Monday, August 17, 2009

When power shifts to viewers for TV, it shows

In the matrix of a world digitised by the binary integers, what makes us take a look at the world of television is the way it has metamorphosed from a satellite-based phenomenon to a state where digital and satellite media coexist. Call it the third wave or the power shift, the viewer, has made it happen. does a future analysis of what the face of television would be in financial year 2009-2010.

Consumer is King
It is probably the third wave in India with the communications scenario taking a different turn wherein the consumer had only to be content with what was offered by the market. But, according to Siddhartha Mukherjee, vice-president, communications, TAM Media Research, it is now the consumer who will be deciding the fate of the players in the world of television. "For the first time in India, the TV industry entered a mode of demand and supply. With the advent of the DTH and set top box the viewer gets to exercise the demand power; earlier it used to be supply dependant," says Mukherjee. Does it mean the satellite service providers will become obsolete? According to Mukherjee, the "coexistence of both the media can't be ruled out as they cater to different target groups. But with the increase in disposable income, the consumer has become more discernible."

Paradigm Power
Media analysts are of the opinion that DTH will cast the magic wand of change and decide the market dynamics. So, in this situation where niche channels are entering the market, how the respective players are deriving stratagems to capture their share is a million rupee question. "The year 2009-10 is going to witness more number of regional general entertainment channels (GECs). Moreover, more innovative formats will also emerge to cater to the changing consumer palate," says Mukherjee. Industry too echoes a similar version. According to Shailaja Kejriwal, creative head, content, NDTV Imagine, "There are new formats emerging in the communications industry. A mix of fiction and non-fiction is going to be the mantra." "While 2008 saw saas-bahu sagas, music and dance based reality shows, this format will undergo a transformation the coming years. A new genre which is a pot pourri of lot of elements such as epic, family, social, and humour based programming mix including deviations from typical on-fiction programmes will be introduced to get the audience glued." Kejriwal adds.

Invisible Hand
The viewer acts as an invisible hand by channeling the demand curve. Actor Anang Desai feels, "People want good and newer ideas executed to give rise to good programming. Novel subjects need to be found out as formulas have lost their charm to amuse the audience."

Future Shock
Will there be any other parallel trends? "Kids entertainment channels (KECs) are certainly going to be more happening in the future," adds Mukherjee. "What will sweep the major chunk of business is the localisation of content with channels targeting regional markets, which was untapped so far. The enormous potential that the Indian animation sector has, will act as a multiplier effect to boost the number of channels embracing the regional touch." says Mukherjee. At the same time, there is a parallel trend of channels focusing on youth. Experts however, opine that it will require more players. But till then, the viewer will have a cornucopia of programmes to feast on. Grab your popcorn and enjoy surfing.


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