Traditional media needs to partner with UGC sites

MUMBAI: Traditional media owners need to form a partnership with user generated content (UGC) sites to serve their consumers.

This was a point that came out at a session at Ficci Frames that looked at User generated Content: Seizing the Opportunity.
The speakers were Viacom 18 senior VP corporate strategy and business Anuj Poddar, NDTV Networks and NDTV Convergence CEO Vikram Chandra, Anand and Anand head of copyright and entertainment law Jagdish Sagar and Intel Software and Solutions Group director Asia Pacific Narendra Bhandari.

Balika Vadu, for instance, is one of the top viewed videos on Youtube in India, demonstrating how traditional media can pull new media.

Copyright, however, remains a challenge and there is a lack of value flowing back to content owners. Solutions, though, are evolving. UGC has set across norms, including the filtering of content that has a copyright. 
There is no distinction being made between user created and user generated content, notes Sagar. In the first case, the content creator surrenders all rights he has when he puts it up on a site. Many things can be done to that content like translation which the owner cannot control. In the second instance, somebody else uploads the content which the content owner may not be aware of.
The key to get out of this quagmire is to find a user friendly way to empower copyright owners. Sites like YouTube promote copyright infringement, Sagar notes. Getting an injunction is not a complete solution as it can only work for large content owners. One could look at a copyright society or having a licensing mechanism.

Dwelling on the opportunities and challenges of UGC for traditional media, Chandra said traditional media companies can get feedback and have user engagement which is what NDTV Social enjoys. There is also citizen journalism where news channels get tip offs and photos from disasters. But the challenge lies in finding a business model, Chandra adds.

NDTV has a channel on YouTube and there is revenue sharing for ads. However if NDTV content is uploaded outside this channel, then there is leakage that happens.

Bhandari noted that new media devices like the mobile would get smaller and smarter in the coming 24 months, allowing for HD level video to come from phones. UGC sites could benefit from an open source model technologically, he added.

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