Innovative developments in Sri Lanka media and content creation
Koombiyo is one of the most spoken about and watched as well as highly appraised television series airing currently in Sri Lanka. The storyline as well as the stellar performances offer viewers a refreshing break from the monotonous drone of the Sinhalese tele series angle that has remained unchanged for decades now. According to the trending hashtag #Koombiyo on Twitter, viewers express highly positive reviews of the tele series. There is of course the odd negative comment but the majority of viewers praise the series for its creativity which they say “is like a breath of fresh air”.
What is even more interesting is the fact that Sri Lankan media seemed to have taken a different approach with regards to the publishing of the drama as well, where the ITN Youtube channel has officially posted the entire series for the ease of access to viewers on a global level which is not very commonly done with teledramas here. It seems to be working because this latest episode which has been posted only 10 hours ago has been able to amass a total of 74.375 views and counting as at 7.30 am on the 06th November 2017.
According to an article done by Daily News on the 27th of October 2017, it has been reported that Koombiyo secured the first place on the crime series segment of the IMDB or the Internet Movie Database ratings. This, happens to be the very first time that a tele drama which has been produced in Sri Lanka has acquired the 1st place on the IMDB platform or international rating. On IMDB, viewers have the option to review and rate any movie or TV series as they feel is correct, based on which the actual overall rating will be displayed. While studying the reviews of the viewers on Koombiyo, it is significant that almost all of them have rated it as excellent giving it all of the stars on the IMDB star ratings which has resulted in the drama receiving an overall 9.9 rating.
It indicates that the public is really happy with the quality, the plot and even the acting that can be seen in the series. However, it is also important to note that almost all the reviews have been done by Sri Lankan viewers alone.
Eka Dawasaka Api and Sannesi Premaya
Eka Dawasaka Api is being publicized as ‘Sri Lanka’s first ever mobile movie’.
Dr. Arosha Fernando, a well-known film, teledrama and stage play producer who has already stood at the helm of 24 productions in just 4 years is spearheading this latest revolution called “Sannesi Premaya”.
Once the TV series has been completed it has been decided that it will be telecasted through the ViU mobile app of Dialog Axiata. This, is a really clever and timely decision seeing as many of the current generation would like to watch pretty much anything on their smartphones as opposed to sitting in front of the television. The Dialog ViU Vinode app is all set to create a serious paradigm shift in the tele drama broadcasting of Sri Lanka.
Eka Dawasaka Api, Dialog ViU’s first movie took part in the international film festivals and is all set to release on the ViU app and in theatres in January 2018. Directed by the renowned Anuruddha Jayasinghe, these productions are paving the way to a more innovative media and content creation in Sri Lanka.
One more question that deserves thought is as to why Dialog Axiata is getting involved in producing movies and TV series. On one hand, the network has several variations such as iflix, vinode, Dialog TV Go and The Papare.com, which essentially offer customers the chance to watch their favourite movies and tv series or sports events and the likes from anywhere and at anytime for a minimum monthly rental. In a time where people would not have time to sit in front of a TV to watch what they like, Dialog’s latest venture will certainly increase their popularity and customer base by means of convenience and flexibility. The major social media networks such as Facebook and Snapchat are also investing in producing TV series and movies and Dialog could be taking a leaf out of their book. https://www.dialog.lk/dialogviu/
What is happening globally?
On the other hand when we consider the global model for telcos producing movies and TV, we can see some rapidly evolving trends like a muti-million dollar merger between At&T and Warner, and in Europe; France’s SFR, Telefonica from Spain and BT from UK that have jumped into the content business on different levels. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Vivendi one of Europe’s largest content providers visibly expressed interest last year in working with telcos as well.
Why the interest?
The growth of telcos and the usage of smartphones have ushered in a digital era where the patterns of consumption are fast changing. Here are some of the reasons as to why a telecom company like Dialog would want to be involved in production.
- Traditional methods of generating revenue are under duress for both telcos and content providers because of the change in consumer habits and they need to expand to maintain profits.
- Telcos, by engaging in production stand the chance to invest in the content and also have an ownership in networks that can and will be used for the consumption of content in the near future.
- Delving into TV and movies is not necessarily looked upon as a money-making strategy by telcos but rather, as means to expand their existing customer base and retain users.
- TV channels and broadcasters are on the lookout for profitable means of content sharing. Premium ownership costs, increased competition and possible loss of revenue because of low-cost competition can drive consumers away and working with telcos allows these companies to spread their content on a much broader level by using integrated production.