Anurag Sason, Deputy News Editor (DNE)/Digital Media, India TV New Delhi Area, India
In order to understand challenges ahead in broadcast media, we must first understand what broadcast media is. Simply put, it is the distribution of audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic mass communications medium (like TV and radio). But usually, one using the radio waves, in a one-to-many model.
Because of its ability to distribute information to a large number of masses in just one click, broadcast media is a powerful tool in the 20th century.
Broadcasting began with AM radio (around 1920) and now it is everywhere...in each and every home in the form of the idiot box (TV) and radio.
Now let us talk about challenges which are standing in its way in the near future:
Increasing competition from within. The first and the foremost challenge is the increasing competition in the market. Gone are the days when there was only one broadcaster like Doordarshan (in case of India). There was a time when we all were dependent on this government-owned entity for information but now we have, reportedly, more than 403 news and current affairs channels. So definitely, the conflict to retain the audience has increased.
Content distribution via the internet. Content distribution via the internet and the various mobile platforms poses new challenges to the broadcast media industry. Now, you are no more dependent on the idiot box for information. You no more need to wait for the 9 pm news to know what happened in your country and the world. You can get all the information from the internet at any time you want.
Internet-mobile phone bonhomie. There was a time when we had to sit in front of our computers to access the internet. In other words, it was not mobile. But now, with cell phones getting cheaper, you can access the internet (and hence information) at anywhere, anytime.
This has made a further dent in the broadcast media industry.
Changing behavior of the audience. The behavior of the audience (because of availability of multiple choices) has changed to a large extent. Now they are no more the same masses who consumed what they were served. Because a decade or two back they did not have the options.
Today’s public is much more enlightened. They have multiple sources of information. They have the power to switch the channel or switch to another medium as per their will.
This has put another challenge in front of the broadcast media industry as every news channel wants to retain TRP. For reducing the bounce rate, every player has to provide something special to keep its audience base intact.
Video on demand. VOD, a programming system which allows users to select and watch/listen to video or audio content whenever they choose, has posed another challenge in front of broadcast media.
Rather than at a scheduled broadcast time, now, with this, the audience can watch their favorite shows including news debates at any time.
To be more specific, internet television, using the internet, is an increasingly popular form of VOD.
Some VOD services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video use a subscription model that requires users to pay a monthly fee to access a collective set of content.
To what extent and how effectively broadcast media will deal with these challenges, only time will tell.