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OTT platforms shift focus from exclusive content to sharing rights, aiming for wider audience reach

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In Short:

Video streaming platforms are now sharing original content with rival players to improve distribution and monetization. The move is driven by the need to reach a larger audience and generate more revenue as paid subscriptions have plateaued. While bigger players may insist on exclusivity, smaller entities are looking at syndication for monetization. Some experts believe that exclusivity is crucial for long-term success in the streaming business.

Video Streaming Platforms Embrace Syndication Strategy

Nowadays, video streaming platforms are opening up to the idea of sharing their original content with rival players in various ways. For instance, shows from **Atrangii**, an app owned by film, television, and web content producer **Vibhu Agarwal**, can be found on both MX Player and Star Bharat. Similarly, hoichoi shows are being dubbed in Hindi for JioCinema. This trend isn’t new, as ZEE5 and Ekta Kapoor-owned ALTBalaji have previously joined forces.

Experts in the media and entertainment industry suggest that this shift is geared towards enhancing distribution, expanding reach, and boosting monetization. With paid subscriptions becoming stagnant across all platforms and advertising yet to take off, content costs are on the rise. Collaboration with other services helps in maintaining a steady content flow.

Enhancing Reach and Monetization

**Soumya Mukherjee**, the chief operating officer of hoichoi, highlighted the importance of exploring the Hindi dubbed market. While Bengali content remains the platform’s focus, creating dubbed versions for other services broadens access to their extensive library.

According to **Rajat Agrawal** from Ultra Media & Entertainment Group, sharing original content with other OTT platforms is a strategic move. It helps in reaching a wider audience, measuring content success, and planning for the future.

Future of Syndication

**Sandeep Bansal**, the managing director of Chaupal OTT, predicts a syndication-driven future for OTTs, both national and regional. By collaborating with local OTTs, national players can access high-quality regional content. The benefits include increased brand reach and revenue, although smart content creation is key to satisfying diverse audiences.

As per **Mehul Gupta** from SoCheers, smaller streaming players must embrace syndication for monetization. Maintaining exclusivity for bigger players is challenging, especially when older content requires additional advertising to attract viewers.

Navigating Content Exclusivity

While some industry experts believe exclusivity is crucial for building a direct-to-consumer streaming business in the long run, others emphasize the value of shared content. **Saurabh Srivastava** from Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd. highlights the significance of original content in maintaining platform uniqueness and subscriber loyalty. Ultimately, business decisions revolve around the balance between being an OTT platform and an IP studio.

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