, repeating and reinforcing these principles will stick with me.
I also learned the importance of ensuring that the team had a shared vocabulary, was unafraid to ask ‘basic’ questions, and challenge the direction we were heading in: most of our mistakes were a direct result of miscommunication or ego.
People management matters as much as product management
At the start, I was insecure about my inability to code, given the strong engineering talent on the second team- but I quickly realised how much value I could add, through ensuring the team was working on a shared vision, that our work-streams were being actively managed and coordinated, and that we stayed aligned as a team across important and/or difficult decisions.
I learned that being able to read, motivate and manage people matters as much, if not at times more, than the product you’re building. You have to be able to influence stakeholders at every stage: you’re constantly selling your idea to existing and new customers, investors, potential hires and your team.
Mission matters
Both ventures had an ambitious mission- this also ended up being an importance force in attracting great people, and allowing us to stay aligned. If you begin by building a stellar team, who’s bought into the company’s mission, you can work together to execute on all the basic steps a startup needs to follow- such as choosing a target market, building and testing prototypes, and experimenting with business models. However, if you’re unable to motivate and align your team, it doesn’t matter how great your idea or product is.
Feedback is a gift: you’re a work in progress
If you can’t manage yourself, you can’t manage others. Being able to see yourself from a distance, continuously learn, hire for or delegate your weaknesses, and staying unemotional about your work matters. Your product will always be a work in progress: so will you.
We set up quarterly team feedback sessions for both teams: and I was always impressed at how much I learned about myself and others from these. These sessions also greatly helped build relationships within the team. They both helped clear the air when necessary, and build trust.
Image
Startup Lessons at Stanford was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Startup Adventures at Stanford  [#permalink]

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New post 01 May 2018, 19:01
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: Startup Adventures at Stanford
I worked on two very different startups, with two very different teams, during my MBA at Stanford.
Image
Image
One team was focused on building a language learning platformfor first-generation immigrants, in order to help them build their confidence and speak English more frequently. We were based at Stanford’s d. school, focused deeply on need-finding using design thinking principles, and had two product designers and a computer science major on our team.
The other team’s goal was to build a non-invasive tool to help glaucoma patients measure their eye pressure, in order to proactively manage their condition, and prevent blindness. We were based at Stanford’s Engineering School, had two electrical engineers, a patent-holder and professor, and an economics major on the team.
I am very grateful for the diversity of experience and learning, but am also struck by how transferable the lessons from these very different experiences are. These are my key takeaways:
Start somewhere: your product will never be ready
The starting point for both teams was different: on the first team, we had a blank sheet of paper, and began by defining user need. On the second team, we had a patented technology that we were trying to commercialise. Our level of fear, uncertainty and excitement differed based on our stage of development. However, surprisingly, this didn’t make as much difference as I thought it would to our day-to-day activities- except when it came to raising money.
You’re always going to have to continuously iterate and improve your product, no matter the stage you’re at: the challenge is ensuring you have enough time and resource to be able to fail fast, and developing a clear set of priorities of what you want to change and build over time, based on user feedback. Defining our minimum viable product was often one of the most challenging exercises we undertook at every stage.
Empathise with and delight your customers
Both teams used design thinking processes to understand consumer need, prototype and iterate, given that we were building consumer-focused software in both cases, and were aiming to help our users create new habits, albeit in very different contexts.
We were often surprised at how wrong our initial assumptions about our target consumers were, when we did in-depth consumer interviews to gain insight into their pain-points.
You have to be able to develop empathy with your users, and put yourself in their shoes when you’re trying to develop an understanding of their needs, or get feedback on your product. However, you also have to retain the ability to deviate from what they tell you they want- and surprise them- in the hope of delighting them- because they don’t always know what they want or need until they see it.
Great processes are easier to replicate than cultures
Both the teams I worked on very extremely high functioning. The diversity of skill-sets and perspectives, based on education, professional experience and nationality, greatly enhanced our productivity. However, the same factors also sometimes made seemingly straightforward tasks, such as scheduling interviews and gathering customer feedback, more difficult. We worked through this by agreeing upon team norms and values (such as being transparent, asking for and giving regular feedback, asking for help when needed) upfront. The importance of regularly discussing, repeating and reinforcing these principles will stick with me.
I also learned the importance of ensuring that the team had a shared vocabulary, was unafraid to ask ‘basic’ questions, and challenge the direction we were heading in: most of our mistakes were a direct result of miscommunication or ego.
People management matters as much as product management
At the start, I was insecure about my inability to code, given the strong engineering talent on the second team- but I quickly realised how much value I could add, through ensuring the team was working on a shared vision, that our work-streams were being actively managed and coordinated, and that we stayed aligned as a team across important and/or difficult decisions.
I learned that being able to read, motivate and manage people matters as much, if not at times more, than the product you’re building.You have to be able to influence stakeholders at every stage: you’re constantly selling your idea to existing and new customers, investors, potential hires and your team.
Mission matters
Both ventures had an ambitious mission- this also ended up being an importance force in attracting great people, and allowing us to stay aligned. If you begin by building a stellar team, who’s bought into the company’s mission, you can work together to execute on all the basic steps a startup needs to follow- such as choosing a target market, building and testing prototypes, and experimenting with business models. However, if you’re unable to motivate and align your team, it doesn’t matter how great your idea or product is.
Feedback is a gift: you’re a work in progress
If you can’t manage yourself, you can’t manage others. Being able to see yourself from a distance, continuously learn, hire for or delegate your weaknesses, and staying unemotional about your work matters.
Your product will always be a work in progress: so will you.We set up quarterly team feedback sessions for both teams: and I was always impressed at how much I learned about myself and others from these. These sessions also greatly helped build relationships within the team. They both helped clear the air when necessary, and build trust.
Image
Startup Adventures at Stanford was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Silicon Valley + Hollywood = ?  [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2018, 17:01
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: Silicon Valley + Hollywood = ?
Image
Via Netflix BlogWilliam Goldman, a two time Oscar-winning screenwriter, famously said, “Nobody knows anything…Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.”
However, due to the explosion of data and analytics tools, we now have the ability to analyse patterns such as viewing behaviour and user feedback (through social media) real-time. Over time, this data could allow creators to predict the most effective casting and plot lines. For example, when the Times Group used insights from a data analytics app, Parse.ly to reorder their gallery stories, their page views went up by 70%. The editors now use the tool to shape the direction of stories, using real-time data of audience engagement.
Hollywood is already redefining its relationshipbetween the creator and consumer: various tools are allowing production houses to incorporate audience reactions into how content gets created, marketed and distributed. IBM offers social sentiment analysis to gauge the emotional response to films through Twitter and Facebook responses. These tools can not only highlight the responses, but attempt to explain the reasons for these responses.
This of, course, is limiting: if you use historical data to predict future behaviour, you are unlikely to support potentially game-changing scripts or talent. Moreover, key Hollywood executives such as Richard Plepler and Nina Jacobson, have publicly stated that they believe that data science can only be used to an extent in content creation: in the end, the fundamentals- such as the quality of story, talent and production value- matter more.
Additionally, the literature on what makes a ‘hit’ TV show or film highlights that while there are certain formulas you can follow to create appealing content, ultimately even the Silicon Valley players such as Netflix and Facebook agree that data analytics are better utilised in 1) content distribution and audience targeting/ personalisation of contentrecommendations and 2) understanding audience engagement.
And yet, the content production process itself needs to adapt, given the 1) influx of capital into original programming, as tech players look to compete for high quality content and 2) changing audience behaviours and tastes and 3) the rapid globalisation of content distribution. In 2017 itself, Apple and Facebook both budgeted over $1 billion for original programming, and Netflix announced that it planned to spend $8 billion on content. This year, there are over 500 scripted TV shows being made- which is 2x the number in 2012.
The amount of content being made, the variety of content being made, and the locations at which the content is being created is increasing rapidly, while the supply of talent, and audience attentions spans stays constant. The industry has already been disrupted: it needs the tools to adapt. I believe data science can be used to disrupt the content production process itself.Given that the most time consuming parts of the process can be 1) storyboarding and shot list generation 2) schedule optimisation and 3 budgeting: data science could be used to automate the more tedious processes, so that content creators can focus on the storytelling + other more creative parts of the process.
Project management appsare already helping production teams collaborate across teams and locations. However, these apps face severe challenges when it comes to large-scale adoption, given that production teams are often freelance teams that work together for a period of time, and come from a non tech savvy culture. When Netflix introduced an ecosystem of apps to improve efficiency, it found encouraging the adoption of this new technology difficult at the start.
However, usingAI for ‘agile’ content creationcould both reduce script rewriting time and improve production planning by running ‘what if’ scenarios to test script variations, and removing certain elements of production to reduce costs. This would also not require wholesale adoption across production teams, as is required in the case of production management apps.
Netflix is already pioneering this approach. As highlighted in it’s Medium Blog, this is a necessity, given the scale at which it is producing content:
“Each production is a mountain of operational and logistical challenges that consumes and produces tremendous amounts of data. At Netflix’s scale, this is further amplified to levels seldom encountered before in the history of entertainment. This has created opportunities to organize, analyze and model this data that are equally singular in history. This is where data science can aid the art of producing entertainment.”
To provide a few examples, the company models cost estimations of how much a production will cost, that can deal with data sparsity. It also generates schedules using mathematical optimisation. As the company expands globally, it is using visualisation to analyse resource dependency and anticipate production delivery patterns. Lastly it uses prediction algorithms to sequence and scale its content localisation slating across markets.
Clearly, the exploration of applying data science to pre and post content production is a nascent field. As more tech platforms begin to invest in content at a large-scale globally, the use of data science will become a necessity, both in terms of efficiency of content production and content economics. Given this approach plays into these companies’ strengths, I think a large-scale change in culture is likely afoot. I look forward to seeing whether AI can successfully be applied to analysing scripts and storylines over the next few years, as several ventures are already attempting to tackle this complex challenge.
I’m also planning to explore whether data science can help identify new talent. The stars seem to be aligning. The need for new, diverse voices in Hollywood- across production, acting and writing- is resoundingly clear. The appetite for this new crop of talent has already been validated at the box office. On the other hand, there is an entire generation of social media stars that has built up a following, and talent on Youtube that is waiting to be discovered. We’re already seeing companies using AI to identify future leaders: how long will it be before this is applied to future stars and influencers?
Image
Silicon Valley + Hollywood = ? was originally published in The Startup on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Silicon Valley + Hollywood = ?  [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2018, 21:02
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: Silicon Valley + Hollywood = ?
Image
Via Netflix BlogWilliam Goldman, a two time Oscar-winning screenwriter, famously said, “Nobody knows anything…Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.”
However, due to the explosion of data and analytics tools, we now have the ability to analyse patterns such as viewing behaviour and user feedback (through social media) real-time. Over time, this data could allow creators to predict the most effective casting and plot lines. For example, when the Times Group used insights from a data analytics app, Parse.ly to reorder their gallery stories, their page views went up by 70%. The editors now use the tool to shape the direction of stories, using real-time data of audience engagement.
Hollywood is already redefining its relationshipbetween the creator and consumer: various tools are allowing production houses to incorporate audience reactions into how content gets created, marketed and distributed. IBM offers social sentiment analysis to gauge the emotional response to films through Twitter and Facebook responses. These tools can not only highlight the responses, but attempt to explain the reasons for these responses.
This of, course, is limiting: if you use historical data to predict future behaviour, you are unlikely to support potentially game-changing scripts or talent. Moreover, key Hollywood executives such as Richard Plepler and Nina Jacobson, have publicly stated that they believe that data science can only be used to an extent in content creation: in the end, the fundamentals- such as the quality of story, talent and production value- matter more.
Additionally, the literature on what makes a ‘hit’ TV show or film highlights that while there are certain formulas you can follow to create appealing content, ultimately even the Silicon Valley players such as Netflix and Facebook agree that data analytics are better utilised in 1) content distribution and audience targeting/ personalisation of contentrecommendations and 2) understanding audience engagement.
And yet, the content production process itself needs to adapt, given the 1) influx of capital into original programming, as tech players look to compete for high quality content and 2) changing audience behaviours and tastes and 3) the rapid globalisation of content distribution. In 2017 itself, Apple and Facebook both budgeted over $1 billion for original programming, and Netflix announced that it planned to spend $8 billion on content. This year, there are over 500 scripted TV shows being made- which is 2x the number in 2012.
The amount of content being made, the variety of content being made, and the locations at which the content is being created is increasing rapidly, while the supply of talent, and audience attentions spans stays constant. The industry has already been disrupted: it needs the tools to adapt. I believe data science can be used to disrupt the content production process itself.Given that the most time consuming parts of the process can be 1) storyboarding and shot list generation 2) schedule optimisation and 3 budgeting: data science could be used to automate the more tedious processes, so that content creators can focus on the storytelling + other more creative parts of the process.
Project management appsare already helping production teams collaborate across teams and locations. However, these apps face severe challenges when it comes to large-scale adoption, given that production teams are often freelance teams that work together for a period of time, and come from a non tech savvy culture. When Netflix introduced an ecosystem of apps to improve efficiency, it found encouraging the adoption of this new technology difficult at the start.
However, usingAI for ‘agile’ content creationcould both reduce script rewriting time and improve production planning by running ‘what if’ scenarios to test script variations, and removing certain elements of production to reduce costs. This would also not require wholesale adoption across production teams, as is required in the case of production management apps.
Netflix is already pioneering this approach. As highlighted in it’s Medium Blog, this is a necessity, given the scale at which it is producing content:
“Each production is a mountain of operational and logistical challenges that consumes and produces tremendous amounts of data. At Netflix’s scale, this is further amplified to levels seldom encountered before in the history of entertainment. This has created opportunities to organize, analyze and model this data that are equally singular in history. This is where data science can aid the art of producing entertainment.”
To provide a few examples, the company models cost estimations of how much a production will cost, that can deal with data sparsity. It also generates schedules using mathematical optimisation. As the company expands globally, it is using visualisation to analyse resource dependency and anticipate production delivery patterns. Lastly it uses prediction algorithms to sequence and scale its content localisation slating across markets.
Clearly, the exploration of applying data science to pre and post content production is a nascent field. As more tech platforms begin to invest in content at a large-scale globally, the use of data science will become a necessity, both in terms of efficiency of content production and content economics. Given this approach plays into these companies’ strengths, I think a large-scale change in culture is likely afoot. I’m excited to see whether AI can successfully be applied to analysing scripts and storylines over the next few years; several ventures are already attempting to tackle this complex challenge.
A blue ocean space is using data science to identify new talent. The stars seem to be aligning in this area. The need for new, diverse voices in Hollywood- across production, acting and writing- is resoundingly clear. The appetite for this new crop of talent has already been validated at the box office. On the other hand, there is an entire generation of social media stars that has built up a following, and talent on Youtube that is waiting to be discovered. We’re already seeing companies attempting to use AI to identify future leaders: how long will it be before this is applied to future stars and influencers?
Image
Silicon Valley + Hollywood = ? was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Big Data + Hollywood = ?  [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2018, 22:01
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: Big Data + Hollywood = ?
Image
Via Netflix BlogWilliam Goldman, a two time Oscar-winning screenwriter, famously said, “Nobody knows anything…Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.”
However, due to the explosion of data and analytics tools, we now have the ability to analyse patterns such as viewing behaviour and user feedback (through social media) real-time. Over time, this data could allow creators to predict the most effective casting and plot lines. For example, when the Times Group used insights from a data analytics app, Parse.ly to reorder their gallery stories, their page views went up by 70%. The editors now use the tool to shape the direction of stories, using real-time data of audience engagement.
Hollywood is already redefining its relationshipbetween the creator and consumer: various tools are allowing production houses to incorporate audience reactions into how content gets created, marketed and distributed. IBM offers social sentiment analysis to gauge the emotional response to films through Twitter and Facebook responses. These tools can not only highlight the responses, but attempt to explain the reasons for these responses.
This of, course, is limiting: if you use historical data to predict future behaviour, you are unlikely to support potentially game-changing scripts or talent. Moreover, key Hollywood executives such as Richard Plepler and Nina Jacobson, have publicly stated that they believe that data science can only be used to an extent in content creation: in the end, the fundamentals- such as the quality of story, talent and production value- matter more.
Additionally, the literature on what makes a ‘hit’ TV show or film highlights that while there are certain formulas you can follow to create appealing content, ultimately even the Silicon Valley players such as Netflix and Facebook agree that data analytics are better utilised in 1) content distribution and audience targeting/ personalisation of contentrecommendations and 2) understanding audience engagement.
And yet, the content production process itself needs to adapt, given the 1) influx of capital into original programming, as tech players look to compete for high quality content and 2) changing audience behaviours and tastes and 3) the rapid globalisation of content distribution. In 2017 itself, Apple and Facebook both budgeted over $1 billion for original programming, and Netflix announced that it planned to spend $8 billion on content. This year, there are over 500 scripted TV shows being made- which is 2x the number in 2012.
The amount of content being made, the variety of content being made, and the locations at which the content is being created is increasing rapidly, while the supply of talent, and audience attentions spans stays constant. The industry has already been disrupted: it needs the tools to adapt. I believe data science can be used to disrupt the content production process itself.Given that the most time consuming parts of the process can be 1) storyboarding and shot list generation 2) schedule optimisation and 3 budgeting: data science could be used to automate the more tedious processes, so that content creators can focus on the storytelling + other more creative parts of the process.
Project management appsare already helping production teams collaborate across teams and locations. However, these apps face severe challenges when it comes to large-scale adoption, given that production teams are often freelance teams that work together for a period of time, and come from a non tech savvy culture. When Netflix introduced an ecosystem of apps to improve efficiency, it found encouraging the adoption of this new technology difficult at the start.
However, usingAI for ‘agile’ content creationcould both reduce script rewriting time and improve production planning by running ‘what if’ scenarios to test script variations, and removing certain elements of production to reduce costs. This would also not require wholesale adoption across production teams, as is required in the case of production management apps.
Netflix is already pioneering this approach. As highlighted in it’s Medium Blog, this is a necessity, given the scale at which it is producing content:
“Each production is a mountain of operational and logistical challenges that consumes and produces tremendous amounts of data. At Netflix’s scale, this is further amplified to levels seldom encountered before in the history of entertainment. This has created opportunities to organize, analyze and model this data that are equally singular in history. This is where data science can aid the art of producing entertainment.”
To provide a few examples, the company models cost estimations of how much a production will cost, that can deal with data sparsity. It also generates schedules using mathematical optimisation. As the company expands globally, it is using visualisation to analyse resource dependency and anticipate production delivery patterns. Lastly it uses prediction algorithms to sequence and scale its content localisation slating across markets.
Clearly, the exploration of applying data science to pre and post content production is a nascent field. As more tech platforms begin to invest in content at a large-scale globally, the use of data science will become a necessity, both in terms of efficiency of content production and content economics. Given this approach plays into these companies’ strengths, I think a large-scale change in culture is likely afoot. I’m excited to see whether AI can successfully be applied to analysing scripts and storylines over the next few years; several ventures are already attempting to tackle this complex challenge.
A blue ocean space is using data science to identify new talent. The stars seem to be aligning in this area. The need for new, diverse voices in Hollywood- across production, acting and writing- is resoundingly clear. The appetite for this new crop of talent has already been validated at the box office. On the other hand, there is an entire generation of social media stars that has built up a following, and talent on Youtube that is waiting to be discovered. We’re already seeing companies attempting to use AI to identify future leaders: how long will it be before this is applied to future stars and influencers?
Image
Big Data + Hollywood = ? was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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More Content, More Hits?  [#permalink]

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New post 21 May 2018, 09:01
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: More Content, More Hits?
Image
William Goldman, a two time Oscar-winning screenwriter, famously said, “Nobody knows anything…Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.”
However, due to the explosion of data and analytics tools, we now have the ability to analyse patterns such as viewing behaviour and user feedback (through social media) real-time. Over time, this data could allow creators to predict the most effective casting and plot lines. For example, when the Times Group used insights from a data analytics app, Parse.ly to reorder their gallery stories, their page views went up by 70%. The editors now use the tool to shape the direction of stories, using real-time data of audience engagement.
Hollywood is already redefining its relationshipbetween the creator and consumer: various tools are allowing production houses to incorporate audience reactions into how content gets created, marketed and distributed. IBM offers social sentiment analysis to gauge the emotional response to films through Twitter and Facebook responses. These tools can not only highlight the responses, but attempt to explain the reasons for these responses.
This of, course, is limiting: if you use historical data to predict future behaviour, you are unlikely to support potentially game-changing scripts or talent. Moreover, key Hollywood executives such as Richard Plepler and Nina Jacobson, have publicly stated that they believe that data science can only be used to an extent in content creation: in the end, the fundamentals- such as the quality of story, talent and production value- matter more.
Additionally, the literature on what makes a ‘hit’ TV show or film highlights that while there are certain formulas you can follow to create appealing content, ultimately even the Silicon Valley players such as Netflix and Facebook agree that data analytics are better utilised in 1) content distribution and audience targeting/ personalisation of contentrecommendations and 2) understanding audience engagement.
And yet, the content production process itself needs to adapt, given the 1) influx of capital into original programming, as tech players look to compete for high quality content and 2) changing audience behaviours and tastes and 3) the rapid globalisation of content distribution. In 2017 itself, Apple and Facebook both budgeted over $1 billion for original programming, and Netflix announced that it planned to spend $8 billion on content. This year, there are over 500 scripted TV shows being made- which is 2x the number in 2012.
The amount of content being made, the variety of content being made, and the locations at which the content is being created is increasing rapidly, while the supply of talent, and audience attentions spans stays constant. The industry has already been disrupted: it needs the tools to adapt. I believe data science can be used to disrupt the content production process itself.Given that the most time consuming parts of the process can be 1) storyboarding and shot list generation 2) schedule optimisation and 3 budgeting: data science could be used to automate the more tedious processes, so that content creators can focus on the storytelling + other more creative parts of the process.
Project management appsare already helping production teams collaborate across teams and locations. However, these apps face severe challenges when it comes to large-scale adoption, given that production teams are often freelance teams that work together for a period of time, and come from a non tech savvy culture. When Netflix introduced an ecosystem of apps to improve efficiency, it found encouraging the adoption of this new technology difficult at the start.
However, usingAI for ‘agile’ content creationcould both reduce script rewriting time and improve production planning by running ‘what if’ scenarios to test script variations, and removing certain elements of production to reduce costs. This would also not require wholesale adoption across production teams, as is required in the case of production management apps.
Netflix is already pioneering this approach. As highlighted in it’s Medium Blog, this is a necessity, given the scale at which it is producing content:
“Each production is a mountain of operational and logistical challenges that consumes and produces tremendous amounts of data. At Netflix’s scale, this is further amplified to levels seldom encountered before in the history of entertainment. This has created opportunities to organize, analyze and model this data that are equally singular in history. This is where data science can aid the art of producing entertainment.”
To provide a few examples, the company models cost estimations of how much a production will cost, that can deal with data sparsity. It also generates schedules using mathematical optimisation. As the company expands globally, it is using visualisation to analyse resource dependency and anticipate production delivery patterns. Lastly it uses prediction algorithms to sequence and scale its content localisation slating across markets.
Clearly, the exploration of applying data science to pre and post content production is a nascent field. As more tech platforms begin to invest in content at a large-scale globally, the use of data science will become a necessity, both in terms of efficiency of content production and content economics. Given this approach plays into these companies’ strengths, I think a large-scale change in culture is likely afoot. I’m excited to see whether AI can successfully be applied to analysing scripts and storylines over the next few years; several ventures are already attempting to tackle this complex challenge.
A blue ocean space is using data science to identify new talent. The stars seem to be aligning in this area. The need for new, diverse voices in Hollywood- across production, acting and writing- is resoundingly clear. The appetite for this new crop of talent has already been validated at the box office. On the other hand, there is an entire generation of social media stars that has built up a following, and talent on Youtube that is waiting to be discovered. We’re already seeing companies attempting to use AI to identify future leaders: how long will it be before this is applied to future stars and influencers?
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More Content, More Hits? was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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Getting Creative: More Content, More Hits?  [#permalink]

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New post 21 May 2018, 11:02
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: Getting Creative: More Content, More Hits?
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William Goldman, a two time Oscar-winning screenwriter, famously said, “Nobody knows anything…Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.”
However, due to the explosion of data and analytics tools, we now have the ability to analyse patterns such as viewing behaviour and user feedback (through social media) real-time. Over time, this data could allow creators to predict the most effective casting and plot lines. For example, when the Times Group used insights from a data analytics app, Parse.ly to reorder their gallery stories, their page views went up by 70%. The editors now use the tool to shape the direction of stories, using real-time data of audience engagement.
Hollywood is already redefining its relationshipbetween the creator and consumer: various tools are allowing production houses to incorporate audience reactions into how content gets created, marketed and distributed. IBM offers social sentiment analysis to gauge the emotional response to films through Twitter and Facebook responses. These tools can not only highlight the responses, but attempt to explain the reasons for these responses.
This of, course, is limiting: if you use historical data to predict future behaviour, you are unlikely to support potentially game-changing scripts or talent. Moreover, key Hollywood executives such as Richard Plepler and Nina Jacobson, have publicly stated that they believe that data science can only be used to an extent in content creation: in the end, the fundamentals- such as the quality of story, talent and production value- matter more.
Additionally, the literature on what makes a ‘hit’ TV show or film highlights that while there are certain formulas you can follow to create appealing content, ultimately even the Silicon Valley players such as Netflix and Facebook agree that data analytics are better utilised in 1) content distribution and audience targeting/ personalisation of contentrecommendations and 2) understanding audience engagement.
And yet, the content production process itself needs to adapt, given the 1) influx of capital into original programming, as tech players look to compete for high quality content and 2) changing audience behaviours and tastes and 3) the rapid globalisation of content distribution. In 2017 itself, Apple and Facebook both budgeted over $1 billion for original programming, and Netflix announced that it planned to spend $8 billion on content. This year, there are over 500 scripted TV shows being made- which is 2x the number in 2012.
The amount of content being made, the variety of content being made, and the locations at which the content is being created is increasing rapidly, while the supply of talent, and audience attentions spans stays constant. The industry has already been disrupted: it needs the tools to adapt. I believe data science can be used to disrupt the content production process itself.Given that the most time consuming parts of the process can be 1) storyboarding and shot list generation 2) schedule optimisation and 3 budgeting: data science could be used to automate the more tedious processes, so that content creators can focus on the storytelling + other more creative parts of the process.
Project management appsare already helping production teams collaborate across teams and locations. However, these apps face severe challenges when it comes to large-scale adoption, given that production teams are often freelance teams that work together for a period of time, and come from a non tech savvy culture. When Netflix introduced an ecosystem of apps to improve efficiency, it found encouraging the adoption of this new technology difficult at the start.
However, usingAI for ‘agile’ content creationcould both reduce script rewriting time and improve production planning by running ‘what if’ scenarios to test script variations, and removing certain elements of production to reduce costs. This would also not require wholesale adoption across production teams, as is required in the case of production management apps.
Netflix is already pioneering this approach. As highlighted in it’s Medium Blog, this is a necessity, given the scale at which it is producing content:
“Each production is a mountain of operational and logistical challenges that consumes and produces tremendous amounts of data. At Netflix’s scale, this is further amplified to levels seldom encountered before in the history of entertainment. This has created opportunities to organize, analyze and model this data that are equally singular in history. This is where data science can aid the art of producing entertainment.”
To provide a few examples, the company models cost estimations of how much a production will cost, that can deal with data sparsity. It also generates schedules using mathematical optimisation. As the company expands globally, it is using visualisation to analyse resource dependency and anticipate production delivery patterns. Lastly it uses prediction algorithms to sequence and scale its content localisation slating across markets.
Clearly, the exploration of applying data science to pre and post content production is a nascent field. As more tech platforms begin to invest in content at a large-scale globally, the use of data science will become a necessity, both in terms of efficiency of content production and content economics. Given this approach plays into these companies’ strengths, I think a large-scale change in culture is likely afoot. I’m excited to see whether AI can successfully be applied to analysing scripts and storylines over the next few years; several ventures are already attempting to tackle this complex challenge.
A blue ocean space is using data science to identify new talent. The stars seem to be aligning in this area. The need for new, diverse voices in Hollywood- across production, acting and writing- is resoundingly clear. The appetite for this new crop of talent has already been validated at the box office. On the other hand, there is an entire generation of social media stars that has built up a following, and talent on Youtube that is waiting to be discovered. We’re already seeing companies attempting to use AI to identify future leaders: how long will it be before this is applied to future stars and influencers?
Image
Getting Creative: More Content, More Hits? was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Re: Current Stanford Student Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 22 May 2018, 20:33
Great tips,it would definitely help students who want to take admission in MBA.
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The Next Frontier in Digital Entertainment: Conquering India  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jun 2018, 16:01
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: The Next Frontier in Digital Entertainment: Conquering India
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The scale and depth of opportunities presented by the quickly evolving digital entertainment industry in India is astounding. India is an ideal market for new digital entrants. With a population of 1.3 billion and purchasing power of $9.7 trillion, it is unsurprising that both domestic and foreign players are actively working to enter this market. Media giants such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hotstar are investing significant resources to develop strategies for capturing the Indian market. However, none of the current players have managed to gain a significant foothold as yet.
We’ve spoken to a range of startups and media giants in the country over the past ten weeks + conducted surveys + in-depth secondary research, in order to better understand the content war brewing in the country.
This is what we found:
The Market Opportunity
Traditional market factors make digital in India an attractive opportunity. To begin with, the country’s media and entertainment industry continues to grow and is expected to reach $34.8 billion by 2021.
Internet adoption
Contributing to the growing opportunity for digital players is India’s rising internet adoption. In recent years, internet use has grown to an estimated 38%. While this percentage seems low compared to countries like the United States, which boast a 76% penetration rate, when accounting for India’s large population, this still represents nearly 500 million consumers. Additionally, converting the remaining 62% is a large opportunity and makes the market very attractive. Fortunately, digital hopefuls do not have to wait long to receive the benefits of this growth, as penetration is expected to reach the 60% mark by 2020 assuming current trends persist.
While there is a large population living with low disposable income, the country’s striking income inequality creates large — in total numbers — middle and upper classes. These classes have been the largest drivers of internet adoption in the country to date. While controversial, this fragmented internet adoption creates opportunities for digital players who now understand that part of their strategy to win this key market is developing solutions accessible to India’s poorer and rural populations.
Mobile phone adoption
Moreover, increased use of smartphones and cellular data creates new access points for the internet, especially for poor and rural citizens for whom internet adoption is low. The entry of mobile network Reliance Jio by giant Reliance Industries jumpstarted growth in India’s internet use. Since launching in September 2016, the company has “acquired over 100 million users — many connecting to the mobile internet for the first time in their lives.” The introduction of Jio has increased not only the total number of users now accessing online content on their mobile devices, but also the amount of consumption happening on those devices, as the data pricing is now a much lower barrier for price-sensitive consumers.
The Evolving Digital Viewer
India’s first digital consumers were male millennials who lived in urban areas. However, as internet and mobile penetration increase in the country, the profile of the average digital viewer is shifting dramatically.
Between 2016 and 2017, the largest growths in digital usage occurred among three segments: women, older millennials, and rural populations.Women
Women, particularly those in smaller cities, are gaining online access at a fast rate. According to Hotstar’s The India Watch Report 2018, women in cities with populations between 1L and 10L increased online usage growth by a magnitude of three between 2016 and 2017 compared to two times growth for women in metro areas and cities with at least one million inhabitants. This trend is attributed to the increased availability of affordable smartphone options, which allows both women and those in rural areas to access online content on their mobile devices for the first time. This increase in women internet users is also important because women wield a great deal of purchasing power, controlling 44% of household spending.
Millennials
India’s millennial population features strong purchasing power, increased internet access, and sheer volume at over 400 million people. The Indian population is relatively young when compared to other major markets such as China and United States. In fact, according to Morgan Stanley, India is on-pace to be the youngest country in the world by 2020. In addition, they are more educated and globally connected than previous generations, expecting content and information to come to them rather than needing to actively seek it out as older generations did via print and television channels. With these factors at play, it is unsurprising that millennials, and to a lesser extent Generation Zers, are a driving force in India’s increased digital consumption. With mobile and digital adoption (generally) inversely correlated with age, it is therefore unsurprising that consumer brands are targeting India’s millenial and Gen Z populations as key demographics to capture.
Rural India
While people in major metro areas saw a 3.5 times increase in consumption, it was in smaller cities where the jump was most pronounced — a whopping 4.3 times the rate of 2016. Debunking popular thought that metropolitan areas are so-called “cities that never sleep” and therefore have higher consumption than smaller areas, QZ’s report proves that overall consumption as well as binge watching are highest in smaller areas, where their populations stay awake much later than those in large urban areas.
Changing Consumption Patterns
India’s population is increasingly gravitating towards digital media over legacy options in print, TV, and film. According to eMarketer, “digital will take up nearly a third of daily media time in India”. This year, the average adult will spend an estimated 1 hour 18 minutes per day with digital media.
Control, convenience and quality
The first India Watch Report 2018, has highlighted some interesting shifts in consumer habits. The new generation of consumers prioritizes control and convenience. Online video consumption has grown by 5x in the past year, and web series are gaining traction as viewership numbers for some of these series begin to exceed the most watched online TV shows in India for the first.
Interestingly, the report also notes that over 96% of Hostar’s watchtime came from videos that were over 20 minutes long: which leads us to believe that consumers are willing to invest time in high quality content. In terms of genres, sports and Bollywood films continue to drive the highest engagement, with comedy and drama series coming second.
Regional Content
A second key shift is the growth of the popularity of regional content. India has over 125 million English speakers: online, English is still India’s dominant language. Elite/affluent viewers (see appendix for a definition of this demographic) primarily consume content in English: this demographic is projected to increase from 8% to 16% by 2025. However, 70% of these users also view content in other languages.
Importantly, a recent study by KPMG India Google found that nearly 70% of Indians consider local language digital content more reliable than English content. The regional language OTT market is growing at 60–65% every month, while regional content comprises nearly 45% of India’s overall online video content consumption. Additionally, by 2021, an expected 201 million Hindi users — 38% of the Indian internet user base — will be online, according to the same study.Given the rate at which its demand is growing, regional content is expected to comprise 20–25% of the overall digital consumption in 2018. The shift to creating regional content has just begun, and will be a key driver of growth in of content consumption in Indian markets going forward.
Personalised content
Another shift in consumption patterns, highlighted through our interviews and consumer survey, was the move family viewing to individual content consumption. We think this shift is worth noting, as the move from a family-based to private setting creates the opportunity to create more personalized, contemporary content for various demographics.
Stay tuned for Part 2, where we analyse the current players in the media landscape + highlight why we think there is still ample room for new players and approaches, even as the competition for Indian eyeballs heats up.
This article was published by Candace Jones & Natasha Malpani, who are both Stanford MBA Class of 2018 students. Over the past ten weeks, they have conducted interviews with several digital platforms in the country, undertaken secondary research and surveyed over 200 consumers of Indian digital content in order to explore the opportunities and challenges presented by this complex market. This project was supervised by Stanford’s ex-Dean.
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The Next Frontier in Digital Entertainment: Conquering India was originally published in The Startup on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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The Next Frontier in Digital Entertainment: Conquering India (Part 2)  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jun 2018, 16:01
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: The Next Frontier in Digital Entertainment: Conquering India (Part 2)
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We’re excited by the scale and depth of opportunities presented by the quickly evolving digital entertainment industry in India. We’ve spoken to a range of startups and media giants in the country over the past ten weeks + conducted surveys + in-depth secondary research, in order to better understand the content war brewing in the country.
In our previous piece, we outlined why we were excited by the market opportunity and changing consumer behaviours. In this article, we explore the strengths and weaknesses of the current digital media players + outline where we think the biggest opportunities lie.
The Current Landscape
Domestic Players
Like many other countries, India’s digital scene has been targeted by both local and foreign players. Additionally, it includes both legacy players adjusting their business lines to include digital offerings as well as new entrants focusing on digital-first and often digital-only strategies. With over 100 million subscribers, India’s streaming market is estimated at $280 million. As of 2017, the top five over-the-top (OTT) providers were Hotstar, Voot, Amazon Prime Video, SonyLiv, and Netflix. Hotstar (an entertainment platform launched by Star India, one of India’s largest media conglomerates, wholly owned by 21st Century Fox) is far and away the leading provider.
Hotstar has 75 million users compared to the next in the list, Voot, which only has 15 million users (though its parent company, Viacom18, claims this figure is closer to 22 million users). As Jonnalagadda notes, “Hotstar, for instance, has the digital rights to HBO shows in the country, and streams Game of Thrones episodes the same day they air in the U.S. That’s obviously a huge pull, as is the fact that Hotstar has exclusive rights to stream cricket and football games in the country.”
India is the largest producer of films in the world in terms of quantity: the industry generated $1.9 billion in 2016. Several of the country’s largest studios, such as Dharma Productions and Red Chillies Entertainment, have signed content deals with Amazon and Netflix: as the war for high quality content and recognizable stars heats up in the country. However, these studios are yet to enter the online series content creation market. AltBalaji, a subscription-based video streaming platform launched in 2017, that is a subsidiary of Balaji Telefilms Limited, one of the largest content production houses, and India’s leading television content creator, could be another significant player in the domestic content creation market, given their focus on creating original and tailor-made shows.
The other categories of players worth mentioning in the domestic digital content space are 1) startups focused on creating short-form/snackable content and online web series targeted at millenials and mainly distributed through social media such as The Viral Fever, FilterCopy and All India Bakchod. These players have typically been operating for 3–4 years, have raised a Series A round, and employ a data-driven approach to content creation and 2) user-generated short-form content, that is primarily distributed through Youtube, is in HIndi or other regional languages, and targeted at Tier 2 and Tier 3 city consumers. Both these players are notably different from the legacy production houses for their digital-first and targeted approach to content creation, and culture.
International Players
The top international (based outside of India) players are Netflix and Amazon. Both players have announced that India is one of their priority markets globally, and are investing millions of dollars into developing original local content. Amazon is producing 20 original series, while Netflix is aiming for 7 this year. Both companies have are also investing aggressively in growing their libraries of licensed Indian content: Amazon has secured the TV rights to Bollywood star Salman Khan’s movies, while Netflix has won global streaming rights for movies produced by Shah Rukh Khan.
In 2015, Netflix announced its plan to aggressively pursue its international expansion plans, with India among its targeted markets. Aside from offering more Indian content, its rollout and offering in India is remarkably similar to that of other markets, having roughly the same price of 500 rupees, which is very close to the $7.99 charged in the US and other markets until recently (prices began rolling out to $9.99 starting October 2015). However, it might be the company’s one-size-fits all approach that ultimately leads to its undoing as a viable contender in this increasingly competitive space. Since launching in India, Netflix has not changed its pricing, even as competing offerings entered at lower price points. Additionally, Netflix’s India office is primarily focused on sales & marketing. Their licensing and original content teams sit in Los Angeles: this lack of local engagement could hamper their understanding of India’s complex market. As of writing, it is industry consensus that India is losing the race in India with only five million monthly users due its high price point and dwindling content library. It will be interesting to see how the company responds to its competitive advantage and market share.
Another major factor in Netflix’s decline in India is the entry of Amazon. Amazon is thought to have invested upwards of $2 billion in its India entry since 2016, offering pricing discounts and other incentives to attract users. In addition to being considerably cheaper than Netflix at 999 rupees for an annual subscription (roughly the equivalent of two months with Netflix), Amazon benefits from providing the video service as part of its larger e-commerce bundle. Additionally, this price point is a small fraction of its US equivalent, which would be over to 6400 rupees instead. However, Amazon has astutely recognized the need to price this market differently from its other locations, slashing its price to compete with lower cost options such as Hotstar and no-cost options such as Voot and pirated content. This strategy has proven successful, with Amazon attracting an impressive 11 monthly subscribers users as of this writing, over double that of Netflix.
Overall through, both platforms have low subscriber figures: Amazon had a little more than 600,000 Prime Video users at the end of 2017 while Netflix had 520,000 subscribers. We believe the real threat to Amazon and Netflix in India is Reliance Industries’ Jio: Jio’s parent company has already acquired a 24.9% stake in AltBalaji and and a 5% stake in Eros International in 2018, and is currently in conversations with several production houses ,as the corporate giant looks to build a foothold in India’s $20bn media & entertainment sector, through original content licensing and regional programming deals, having already reached 130m subscribers through its wireless network.
Our Take: Opportunities and Gaps
The significant diversity in consumption patterns, based on age, gender, geography and socio-economic status in India also builds the case for the creation of more niche, personalised and highly relatable content.We believe that the ‘one size fits all’ model of Bollywood will not work in the digital entertainment space, as consumers begin to prioritize control and convenience.
We believe that digital content will need to be increasingly tailored by age, gender and region, as the profile of users coming online changes, We are particularly excited by the opportunity to create more women-focused content, that shows women in new roles, given the increase in women coming online, their increased literacy rates, and the rise of their influence in family and society, given changing workforce dynamics and the rise of their spending power. We also believe that regional content will overtake English content in the next 2–3 years, as the use of regional language users has grown from from 42m to 234m in the past five years, and this growth is projected to continue at 18%, while English language users coming online are projected to grow at 3%, over the past 5 years. On the other hand, we think monetisation of this content will be a challenge amongst this demographic, given the low willingness to pay and low household buying power across rural India.
We think there be significant consolidation in the increasingly crowded OTT space, with a handful of players emerging as winners. However, we believe there is space for new content creators, and think building the supply chain/pipeline for talent amongst content producers, will be fundamental. There is an opportunity to move away from the traditional studio model of content production, to streamline a long and expensive process, that has not kept up with consumer consumption patterns, and to support new voices and talent in this quickly changing market.
From a storytelling perspective, we are excited by the opportunities for new influencers and the space to tell stories about a rapidly urbanising India: we would bet big on rise of reality TV. We think the demand for more relatable characters will continue to grow.
This article was published by Candace Jones & Natasha Malpani, who are both Stanford MBA Class of 2018 students. Over the past ten weeks, they have conducted interviews with several digital platforms in the country, undertaken secondary research and surveyed over 200 consumers of Indian digital content in order to explore the opportunities and challenges presented by this complex market. This project was supervised by Stanford’s ex-Dean.
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The Next Frontier in Digital Entertainment: Conquering India (Part 2) was originally published in The Startup on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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The Next Frontier in Digital Entertainment: Conquering India  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2018, 23:01
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: The Next Frontier in Digital Entertainment: Conquering India
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The scale and depth of opportunities presented by the quickly evolving digital entertainment industry in India is astounding. India is an ideal market for new digital entrants.
With a population of 1.3 billion and purchasing power of $9.7 trillion, it is unsurprising that both domestic and foreign players are actively working to enter this market. Media giants such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hotstar are investing significant resources to develop strategies for capturing the Indian market. However, none of the current players have managed to gain a significant foothold as yet.We’ve spoken to a range of startups and media giants in the country over the past ten weeks + conducted surveys + in-depth secondary research, in order to better understand the content war brewing in the country.
This is what we found:
The Market Opportunity
Traditional market factors make digital in India an attractive opportunity. To begin with, the country’s media and entertainment industry continues to grow and is expected to reach $34.8 billion by 2021.
Internet adoption
Contributing to the growing opportunity for digital players is India’s rising internet adoption. In recent years, internet use has grown to an estimated 38%. While this percentage seems low compared to countries like the United States, which boast a 76% penetration rate, when you account for India’s large population, this still represents nearly 500 million consumers. Additionally, converting the remaining 62% is a large opportunity and makes the market very attractive. Fortunately, digital hopefuls do not have to wait long to receive the benefits of this growth, as penetration is expected to reach the 60% mark by 2020, assuming current trends persist.
While there is a large population living with low disposable income, the country’s striking income inequality creates large — in total numbers — middle and upper classes. These classes have been the largest drivers of internet adoption in the country to date. While controversial, this fragmented internet adoption creates opportunities for digital players who now understand that part of their strategy to win this key market is developing solutions accessible to India’s poorer and rural populations.
Mobile phone adoption
Moreover, increased use of smartphones and cellular data creates new access points for the internet, especially for poor and rural citizens for whom internet adoption is low. The entry of mobile network Reliance Jio by giant Reliance Industries jumpstarted growth in India’s internet use. Since launching in September 2016, the company has “acquired over 100 million users — many connecting to the mobile internet for the first time in their lives.”
The introduction of Jio has increased not only the total number of users now accessing online content on their mobile devices, but also the amount of consumption happening on those devices, as data pricing is now a much lower barrier for price-sensitive consumers.
The Evolving Digital Viewer
India’s first digital consumers were male millennials who lived in urban areas. However, as internet and mobile penetration increase in the country, the profile of the average digital viewer is shifting dramatically.
Between 2016 and 2017, the largest growths in digital usage occurred among three segments: women, older millennials, and rural populations.Women
Women, particularly those in smaller cities, are gaining online access at a fast rate. According to Hotstar’s The India Watch Report 2018, women in cities with populations between 1L and 10L increased online usage growth by a magnitude of three between 2016 and 2017, compared to two times growth for women in metro areas and cities with at least one million inhabitants. This trend is attributed to the increased availability of affordable smartphone options, which allows both women and those in rural areas to access online content on their mobile devices for the first time. This increase in women internet users is also important because women wield a great deal of purchasing power, controlling 44% of household spending.
Millennials
India’s millennial population features strong purchasing power, increased internet access, and sheer volume at over 400 million people. The Indian population is relatively young when compared to other major markets such as China and United States. In fact, according to Morgan Stanley, India is on-pace to be the youngest country in the world by 2020.
In addition, they are more educated and globally connected than previous generations, expecting content and information to come to them, rather than needing to actively seek it out as older generations did via print and television channels. With these factors at play, it is unsurprising that millennials, and to a lesser extent Generation Zers, are a driving force in India’s increased digital consumption. With mobile and digital adoption (generally) inversely correlated with age, it is therefore unsurprising that consumer brands are targeting India’s millenial and Gen Z populations as key demographics to capture.
Rural India
While people in major metro areas saw a 3.5 times increase in consumption, it was in smaller cities where the jump was most pronounced — a whopping 4.3 times the rate of 2016. Debunking popular thought that metropolitan areas are so-called “cities that never sleep” and therefore have higher consumption than smaller areas, our research has proven that overall consumption as well as binge watching are highest in smaller areas, where their populations stay awake much later than those in large urban areas.
Changing Consumption Patterns
India’s population is increasingly gravitating towards digital media over legacy options in print, TV, and film. According to eMarketer, “digital will take up nearly a third of daily media time in India”. This year, the average adult will spend an estimated 1 hour 18 minutes per day with digital media.
Control, convenience and quality
The first India Watch Report 2018 has highlighted some interesting shifts in consumer habits. The new generation of consumers prioritizes control and convenience. Online video consumption has grown by 5x in the past year, and web series are gaining traction as viewership numbers for some of these series begin to exceed the most watched online TV shows in India for the first time.
Interestingly, the report also notes that over 96% of Hostar’s watchtime came from videos that were over 20 minutes long: which leads us to believe that consumers are willing to invest time in high quality content. In terms of genres, sports and Bollywood films continue to drive the highest engagement, with comedy and drama series coming second.
Regional Content
A second key shift is the growth of the popularity of regional content. India has over 125 million English speakers. Online, English is still India’s dominant language. Elite/affluent viewers (see appendix for a definition of this demographic) primarily consume content in English: this demographic is projected to increase from 8% to 16% by 2025. However, 70% of these users also view content in other languages.
Importantly, a recent study by KPMG India Google found that nearly 70% of Indians consider local language digital content more reliable than English content. The regional language OTT market is growing at 60–65% every month, while regional content comprises nearly 45% of India’s overall online video content consumption.
Image
Additionally, by 2021, an expected 201 million Hindi users — 38% of the Indian internet user base — will be online, according to the same study.Given the rate at which its demand is growing, regional content is expected to comprise 20–25% of the overall digital consumption in 2018.
The shift to creating regional content has just begun, and will be a key driver of growth in of content consumption in Indian markets going forward.Personalised content
Another shift in consumption patterns, highlighted through our interviews and consumer survey, was the move from family viewing to individual content consumption. We think this shift is worth noting, as the move from a family-based to private setting creates the opportunity to create more personalized, contemporary content for various demographics.
The Current Landscape
Domestic Players
Like many other countries, India’s digital scene has been targeted by both local and foreign players. Additionally, it includes both legacy players adjusting their business lines to include digital offerings as well as new entrants focusing on digital-first and often digital-only strategies. With over 100 million subscribers, India’s streaming market is estimated at $280 million. As of 2017, the top five over-the-top (OTT) providers were Hotstar, Voot, Amazon Prime Video, SonyLiv, and Netflix.
OTT providers
Hotstar (an entertainment platform launched by Star India, one of India’s largest media conglomerates, wholly owned by 21st Century Fox) is far and away the leading provider. Hotstar has 75 million users compared to the next in the list, Voot, which only has 15 million users (though its parent company, Viacom18, claims this figure is closer to 22 million users). As Jonnalagadda notes, “Hotstar, for instance, has the digital rights to HBO shows in the country, and streams Game of Thrones episodes the same day they air in the U.S. That’s obviously a huge pull, as is the fact that Hotstar has exclusive rights to stream cricket and football games in the country.”
Legacy studios
India is the largest producer of films in the world in terms of quantity: the industry generated $1.9 billion in 2016. Several of the country’s largest studios, such as Dharma Productions and Red Chillies Entertainment, have signed content deals with Amazon and Netflix: as the war for high quality content and recognizable stars heats up in the country. However, these studios are yet to enter the online series content creation market.
The one contender that stands out in this space is AltBalaji, a subscription-based video streaming platform which launched in 2017, and is a subsidiary of Balaji Telefilms Limited, one of the largest content production houses in India. AltBalaji, with India’s leading television content creator, could be another significant player in the domestic content creation market, given their focus on creating original and tailor-made shows.
Digital media startups
The other categories of players worth mentioning in the domestic digital content space are a) startups focused on creating short-form/snackable content and b) online web series targeted towards millennials and mainly distributed through social media such as The Viral Fever, FilterCopy and All India Bakchod. These players typically have been operating for 3–4 years, raised a Series A round, and employ a data-driven approach to content creation. In addition, there is c) user-generated short-form content distributed primarily through Youtube produced in Hindi or other regional languages, and targeted at Tier 2 and Tier 3 city consumers.
Both these players are notably different from the legacy production houses for their digital-first and targeted approach to content creation, and culture.
International Players
The top international (based outside of India) players are Netflix and Amazon. Both players have announced that India is one of their priority markets globally, and are investing millions of dollars into developing original local content. Amazon is producing 20 original series, while Netflix is aiming for 7 this year. Both companies have are also investing aggressively in growing their libraries of licensed Indian content: Amazon has secured the TV rights to Bollywood star Salman Khan’s movies, while Netflix has won global streaming rights for movies produced by Shah Rukh Khan.
In 2015, Netflix announced its plan to aggressively pursue its international expansion plans, with India among its targeted markets. Aside from offering more Indian content, its rollout and offering in India is remarkably similar to that of other markets, having roughly the same price of 500 rupees, which is very close to the $7.99 charged in the US and other markets until recently (prices began rolling out to $9.99 starting October 2015). However, it might be the company’s one-size-fits all approach that ultimately leads to its undoing as a viable contender in this increasingly competitive space.
Since launching in India, Netflix has not changed its pricing, even as competing offerings entered at lower price points. Additionally, Netflix’s India office is primarily focused on sales & marketing. Their licensing and original content teams sit in Los Angeles: this lack of local engagement could hamper their understanding of India’s complex market. As of this writing, it is industry consensus that Netflix is losing the race in India with only five million monthly users due its high price point and dwindling content library. It will be interesting to see how the company responds to its competitive advantage and market share.
Another major factor in Netflix’s decline in India is the entry of Amazon. Amazon is thought to have invested upwards of $2 billion in its India entry since 2016, offering pricing discounts and other incentives to attract users. In addition to being considerably cheaper than Netflix at 999 rupees for an annual subscription (roughly the equivalent of two months with Netflix), Amazon benefits from providing the video service as part of its larger e-commerce bundle. Additionally, this price point is a small fraction of its US equivalent, which would be over to 6400 rupees instead.
Amazon has astutely recognized the need to price this market differently from its other locations, slashing its price to compete with lower cost options such as Hotstar and no-cost options such as Voot and pirated content. This strategy has proven successful, with Amazon attracting an impressive 11 monthly subscribers users as of this writing, over double that of Netflix.
Overall through, both platforms have low subscriber figures: Amazon had a little more than 600,000 Prime Video users at the end of 2017 while Netflix had 520,000 subscribers. We believe the real threat to Amazon and Netflix in India is Reliance Industries’ Jio.
Jio’s parent company has already acquired a 24.9% stake in AltBalaji and a 5% stake in Eros International in 2018, and is currently in conversations with several production houses. The corporate giant is looking to build a foothold in India’s $20bn media & entertainment sector, through original content licensing and regional programming deals, having already reached 130m subscribers through its wireless network.
Our Take: Opportunities and Gaps
The significant diversity in consumption patterns, based on age, gender, geography and socio-economic status in India also builds the case for the creation of more niche, personalised and highly relatable content.We believe that the ‘one size fits all’ model of Bollywood will not work in the digital entertainment space, as consumers begin to prioritize control and convenience. There is still ample room for new players and approaches, even as the competition for Indian eyeballs heats up.
Digital content will need to be increasingly tailored by age, gender and region, as the profile of users coming online changes. We are particularly excited by the opportunity to create more women-focused content that shows women in new roles given their increased (i) numbers online, (ii) literacy rates, (iii) influence in family and society, and (iv) rise of their spending power.
We also believe that regional content will overtake English content in the next 2–3 years, as the use of regional language users has grown from 42m to 234m in the past five years, and this growth is projected to continue at 18%, while English language users coming online are projected to grow at 3%, over the next 5 years.
On the other hand, we think monetisation of this content will be a challenge amongst this demographic, given the low willingness to pay and low household buying power across rural India.
We think there be significant consolidation in the increasingly crowded OTT space, with a handful of players emerging as winners. However, we believe there is space for new content creators, and think building the supply chain/pipeline for talent amongst content producers, will be fundamental.There is an opportunity to move away from the traditional studio model of content production, to streamline a long and expensive process, that has not kept up with consumption patterns, and to support new voices and talent in this quickly changing market.
From a storytelling perspective, we are excited by the opportunities for new influencers and the space to tell stories about a rapidly urbanising India: we would bet big on rise of reality TV. We think the demand for more relatable characters will continue to grow.
This article was published by Candace Jones (@candacej) & Natasha Malpani, who are both Stanford MBA Class of 2018 students. Over the past ten weeks, they have conducted interviews with several digital platforms in the country, undertaken secondary research and surveyed over 200 consumers of Indian digital content in order to explore the opportunities and challenges presented by this complex market. This project was supervised by Stanford’s ex-Dean. Our full report is available by request.
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The Next Frontier in Digital Entertainment: Conquering India  [#permalink]

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FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: The Next Frontier in Digital Entertainment: Conquering India
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The scale and depth of opportunities presented by the quickly evolving digital entertainment industry in India is astounding. India is an ideal market for new digital entrants.
With a population of 1.3 billion and purchasing power of $9.7 trillion, it is unsurprising that both domestic and foreign players are actively working to enter this market. Media giants such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hotstar are investing significant resources to develop strategies for capturing the Indian market. However, none of the current players have managed to gain a significant foothold as yet.We’ve spoken to a range of startups and media giants in the country over the past ten weeks + conducted surveys + in-depth secondary research, in order to better understand the content war brewing in the country.
This is what we found:
The Market Opportunity
Traditional market factors make digital in India an attractive opportunity. To begin with, the country’s media and entertainment industry continues to grow and is expected to reach $34.8 billion by 2021.
Internet adoption
Contributing to the growing opportunity for digital players is India’s rising internet adoption. In recent years, internet use has grown to an estimated 38%. While this percentage seems low compared to countries like the United States, which boast a 76% penetration rate, when you account for India’s large population, this still represents nearly 500 million consumers. Additionally, converting the remaining 62% is a large opportunity and makes the market very attractive. Fortunately, digital hopefuls do not have to wait long to receive the benefits of this growth, as penetration is expected to reach the 60% mark by 2020, assuming current trends persist.
While there is a large population living with low disposable income, the country’s striking income inequality creates large — in total numbers — middle and upper classes. These classes have been the largest drivers of internet adoption in the country to date. While controversial, this fragmented internet adoption creates opportunities for digital players who now understand that part of their strategy to win this key market is developing solutions accessible to India’s poorer and rural populations.
Mobile phone adoption
Moreover, increased use of smartphones and cellular data creates new access points for the internet, especially for poor and rural citizens for whom internet adoption is low. The entry of mobile network Reliance Jio by giant Reliance Industries jumpstarted growth in India’s internet use. Since launching in September 2016, the company has “acquired over 100 million users — many connecting to the mobile internet for the first time in their lives.”
The introduction of Jio has increased not only the total number of users now accessing online content on their mobile devices, but also the amount of consumption happening on those devices, as data pricing is now a much lower barrier for price-sensitive consumers.
The Evolving Digital Viewer
India’s first digital consumers were male millennials who lived in urban areas. However, as internet and mobile penetration increase in the country, the profile of the average digital viewer is shifting dramatically.
Between 2016 and 2017, the largest growths in digital usage occurred among three segments: women, older millennials, and rural populations.Women
Women, particularly those in smaller cities, are gaining online access at a fast rate. According to Hotstar’s The India Watch Report 2018, women in cities with populations between 1L and 10L increased online usage growth by a magnitude of three between 2016 and 2017, compared to two times growth for women in metro areas and cities with at least one million inhabitants. This trend is attributed to the increased availability of affordable smartphone options, which allows both women and those in rural areas to access online content on their mobile devices for the first time. This increase in women internet users is also important because women wield a great deal of purchasing power, controlling 44% of household spending.
Millennials
India’s millennial population features strong purchasing power, increased internet access, and sheer volume at over 400 million people. The Indian population is relatively young when compared to other major markets such as China and United States. In fact, according to Morgan Stanley, India is on-pace to be the youngest country in the world by 2020.
In addition, they are more educated and globally connected than previous generations, expecting content and information to come to them, rather than needing to actively seek it out as older generations did via print and television channels. With these factors at play, it is unsurprising that millennials, and to a lesser extent Generation Zers, are a driving force in India’s increased digital consumption. With mobile and digital adoption (generally) inversely correlated with age, it is therefore unsurprising that consumer brands are targeting India’s millenial and Gen Z populations as key demographics to capture.
Rural India
While people in major metro areas saw a 3.5 times increase in consumption, it was in smaller cities where the jump was most pronounced — a whopping 4.3 times the rate of 2016. Debunking popular thought that metropolitan areas are so-called “cities that never sleep” and therefore have higher consumption than smaller areas, our research has proven that overall consumption as well as binge watching are highest in smaller areas, where their populations stay awake much later than those in large urban areas.
Changing Consumption Patterns
India’s population is increasingly gravitating towards digital media over legacy options in print, TV, and film. According to eMarketer, “digital will take up nearly a third of daily media time in India”. This year, the average adult will spend an estimated 1 hour 18 minutes per day with digital media.
Control, convenience and quality
The first India Watch Report 2018 has highlighted some interesting shifts in consumer habits. The new generation of consumers prioritizes control and convenience. Online video consumption has grown by 5x in the past year, and web series are gaining traction as viewership numbers for some of these series begin to exceed the most watched online TV shows in India for the first time.
Interestingly, the report also notes that over 96% of Hostar’s watchtime came from videos that were over 20 minutes long: which leads us to believe that consumers are willing to invest time in high quality content. In terms of genres, sports and Bollywood films continue to drive the highest engagement, with comedy and drama series coming second.
Regional Content
A second key shift is the growth of the popularity of regional content. India has over 125 million English speakers. Online, English is still India’s dominant language. Elite/affluent viewers (see appendix for a definition of this demographic) primarily consume content in English: this demographic is projected to increase from 8% to 16% by 2025. However, 70% of these users also view content in other languages.
Importantly, a recent study by KPMG India Google found that nearly 70% of Indians consider local language digital content more reliable than English content. The regional language OTT market is growing at 60–65% every month, while regional content comprises nearly 45% of India’s overall online video content consumption.
Image
Additionally, by 2021, an expected 201 million Hindi users — 38% of the Indian internet user base — will be online, according to the same study.Given the rate at which its demand is growing, regional content is expected to comprise 20–25% of the overall digital consumption in 2018.
The shift to creating regional content has just begun, and will be a key driver of growth in of content consumption in Indian markets going forward.Personalised content
Another shift in consumption patterns, highlighted through our interviews and consumer survey, was the move from family viewing to individual content consumption. We think this shift is worth noting, as the move from a family-based to private setting creates the opportunity to create more personalized, contemporary content for various demographics.
The Current Landscape
Domestic Players
Like many other countries, India’s digital scene has been targeted by both local and foreign players. Additionally, it includes both legacy players adjusting their business lines to include digital offerings as well as new entrants focusing on digital-first and often digital-only strategies. With over 100 million subscribers, India’s streaming market is estimated at $280 million. As of 2017, the top five over-the-top (OTT) providers were Hotstar, Voot, Amazon Prime Video, SonyLiv, and Netflix.
OTT providers
Hotstar (an entertainment platform launched by Star India, one of India’s largest media conglomerates, wholly owned by 21st Century Fox) is far and away the leading provider. Hotstar has 75 million users compared to the next in the list, Voot, which only has 15 million users (though its parent company, Viacom18, claims this figure is closer to 22 million users). As Jonnalagadda notes, “Hotstar, for instance, has the digital rights to HBO shows in the country, and streams Game of Thrones episodes the same day they air in the U.S. That’s obviously a huge pull, as is the fact that Hotstar has exclusive rights to stream cricket and football games in the country.”
Legacy studios
India is the largest producer of films in the world in terms of quantity: the industry generated $1.9 billion in 2016. Several of the country’s largest studios, such as Dharma Productions and Red Chillies Entertainment, have signed content deals with Amazon and Netflix: as the war for high quality content and recognizable stars heats up in the country. However, these studios are yet to enter the online series content creation market.
The one contender that stands out in this space is AltBalaji, a subscription-based video streaming platform which launched in 2017, and is a subsidiary of Balaji Telefilms Limited, one of the largest content production houses in India. AltBalaji, with India’s leading television content creator, could be another significant player in the domestic content creation market, given their focus on creating original and tailor-made shows.
Digital media startups
The other categories of players worth mentioning in the domestic digital content space are a) startups focused on creating short-form/snackable content and b) online web series targeted towards millennials and mainly distributed through social media such as The Viral Fever, FilterCopy and All India Bakchod. These players typically have been operating for 3–4 years, raised a Series A round, and employ a data-driven approach to content creation. In addition, there is c) user-generated short-form content distributed primarily through Youtube produced in Hindi or other regional languages, and targeted at Tier 2 and Tier 3 city consumers.
Both these players are notably different from the legacy production houses for their digital-first and targeted approach to content creation, and culture.
International Players
The top international (based outside of India) players are Netflix and Amazon. Both players have announced that India is one of their priority markets globally, and are investing millions of dollars into developing original local content. Amazon is producing 20 original series, while Netflix is aiming for 7 this year. Both companies have are also investing aggressively in growing their libraries of licensed Indian content: Amazon has secured the TV rights to Bollywood star Salman Khan’s movies, while Netflix has won global streaming rights for movies produced by Shah Rukh Khan.
In 2015, Netflix announced its plan to aggressively pursue its international expansion plans, with India among its targeted markets. Aside from offering more Indian content, its rollout and offering in India is remarkably similar to that of other markets, having roughly the same price of 500 rupees, which is very close to the $7.99 charged in the US and other markets until recently (prices began rolling out to $9.99 starting October 2015). However, it might be the company’s one-size-fits all approach that ultimately leads to its undoing as a viable contender in this increasingly competitive space.
Since launching in India, Netflix has not changed its pricing, even as competing offerings entered at lower price points. Additionally, Netflix’s India office is primarily focused on sales & marketing. Their licensing and original content teams sit in Los Angeles: this lack of local engagement could hamper their understanding of India’s complex market. As of this writing, it is industry consensus that Netflix is losing the race in India with only five million monthly users due its high price point and dwindling content library. It will be interesting to see how the company responds to its competitive advantage and market share.
Another major factor in Netflix’s decline in India is the entry of Amazon. Amazon is thought to have invested upwards of $2 billion in its India entry since 2016, offering pricing discounts and other incentives to attract users. In addition to being considerably cheaper than Netflix at 999 rupees for an annual subscription (roughly the equivalent of two months with Netflix), Amazon benefits from providing the video service as part of its larger e-commerce bundle. Additionally, this price point is a small fraction of its US equivalent, which would be over to 6400 rupees instead.
Amazon has astutely recognized the need to price this market differently from its other locations, slashing its price to compete with lower cost options such as Hotstar and no-cost options such as Voot and pirated content. This strategy has proven successful, with Amazon attracting an impressive 11 monthly subscribers users as of this writing, over double that of Netflix.
Overall through, both platforms have low subscriber figures: Amazon had a little more than 600,000 Prime Video users at the end of 2017 while Netflix had 520,000 subscribers. We believe the real threat to Amazon and Netflix in India is Reliance Industries’ Jio.
Jio’s parent company has already acquired a 24.9% stake in AltBalaji and a 5% stake in Eros International in 2018, and is currently in conversations with several production houses. The corporate giant is looking to build a foothold in India’s $20bn media & entertainment sector, through original content licensing and regional programming deals, having already reached 130m subscribers through its wireless network.
Our Take: Opportunities and Gaps
The significant diversity in consumption patterns, based on age, gender, geography and socio-economic status in India also builds the case for the creation of more niche, personalised and highly relatable content.We believe that the ‘one size fits all’ model of Bollywood will not work in the digital entertainment space, as consumers begin to prioritize control and convenience. There is still ample room for new players and approaches, even as the competition for Indian eyeballs heats up.
Digital content will need to be increasingly tailored by age, gender and region, as the profile of users coming online changes. We are particularly excited by the opportunity to create more women-focused content that shows women in new roles given their increased (i) numbers online, (ii) literacy rates, (iii) influence in family and society, and (iv) rise of their spending power.
We also believe that regional content will overtake English content in the next 2–3 years, as the use of regional language users has grown from 42m to 234m in the past five years, and this growth is projected to continue at 18%, while English language users coming online are projected to grow at 3%, over the next 5 years.
On the other hand, we think monetisation of this content will be a challenge amongst this demographic, given the low willingness to pay and low household buying power across rural India.
We think there be significant consolidation in the increasingly crowded OTT space, with a handful of players emerging as winners. However, we believe there is space for new content creators, and think building the supply chain/pipeline for talent amongst content producers, will be fundamental.There is an opportunity to move away from the traditional studio model of content production, to streamline a long and expensive process, that has not kept up with consumption patterns, and to support new voices and talent in this quickly changing market.
From a storytelling perspective, we are excited by the opportunities for new influencers and the space to tell stories about a rapidly urbanising India: we would bet big on rise of reality TV. We think the demand for more relatable characters will continue to grow.
This article was published by Candace Jones (@candacej) & Natasha Malpani, who are both Stanford MBA Class of 2018 students. Over the past ten weeks, they have conducted interviews with several digital platforms in the country, undertaken secondary research and surveyed over 200 consumers of Indian digital content in order to explore the opportunities and challenges presented by this complex market. This project was supervised by Stanford’s ex-Dean. Our full report is available by request.
Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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