At exchange4media's IDMA 2015, Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief, Times Now spoke about the power of digital medium in conjunction with traditional media. Goswami started with saying he had always been a cynic of digital when it started because he felt television was the predominant medium. “I felt television sets the agenda and digital follows. And so I looked upon digital as a competitor traditionally. When I started off in Times Now some 8 or 9 years back I didn’t know much about digital. I only started looking at digital in the run up to the last general elections,” he said. He further added that he used the digital medium at that time to lead the conversations. He said it is all about leading the conversation.
Giving a journalist’s impressions on where digital will go he said that his basic premise was that television and digital news are complementary. “Television and digital news will be thoroughly and totally complementary to each other. In a large universe a news channel, a social media source and news portal they can all co-exist without eating into each other’s markets. The moment you don’t want to be with those guys then you are going to be extinct. As a television person, I believe that these three categories which is for example a news channel, social media source and the third a news portal, they all cater to the digital audience,” Goswami said. Giving an example of the Times Now channel he said that they have 70% of people who are watching news hour at random but have grown in seven months to 2 and half million on Twitter. So this does not need any marketing effort he said.
He said they have been mapping their audiences and they have found out that audiences across different media are actually very different and they are responding to you very differently. “The people calling us for instant are not the same type of people who will send us an email. The people who tweet during my program will not be the same people who will reach out to us with the comment section on Times Now. What I find incredible is that there is a direct correlation between the News Hour debates which are trending on Twitter on one side and our viewership ratings on TAM or BARC. A debate trending nationally on Twitter traditionally it will do better than something that trended at No.7 or down the order,” he said.
He spoke on the Twitter controversy involving Times Now on the creation of the #ShameinSydney and the number of Tweets they received and though they took much of the flak they were watched the most during later on in the day in the News Hour show. “As a television person I have an additional platform for revenue generation, audience growth and my overall reach size and impact for the brand which I represent actually stands to gain a lot,” he said. He said as that as a television producer digital offers the opportunity of a greater way to push their brand and content.
He said the most people tweeting about them are not doing it through a cell phone but in fact a desktop or laptop. If the speeds increased to a great level then he said imagine the number of people converging and become the digital media news sources.
He further went on to explain what would happen when those born in the digital age, which is in the 1995 onwards, when they start earning and become the bread winners of the economy. He said that things will change drastically and will move even more towards the mobile device. He ended by saying that the way you consume news will change radically in 2020, the challenge for us to remain relevant when that tsunami happens.