For a $15 billion media and entertainment industry, the lack
of reliable data is one of the major factors pulling down
India CEO and chairman of the Ficci Media & Entertainment
Committee Uday Shankar wondered how a fledgling industry could
function without availability of acceptable data.
stakeholders of M&E industry to set their house in order,
Shankar said that there is lack of reliable data on audience
measurement across verticals of the media and entertainment
can this industry function without a shared and non-controversial
view of the most basic facts? Numbers are supposed to be the
foundations of rational business decisions. How can we make
decisions when professionals in the business of numbers cant
get their numbers straight?," he questioned.
lack of reliable data is not limited to TAM, Shankar elaborated.
"As a TV executive, I am surprised sometimes how I am
even able to function. I do not know enough about my viewers
in fact, I dont even know how many of them are
there. There are 140 million cable and satellite homes but
the measured universe is 62 million households."
also said that the countrys premier media agencies differ
on a fact as basic as the size of the advertising market.
also pointed out that it's not just the television industry
that suffers from lack of reliable data. In fact, the whole
industry across verticals is functioning without proper data.
ambiguity in data for other sectors of the media and entertainment
is no less. For instance, no film producer seems to know accurately
how many people actually bought tickets to watch his film,"
also exhorted that there is a need for a change of mindset
among stakeholders to take the industry to the next level.
M&E industry is a real economic enterprise and not just
a vehicle of glitz and glamour, one that has the potential
to solve the problem of unemployment by creating new jobs.
time has come for all of us to make sure that it is not just
industry status that we seek; it is a fundamental change in
mindset," Shankar said, while delivering his keynote
address today at Ficc-Frames 2013, an annual media and entertainment
conclave held in Mumbai.
also said that the M&E industry is capable of creating
employment and wealth much faster than most other sectors
and has the ability to be a force multiplier, like it is in
is particularly relevant in India because it can be an employment
generator without massive public investments and without being
hampered by the deficiencies of public infrastructure. Just
to put things in perspective, as a $15 billion industry, we
employ over 6 million people. This can be so much more significant
and meaningful," he said.
also bemoaned the fact that the industry despite the huge
potential has not got the adequate support from government.
case in point, Shankar said, was the government's recent decision
to increase customs duty on Set Top Boxes, notwithstanding
the fact that the cost of STBs will go up at a time when the
country is moving towards mandatory cable television digitisation
and impose withholding taxes on content rights
lens often used to look at this industry is largely one of
glamour and propaganda and the biggest debate is on how to
control and contain it. As a result, the growth of M&E
has not been supported by policy and regulatory initiatives,"
that the industry is facing an imminent talent crunch, Shankar
said: We hide under the pretense of creativity and have
convinced ourselves that creativity gives us the license to
be informal and chaotic. It is this informality and chaos
that has seeped into our approach to spotting and grooming
talent. This is dangerous. We must realise that discipline
and formality are not antithetical to creativity and if anything
they are necessary ingredients to fostering the creative process.
said efforts to curb free speech in a robust democracy like
India is one of the biggest challenges that can potentially
derail the industry from its trajectory. When Satyamev
Jayate points to weaknesses in the medical system, doctors
are offended. When Jolly LLB creates a courtroom satire, lawyers
are offended. Even when a precocious teenager posts a comment
on Facebook, some people start baying for her blood,
is interesting to me is that we all agree that the role of
media is to question the status quo. But with the right to
question must come the right to provoke and the right to offend.
also set out the ambitious Rs 10 billion target for Indian
movies. "We should work hard and strive for such success.
If the stakeholders can come together, a lot can be achieved.
We have seen that in the case of digitisation," Shankar