Reinventing traditional broadcasting
The finest hour for the Indian broadcast industry has commenced. In the last two decades, the industry has witnessed a transformation in content, transmission technologies, brand marketing, viewer engagement and even business models. With such advancement, digital penetration and encouraging regulatory framework; the industry is able to reach, entertain and engage a billion viewers.
Today, India stands out as a unique market where the new media continues to emerge in the confident and thriving shadow of the traditional media. Television heralds a new era, one in which the audience is finally the king and is dictating content creation, availability and consumption. Their massive and insatiable appetite for everything ranging from soaps, movies, news, lifestyle, sports and music is a flattering endorsement of the industry’s great future.
Thanks to digitisation, the viewers are enjoying finest images, crisp sound effect and increased entertainment in the comfort of their homes. Additionally, they have access to world-class content and services like video on demand, gaming, mobile television and multiple more new possibilities. The democratisation of television has finally occurred.
Digitisation has also brought new challenges. Competition has got fiercer. Viewer fragmentation is a reality. Innovations are making the existing channels look traditional. In short, one has to be ahead of the rest to enjoy viewers, affiliates and advertisers’ confidence. Whichever way one looks, the benefits far out shadows the challenges.
As the industry undergoes this rapid change, the content owners and producers will have to refresh their thinking if they intend to remain in the reckoning. Innovation will form the bedrock for success. This new television environment has paved way for exciting new formats, fresher narratives and original themes. Live television is undergoing a change and it will not be dominated by just sports and news channels. There will be burst of new genres. From channels dedicated to investigation, home, health and more, television will alter the way we perceive entertainment. It will make the world flatter as content flows into homes across the globe at the same time. Television stars will outshine movie stars with women leading this ranking. Substance will outscore the size debate.
Digitisation is to television what mobility was to the telecom industry. It will continue to open doors to a vast range of opportunities including access to the global market, multi-platform distribution, deeper consumer engagement and enriched collaborations. Digitisation is expected to spawn multi-genre growth and will service all kinds of viewers’ needs and preferences. Importantly, it will connect the massive Indian hinterland and will create fresh aspirations among the millions living in cable-dark areas. Television was never as valuable for all stakeholders, especially the viewer.
For continued success, companies will have to rewrite their marketing strategies. Engagement will embody a new meaning. It will become imperative for all channels, small or big, to talk to their audience. Crowd sourcing will be an effective tool to generate content and form multiple new manifestations. Brand differentiation will become the key in this highly cluttered environment.
The television industry in India has emerged as the latest illustration of how India leads many other markets–this is what makes the country both exciting and dynamic. This new phase of television has dramatically changed our outlook towards content creation, brand differentiation and, above all, the economics of broadcast business. It has significantly enhanced the television viewing experience. It’s a turning point for the industry and I am confident that going ahead the industry will continue to respond with commitment and creativity.
Author: Rahul Johri
Senior VP & General Manager, South Asia & Head of Revenue, Pan-Regional Ad Sales and South East Asia, Discovery Networks, Asia-Pacific