Karan Taurani, Sr VP, Elara Capital, Expert in the Movie & Entertainment Industry
An alumnus of JBIMS (Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies) and HR college, Research analyst covering Media/Entertainment/Consumer/Internet sector closely with over 14 years of experience in institutional equity research; currently Senior Vice President with Elara Capital.
India is famous as the world’s largest producer of films. The movie content in India has evolved a great deal with the evolving audience. Movies now cater to an audience of all kinds: the ones who are looking for the larger-than-life content and the ones who are more inclined towards meaningful story-oriented cinema.
With the pandemic going on for over two years now and the rapid mushrooming of several OTT platforms, the economics of the Indian movie industry has seen new challenges and trends. Today, we have Mr. Karan Taurani, a seasoned media trends analyst, who discusses these issues.
About Karan Taurani
Karan Taurani is a Senior Vice President of Elara Capital. He is a Research Analyst of media trends. He speaks to us about the monetization trends of movies, the kind of preferable content in the market, and trends of the pre and post-pandemic world.
Karan talks about the huge film market in India producing around close to 1,600 feature films every year, of which a large chunk is a regional cinema, about 300 Hindi films, and around 150 foreign language films.
Talking about the large scale of the film industry, he estimates it to be around twenty thousand dollars as per the pre-pandemic numbers. He further talks about the importance of cinemas for revenues for the producers. He explains, “Even today, 60 percent of revenue comes from domestic theatricals.”
Digital Technology and Cinema
Calling it a chicken and egg story, Karan explains that available technology needs to have accordingly made content. He feels that the producers are gradually realizing the audience’s interest in larger-than-life cinema.
He says, “We will slowly come to par with Hollywood. Technology is very important to help to innovate a lot.”
Talking about the OTT platforms, he feels now is the time for them to innovate and keep investing to be at par with cinema movies.
Despite the growing number of OTT platforms, Karan still believes in the upper hand of cinemas. He says, “Many movies who have gone on OTT have not done well except for some medium budget films. Large budget film economics are not suitable for OTT.”
He also feels the concept of web series working well for the OTTs, owing to the higher sticking and recall value of the audience. He feels the platforms will eventually move away from films.
Film Industry Economics
With India having close to 9,500 screens, it lags far behind countries like US and China. He also explains how India lags behind in the content too. He elaborates, “Only 10 percent of revenue comes from the non-Indian market and the rest 90 percent from India. Only a few films of Aamir Khan have seen huge success in China. Need to monetize our content better in overseas market.”
Karan also talks about the trend of multiplexes that seems to stay owing to the two reasons:
- Experience for people
- Ticket prices: 3 X the singles screens.
Karan gives a secret sauce recipe for OTT: right content, distribution with right pricing plans, and user experience with nicely designed apps.
About the censorship, Karan is against any form of blanket censorship, however believes there should be a level playing field for TV and OTT. He also feels, avoiding any form of regulation leads to more chances of hurting someone’s sentiment owing to the varied cultures and religions in India.
About the OTT replacing cinema, Karan feels both are going to stay. Both require different forms of content, and a Bollywood star in an OTT content automatically increases the market value of the show.
Karan calls it party-time for producers, where they now have enough monetization opportunities through cinema, OTT, and the right content for the overseas market.
Prepared research reports analyzing trends/patterns across all mediums of media and entertainment/Internet/Consumer sector via primary and secondary research, backed by financial analysis and forecasting; completed multiple thematic based reports covering digital media, cinema, content, linear broadcasting, Internet and QSR; successfully advised multiple large domestic and FII (Foreign Insti Investors) funds on investments in the M&E/Internet/Consumer Discretionary sector.
Invited by IIM-Ahmedabad as an expert to discuss movie/OTT dynamics in India & invited in Big FM leadership talk show – Upward & Onward; Ranked No.1 analyst as per Asiamoney Polls for M&E sector globally. Engaged with esteemed organizations FICCI and TRAI to prepare white papers and advise on various issues. Also, invited as Jury to the ScreenX summit (organized by AdGully)
Been a panelist/moderator multiple times in various domestic conferences like BW (Business World) Summit, Big Cine Expo, OTTV Summit, Vident, ScreenX, OTT/Connected TV Summit, and international conferences like BRICS Film Technology Symposium (organized by FICCI), Korean Content Market (organized by FICCI), VDO Asia, VDO Africa sharing views on the industry.
Regularly featured across TV channels (CNBC – TV18, ET Now, BBC, RSTV, NDTV) in their flagship shows, print (Business Standard, BW, Mint, TOI), and digital media (e4m,indiantv.com, Moneycontrol) to share views on the M&E/internet/consumer industry.