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Doordarshan's future roadmap hinges on new tech, content development & monetisation

The pubcaster has to quickly adapt to new technologies.

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MUMBAI: Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati is waking up from its slumber. With technology redesigning the media industry, the pubcaster has to quickly adapt to upgradations like ultra-high definition (UHD) along with focusing on over-the-top reach and tapping the huge digital base.

Several recommendations to boost DD were discussed in the first ever India International Broadcast Conclave 2019 held at Hyderabad in March under the aegis of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB). Experts across the media value chain shared their insights for further growth of DD and the industry.

One of the important recommendations was the participation of DD and AIR in international forums like MIPCOM and other international festivals.  While PB has a huge repository of archival content, monetisation of this asset is the need of the hour. Along with helping in revenue augmentation, it would also ensure a wider reach of rich content to enthusiasts.

DD also needs to quickly adopt HD and UHD technologies for better picture quality. It has also been suggested that DD should prepare a roadmap for moving towards HD completely. On the other hand, DD needs to tap the huge digital base of consumers nationally as well as globally and take necessary steps for digitising of content and infrastructure. While all the traditional broadcasters are taking the over-the-top (OTT) road, DD can either create its own platform or collaborate with third parties in a revenue sharing agreement.

Technology is not only important for distribution but also needs to be implemented as a part of overall programming such as augmented reality and virtual reality (AR and VR) in order to innovate and present content tactically. The need to have a separate cell in DD for data analytics for better insights on content has been allowed.

“DD needs to adopt a professional outsourcing model for content development and acquisition in view of a large number of vacancies of production staff and ageing manpower. DD needs to revamp its tariff rates, put in place a robust sales and marketing teams and monetisation of content to stay ahead in the competition,” the report read.

To make the changes smoother, there should be a focus also on capacity-building initiatives. At the time of rapid changes, a well-designed skill upgradation programme is the need of the hour. Moreover, collaboration with private agencies to provide training on contemporary skills in areas covering the entire value chain has been suggested. 

“Commercial activity of broadcast to be efficient to pay for the public service activity. Onus is to be self-sustaining so that it can sustain the organisation. DD Freedish is a good example of public service mandate and achieving commercial sustainability,” PB CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati highlighted in his ‘Master Class’.

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