With the November 1, 2012 digitisation deadline looming ahead, the broadcasting industry is in a state of frenzy. Stating that there have been a lot of innovations taking place in the broadcasting space, Subhash Chandra, Chairman, Essel Group and Zee, maintained that digitisation will prove beneficial for everybody in the broadcasting industry, which includes the broadcasters, the producers, the consumers, the programming people, and so on.
The relationship that is shared today between broadcasters and target consumers is a vertical one. “The vertical relationship is defined by us and involves giving something to the consumers and taking back something from them,” Chandra noted. The biggest advantage of digitisation will be its ability to turn this vertical relationship into a circular relationship, which in turn would have a deeper impact on the broadcasters, the consumers, the programmers, the news gatherers and so on. Subscription revenues will grow faster than advertising revenues post digitisation, Chandra further said.
He attributes the growth of social media to the circular relationship that exists with the people around. According to him, content in the social space is successful in circling around and reaching people, leading to the growth and spread of content. This leads to a heightened sense of interactivity and engagement.
According to Chandra, once the relationship becomes circular, one will be able to comprehend the likes and dislikes of the viewers and also give them an opportunity to express their views and opinions on the programmes. This will help broadcasters understand where they need to up their performance. It will lead to a lot more opinion leaders. Because of digitisation the people will be able to share the content, watch it online and exchange their views on the same.
Commenting on the advantages of the set top box, Chandra stated, “The set top box is a simple box which converts the analogue signals into digital and the cost would be basic. If there other additional features, it will be a little expensive. As a result, the bottom 25-30 per cent of the people watching TV will not go for this because of the affordability factor. The additional features will enable the programmers to determine how many people are watching which programmes and at what time. I don’t know what will happen to the people-meters owing to this, but I am looking forward to a circular relationship.”
Subhash Chandra was sharing his views at the Mumbai leg of the e4m Conclave on October 23, 2012. He was speaking on the topic ‘Vision 20:20-Road ahead for an industry in transition’. The Conclave was presented by Jagran.