The Internet today is no longer just about emails and surfing as it has developed into a tool for empowering the media and entertainment industry, and industry leaders should explore the emerging markets and growth drivers for digital media in India.
One of the attempts to discuss this topic was recently made by Akamai Technologies, Inc. in association with CIOL.com at a seminar on ‘The Dynamics of Digital Delivery – Going Online with Your Content’. Akamai has partnered with companies such as Singapore Airlines, The Times of India, and Rediff.com to help them leverage their businesses online.
Speaking at the seminar, Stuart Spiteri, Director-Asia Pacific, Akamai Technologies, said, “The Internet has increased the number of options to deliver and consume digital media assets for content owners and consumers. We are in an age where more and more content is being converted into or stored into digital format.”
A self-confessed technology fan, Spiteri believes that content being converted into digital formats allows companies to see new channels for revenue generation and there is a need to secure and protect assets. According to Spiteri, home entertainment was also altering the business rules, as the domain was not as simple as it was earlier.
“While broadband is primarily driven by speed and accessibility, content is rapidly gaining importance.” According to Spiteri, the challenges of delivering digital media were based on business – piracy, consumers demanding flexible consumption, low consumer switching costs; operations – reducing time to market, delivering nationally/ globally, tracking and reporting media use, customer support; and finance.
Supporting Spiteri’s comment on the importance of content was Jasmeet Singh, VP, Rediff.com, who said, “After the euphoria of high-speed, always-on connection dies down, content is the most important factor.”
According to Singh, content based on PC Internet was fast evolving from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. “While Web 1.0 is for individuals (email and chat), Web 2.0 is for multi-users and is network-based.” This is why web content today brings the world together through blogs and photo sharing platforms. The buzzword in the industry is ‘Broadbandization’ by giving existing and basic products and services the technological edge. Singh also believed that community services were the key reason for portals to grow and develop their services.
According to Singh’s prediction, the drivers of the Internet were chat/conferencing, online shopping, music streaming, and online multimedia games.
Spiteri said, “Today, consumers have increased flexibility with content service providers, a multitude of devices and a variety of ‘purchase and download’ payment options and subscription models. With the use of digital media over the Internet becoming increasingly popular, the need to develop efficient mechanisms for its management and distribution is critical to ensuring a successful online business.”