Trends suggest that the comfort of accessibility will be the deciding factor as not only a large population of consumers has preferred TV sets but even the biggest media barons in India have kept their obsession of 21-inch screens alive, says Naman Chaturvedi, Sr. VP-Operations & Creatives, Cinema TV.
From the time I started out in broadcast two decades ago, technology and other platforms have evolved for the better. From how I remember, a 30-minute show would take weeks and days to put together. We now have real-time packaged videos being churned out one after the other for on-air consumption and we have technology to thank for this turn around.
Digital media on the other hand is the new fad; the medium is the new and faster way of sourcing information and entertainment, albeit mostly in the metros. Apart from being a quick handy way of staying informed, digital media allows the integration of audio, video, text, and graphics. The content is dynamic and accessible on any digital device which includes the digital version of everyday newspaper. While the evolution for digital medium has been faster and tremendous, I strictly doubt that it will scuttle the chances of broadcast as a medium. I personally am of the belief that the conventional TV has more life than most pundits have forecasted.
From a regular idiot box to the new evolved smart TV sets that have invaded our living rooms, they are here to stay giving a tough fight to any other medium that may be. The comfort of viewing information and entertainment in the comfort of our homes on the big screen LED sets, the content may very well be a deciding factor – crisp and sensational news channels, breaking news with videos and information by the hour, Hindi entertainment genres that are focused on various social issues or the western content that the channels focus on telecasting simultaneously with the western world.
One factor that we need to keep in mind of the continuous popularity of television over digital medium is the access. Barely 34 percent of Indian population has access or uses Internet and that is just 1.2 percent of what it was last year. Compare this to the market of DTH services in India, which claims 70 percent users in rural India. The country has a television population of over 135 million of which over 85 percent have access to direct-to-home (DTH) services. Add to this the availability of high-quality picture that the population can now enjoy on their TV sets.
Comparatively, the digital medium struggles with connectivity of Internet, whether it is for broadband or the service provider. The poor connectivity or frequent drop in network is a deterrent in the success and popularity of the digital medium vis--vis television. Considering that the mobile networks are struggling for stability for a long time now, the availability of a stable Internet connection still looks a distant dream for users.
Over the next few years, the channels will relook in the revenue generated out of other sources of broadcast in comparison to a regular TV transmission and that will be a big turnaround. Trends suggest that the comfort of accessibility will be the deciding factor as not only a large population of consumers has preferred TV sets but even the biggest media barons in India have kept their obsession of 21-inch screens alive.
It would be appropriate to conclude that evolution of one medium does not mean the death of others. For example, in 1920 it was assumed that radio would replace print. Similarly, in 1950s television news were considered ominous for print and radio.
Then came accessibility of computers in the 1980s and it was yet again concluded to be the end of radio, print, and broadcast. And yet again, with digital media, we draw the same conclusions for other mediums. What we see is simultaneous growth and innovation for each of these mediums. I believe that broadcast as a medium will survive the competition with digital media and continue to grow and evolve.