What happens when you have some of the best brains in the broadcasting and digital domains on a single platform? They exhort you to be a follower of ‘disruptive thinking’, a new theory in the digital world, and you know where the world is moving. Whether you are a part of it or not is a different question, however.
The AIB Regional Media Leaders Forum, organised by the Association for International Broadcasting in New Delhi on February 14 started off the discussion exactly where the Digital Summit 2006 left of last month in Mumbai, literally. The AIB session focused extensively on Broadcasting 2.0 and Media 2.0. If the Digital Summit discussed about “Unleashing the retail power of the Web”, the AIB forum talked about “The future is millions of markets of dozens and not dozens of markets of millions”, if the former discussed about “State of the Indian online market: Where we are at, where we are going, where is the buying power”, the AIB forum discussed about “Asia Unplugged: It’s taking risks and its ready for Media 2.0”.
Kicking off the discussion, Jonathan Marks, Director, Critical Distance, spoke in favour of ‘disruptive thinking’ in the field of broadcasting. His argument was, “If disruptive thinking in electricity and other fields of science could produce positive results, then why not in media?”
“12 million items are indexed by Google every day. No one cares how many pages blogs, vBlogs and Wikis are creating. The problem is not in new media, but the legacy of old media that refuses to sign off,” he observed.
Lamenting that there was no radio search engine and that international broadcasters were making no coordinated effort to be part of iTune or Google, Marks opined that “broadcasting is an out of business model. The future is all about building sustainable conversations within communities and becoming platform positive.”
India’s own internationally renowned tech-guru Dr Madanmohan Rao, who works as a Research Director at the Asian Media Information Centre, Bangalore, advised content creators to have multi-channel strategy. Emphasising on cross-media synergies, Rao said that clear understanding of the user’s needs was critical to success in this new digital era. While speaking on mobile and broadcasting, Rao chanted a new media mantra, what he calls “8C’s of mobile era”, in terms of connectivity, content, community, commerce, culture, cooperation, capacity and capital.
Speaking on mobile TV broadcasting, Pawan Gandhi, Regional Business Development Manager, Nokia Asia-Pacific, spoke at length about the new DVB-H enabled Nokia N92 handset, which allows four hours of mobile TV viewing. He said that the upcoming 3G Seminar in Barcelona might see many players announcing the DVB-H launches in many countries. Speaking to exchange4media, Gandhi said, “It’s very early times in India for the launch of mobile TV. We are in preliminary talks with service providers and will approach the government to make available the desired bandwidth.”
Sumit Chawdhury, CIO, Reliance Infocomm, focused on the constraints faced from a service provider’s point of view. “Mainstream platform has to be built for interactivity and content sharing,” he observed.
Speaking on the role of a regulator in a non-linear market, Tim Suter, Partner, Content and Standards, Ofcom (UK), said, “In future, service and delivery will become increasingly separate. Same service will be available in different platforms. So, the regulator needs to know why he is regulating and what he is regulating.”
Elaborating on his idea of a content regulator, Sanjay Trehan, Head, Broadband and Content, Indiatimes, said, “The regulator should act as an enabler. It is the consumer who will call the shots in future. Self-regulation should be the norm and the regulator should not behave like the big daddy. He should rather sit back and relax.”
While emphasising on the need for a regulator, K S Sharma, CEO, Prasar Bharati, admitted that regulator was increasingly considered a bad word. “Regulator should be management by exception,” he opined.
Rakesh Kacker, Advisor, (B&CS), TRAI, said that his role at TRAI was to ensure that more information was available. “At TRAI, we ensure that there is enough consumer choice available and that there is fare play in the market space.”