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Convergence will bring in a tectonic shift

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Convergence will bring in a tectonic shift

Managing media and entertainment business in the digital era remains a challenge for various stakeholders. There is a need to develop policies that deal with convergence to give a clear roadmap to the industry and consumers.

“An opportunity lies with today’s connected eco-system and a host of technological challenges should be debated, embraced and elaborated,” said Neeraj Roy, Managing Director and CEO, Hungama Digital Media Entertainment.

Talking on the era of convergence, Vikram Chandra, Group CEO and Executive Director, NDTV pointed out that in a few months, the country will see products that will reshape news, TV sense, the way of interacting with devices, etc.

Chandra said, “We are living in very exciting times and I think convergence is one of the most tectonic shifts that we will see in the way people are experiencing, interacting with content and dealing with the big media houses that are providing content to them.” He pointed that there are going to be several challenges and monetisation remains a big question.

According to Ramki Sankaranarayana, CEO, Prime Focus, the environment is unfolding and technology companies will see opportunities in the coming days. In the context of digitisation, as everything is changing, there should be fundamental transformation of business in the way content is created, stored and exhibited. Innovation in these areas has to be embraced, he said.

Most people think that digital means video and in India technology is unable to deliver video to every consumer. The whole premise of digital is equal to video is incorrect for a country like India. However, this industry can grow much larger.

The challenges, according to Sanjay Gupta, Chief Operating Officer, Star India, are the way the companies deal with consumers. There is a need for consumer-centric business to drive growth. The second challenge, he feels, is the way content industry makes money. Hence, it is important to focus on how the industry invests money to get better content for consumers.

The third challenge is that consumer needs and habits are different. People who consume content on digital are far younger and hence, one cannot push similar content on all medium. The industry is not focussed on understanding the consumers and creating content for the consumers, which will lead to serious problems, added Gupta.

The device eco-system sees tremendous amount of synergies with the content industry. Rahul Saighal, Chief Marketing Officer, Samsung India said, “I see opportunity, challenges and need for imagination.”

He further added that there are a lot of opportunities because of the growth numbers, internet on the mobile and especially on the devices that are very personal in nature; this gives unprecedented ability to target in a manner that has never done before. However, one of the key challenges is money; most of the people give out free content, which needs to be looked at. “To unlock value, we have to go beyond the obvious,” said Saighal. 

He pointed out four very powerful forces surrounding digital; namely, huge bandwidth, massive computing power available with every person, social nature and ubiquity of internet. According to him, unlocking of value will require a lot many new models and opportunities with many barriers blurring.

The speakers expressed their views at the CII – Media and Entertainment Summit 2012, held in New Delhi.

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