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We have just begun to explore the potential for BBC in India: Myleeta Aga, BBC Worldwide

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We have  just begun to explore the potential for BBC in India: Myleeta Aga, BBC Worldwide

Strengthening its content portfolio for the Indian market, BBC Worldwide India is catering to the burgeoning demand for content and stepping up in the OTT space. Myleeta Aga, BBC Worldwide's Senior Vice President and General Manager, SEA & SA spoke to exchange4media and opened up on the media giant’s game plans for the next financial year, production line-up on the cards and more.

Aga revealed that 2017 has been a busy but extremely fruitful year for BBC Worldwide in India. “We launched BBC Earth as a channel in a joint venture (JV) with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI). We also did a slew of content deals including with Zee Café for the block BBC First, while also growing our presence in the production space whether it is on television or in OTT,” she said.

Asserting the importance of India as a market, she said,"India is one of our key focus markets because of its huge growth potential. We see a huge opportunity in India’s large population that is increasingly becoming more affluent and urban; as that happens, they become more open to international content.” She revealed that the traction their content and brands are achieving in India is very encouraging and exciting. “We have only just begun to explore the fandom and potential for BBC brands and franchises in India and South-East Asia,” she explained.

Aga also spoke about how ad-funded shows are going to be a very interesting space to look at in the future. “You can record your content and skip the advertisement. Therefore, brands have to reinvent themselves and they have to look at how they communicate their value to the audience. I think producers like us are in an excellent position to do that. Firstly, as a big brand, we understand its requirements and we know how to take a story and put it together with the brand so that it becomes more seamless,” she asserted.

When we quizzed her about the new production line-up and other initiatives on the cards for the next financial year, she said that she sees a lot more opportunities to create content in India with new business models. “These models bring brands, content creators and platforms together in order to address changing audience needs. We also see a lot of growth in kids content and will be exploring partnerships for our preschool brand, Cbeebies,” said Aga.

She also went on to speak about how the BBC business in the SEA market is looking. “Our South-East Asia businesses are slightly different from our India business because it is primarily a channels business,” she explained. Aga said that like India, these markets are turning increasingly to OTT platforms for content consumption so they are working with multiple platform partners to take BBC Player to fans of that content.

Going to the brand’s content-distribution strategy, she revealed that the group’s strategy has always been to bring high-quality content from the UK or in local markets and license it out to audiences regardless of channels and digital platforms. “We continue to leverage the capabilities of our production house as creator and adaptor of quality content to take our business to the next level,” she said.

Aga said that the temporary hiccups that the Indian market faced due to de-monetization and GST implementation will pass. “We expect robust growth and a further proliferation of platforms – Telcos, OTT and traditional - for audiences across the country. With this proliferation, I also expect that there will be greater opportunities for content creation and distribution for companies like us with a vast and deep catalogue,” she spilled the beans on the media giant’s plan for the Indian market, going forward.

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