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Moving beyond television

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MUMBAI:  The online space for content is growing, not just in terms of online production houses coming up but also in terms of innovation. But how much of this affects the distributors and operators in India? Well! that was the talking point of a discussion titled ‘Beyond the Television Screen –Distributors and Operators’ at the afaqs! TV.NXT 2014 summit.

Joining the panel were BARC India chief executive officer Partho Dasgupta, PwC India Entertainment and Media leader Smita Jha, SureWaves Media chief operating officer Mandar Patwardhan, BBC Global News (Indian operations ) chief operating officer  Naveen Jhunjhunwala and Indiantelevision.com founder, CEO and editor in chief Anil Wanvari who also anchored the discussion.

Dasgupta began by saying that while today a lot of new and innovative content was available on multiple platforms, the popularity depended on the quality of content being produced.  When asked if the rating agency would be taking steps to monitor any online content, Dasgupta said, “We will set up a system that is platform agnostic and even monitor digital content.”

Enlightening the session with interesting facts, he said that while starsports.com received 2.8 million hits during the last IPL season, NDTV received 13 billion hits for its coverage of the Lok Sabha elections.

Talking about BBC’s digital strategy, Jhunjhunwala emphasised on how a specialised in-house team has been setup that specifically caters to producing online content for its Indian website. “The India page has a lot of content that is localised. The challenge for us is to have Indian local content that has an international perspective,” he said.

Jha, commenting on global trends, revealed that worldwide TV advertisements were growing at five per cent while internet advertising was growing at 10 per cent. But the size of the internet advertising market is still evolving. “Advertising agencies today have specific teams to produce online content. It is essential for brands today to come up with one to two commercials every 15 days,” she said.

On the other hand, Patwardhan said that while traditional mediums have already begun to adapt to the digital environment, the reverse could also take place wherein online content producers would switch to the linear television format and a crossover would take place.

Wanvari at this point interjected saying that broadcasters today solely wanted to own the IP and producers had very little time, since they are busy with their shooting schedules, to put forward their point for joint ownership of an IP. 

Jha in her parting words said that the IP should rest with the producer and not the broadcaster so that innovation could be introduced in multiple formats for audiences.

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