Confluence of content and competition in the Indian market

Reliance and Disney's Streaming Power Play

Reliance and Disney's streaming power play: A confluence of content and competition in the Indian market

Introduction :

If this proposed merger between the media unit of Reliance Viacom18 and Walt Disney’s operations in India, there is huge potential for Reliance and Disney’s Streaming Power Play to disrupt Indian media. Viacom18 has 38 channels and Disney Star nearly 80 channels in the highly populated Indian territory. The combination of these two media giants, Reliance and Disney’s Streaming Power Play, is expected to form a combined entity that will be extremely powerful and will dominate everywhere on TV or online.

Perhaps the most important aspect of such a merger would be its enormous content base. When Disney Hotstar and Reliance's JioCinema finally join hands, the combined library will boast 200,000 hours of content, ranging from comics from foreign countries to Indian TV series and films to sporting events such as super football matches. The extensive content available not only highlights the breadth of their resources, but also opens them up to a variety of audience tastes.

The second most downloaded video streaming app on smartphones last year was already a household name in India, Disney's Hotstar. This figure is taken from the annual report on digital media trends 2021 by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and EY, titled Reliance and Disney’s Streaming Power Play. As such, its position in the Indian streaming market is already secure and a tie-up with Reliance's JioCinema would propel it even further.

Recalling an integral part of the Indian cultural fabric, cricket is another element of this collaboration. Disney-owned Hotstar holds the digital rights for International Cricket Council matches in India until 2027. In the latter case, however, Reliance's JioCinema recently won a bidding war with Disney for the rights to broadcast of the popular (and lucrative) Indian Premier League (IPL) in India.

The double advantage offered by the merged entity when it comes to cricket broadcasting means that it is something of a one-stop-shop for fans of the sport. In a market where the sport itself is of great importance, the potential profits are certainly also there.

Reliance and Disney’s Streaming Power Play:

Reliance and Disney’s Streaming Power Play (Image Source: File:Disney+ Hotstar logo.svg – Wikipedia)

Recently, JioCinema has taken several strategic steps in this direction, including collaborating with The Pokemon Company to offer streaming content for the mobile game and entering into a deal with Warner Bros. ahead of last month's Cinemaa Awards ceremony, to bring more Hollywood and international content to its platform than ever before. This not only broadens the platform's appeal to a wider audience, but also places it in the role of a global entertainment destination that satisfies many tastes and preferences.

In the age of digital streaming, the potential merger between Reliance and Disney shows that the Indian media world must adapt to changing consumer needs. With economies of scale from the consolidation of their television channels, their vast content libraries and strategic partnerships, the merged entity could become the king of this highly competitive Indian market.

In summary, the potential merger between Reliance and Disney could be seen as a strategic association that would redefine the parameters of the Indian media and entertainment industry. With a focus on content variety, strategic partnerships and monopoly on cricket broadcasting, the new streaming giant could usher in a new era in capturing the attention of people across the country.

New India’s digital entertainment story The growing competition between these two giants will also lead to a synergy of creative forces and perhaps mark a new turning point.