Both TV & digital mediums are here to stay: PromaxBDA

MUMBAI: With the advent of social media and new usage platforms, the way people consume media has changed and how.

At the PromaxBDA conference, an interesting session with Google partnership director South Asia Ajay Vidyasagar and Discovery Networks VP marketing Rajiv Bakshi threw light on how media is consumed and is leading the way for television of tomorrow.

Spatial Access founder Meenakshi Menon moderated the session.

Vidyasagar said, ?The space has moved from creating content to creating a fan base. The consumer uses content to express himself.? Citing an example of when he joined Google in 2010, he said, ?In 2010, the Indian audience gave a total of 500 million views, while today it gives about 350 billion views for the content that is available on YouTube.?

YouTube is a platform for creators to engage and communicate with audiences, which television lacks. Sharing his views on how television will continue to exist, Bakshi said, ?We?re no longer a traditional medium. We?re a contemporary medium. In spite of having entered the phase of digitisation, we are growing. So even if digital exists, television will continue to be there for the audiences. It caters to different sets of audiences. Moreover, people like to consume content on all platforms.?

?We started Discovery in India with two channels. Today we have 11 channels, including one GEC - ?Investigation Discovery,? which we launched recently. So there is an audience for all types of content. India is evolving and TV is robust and growing,? Bakshi added.

Raising a question, Menon asked how TV reconciles with the fact that content cost on TV is very high, whereas on YouTube it is bare minimum and in spite of this, YouTube gets a million views and a billion fans to their content.

Answering Menon?s question, Bakshi said, ?From a short term business point of view, the YouTube model is fine. But from a long-term business point of view, one needs to have a 24-hour content model. Eventually, in India people want maximum entertainment and minimum effort and TV is giving exactly that.?

Speaking about the evolution of media, Vidyasagar said, ?When print came, the word of mouth publicity did not lose its business. Similarly, when radio and television came, print did not die. None of them have impacted the value of existing media. The need for one to consume news is increasing and hence every medium is here to stay. The only important point to keep in mind is that content is an asset and in today?s world it needs to be made relevant to different devices.?

While we know that a lot of producers are creating content for digital and showing it on digital, Vidyasagar stated an example where Jimmy Fallon actually engages with audiences on digital to bring relevant content back on TV. In the end, it?s a loop of usage. Digital is not taking away from anybody, and neither is television. Both the mediums engage consumers.

Vidyasagar added, ?For instance, in India the highest searched channels on YouTube are that of television networks because their content is available on YouTube. Eventually, the consumer gets the core benefits of the content available on digital and on television.?

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