Anurag Sason, Associate Producer, ABP News
When technology affects every field/industry, then how can media as an industry remain immune from it? Like any other industry, the broadcast industry has also pressed into service some trending technologies for its benefits.
Some major trends include VR, AR, and 360 videos.
Let me first shed some light on the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). These new-generation technologies draw the hope for great content to emerge.Now is the time for VR journalism and some of the best and brightest in journalism are using virtual reality to make audiences feel as if they are in the middle of stories. As per Manatt Digital Media, by 2020, revenue from VR and AR will generate USD 150 billion. Globally, big names like The Washington Post and The New York Times are already using it. In India also, there is a beginning in this field.
The new technology, according to the latest study from the Associated Press, is a huge opportunity for reporters to engage audiences. However, it will be a big departure from how journalists used to tell stories.
With this new technology powering 3D models, journalists will be able to develop multiple storylines in a single environment. As a direct consequence to this audiences will no longer be guided in a linear progression and will be able to choose different story paths as they freely explore the virtual space.
Video 360 is also an innovation with the help of which viewers can see the entire newsroom. By using this, one can see not only a static frame of 4:3 or 16:9 but entire 360 degrees.
ABP News is using this technology during big events like the counting day of national/state elections and one can get a glimpse of it by visiting the news channel’s English news website www.abplive.in.
Major Challenges in the Industry
Like any other industry, growing competition is one of the major challenges media industry is facing these days. In this, technology (which is getting cheaper every day) has also played its role.
Some websites which are providing domain names at a very nominal cost have helped in the mushrooming of online/digital media. If we talk about broadcast media (which we normally call TV journalism), the competition is not as much as in online space but still, it has increased to a large extent compared to a decade ago.
Products like Live-U (used for portable live video acquisition solution) have considerably decreased the cost which earlier a channel had to invest by buying an OB-van. Obviously, in this, mobile phone, with a high-quality camera, has also played its own role. All this has helped those small players who wanted to jump in the field by opening a TV channel.
Another challenge is the changing taste of the viewers. The watching preference of the audience changes with time. They are now more demanding and want in-depth coverage. In other words, they are no longer interested in shallow news.
Expanding Web of OTT
The over the top (OTT) space is also increasing nowadays. If some reports are to be believed, at present, the OTT sector has a mix of nearly 30 domestic and foreign service providers. In the OTT segment, Hotstar (which allows not only programmatic content from regional channels, Bollywood movies, web series but also live streaming of sports and entertainment events) claims to possess the largest market share. Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant has also recently announced plans to launch an OTT video service in India over the next 3 months.
Reason for increasing OTT segment? One of the biggest reasons behind this germination has been increased digital penetration and adoption of smartphones and the Internet.
According to a report by Media Partners Asia (MPA), the Indian online video market is all set to increase from USD 340 million in 2017 to USD 1.6 billion by 2020.
So no doubt, the OTT space at present is full of opportunity.