‘Print 3.0’ came under the scanner at the exchange4media Conclave 2008, which got underway in the Capital on March 11. A four-city initiative, exchange4media Conclave 2008 in Delhi saw a distinguished gathering discuss the growth of the digital media and its impact on the print medium. With a broad theme of ‘Indian Media 3.0: Scorching Decade, What’s Next?’, the Conclave intends to bring burning issues that impact the various domains of the industry such as TV, radio, print, digital under the scanner.
The Conclave 2008 will move to Mumbai on March 13 where the theme would be Television 3.0; followed by Bangalore on March 14 with Digital 2.0 as the focus, and to Kolkata on Mach 15 where Radio 3.0 is the theme. NDTV Media is the Presenting Sponsor for this mega event.
Welcoming the huge gathering of media and ad honchos, Kalyan Kar, Editor, exchange4media.com, said, “The concept of the exchange4media Conclave is to bring together the industry where thought leaders and top professionals can debate latest trends, issues and the way ahead at different points of time. The last time we held the e4m Conclave was in 2005. We are back with this event today bigger than ever. One of the key goals of this year’s Conclave is to try and chart out the future course of the thriving Indian media industry and to see if the industry has got its approach right.”
Delivering the keynote address on ‘Print Media in the Digital Age: Too many challenges or opportunities galore’, Girish Aggarwal, Director-Marketing, Bhaskar Group, said, “There is a different way to look at it. This digital age has a large learning from the West. Based on these learnings, we copy everything from the West. We at Bhaskar Group see this as a huge opportunity. The way we listen to music and watch TV will change. India is the only country after Germany and China where the newspaper industry grows at 9 per cent.”
Aggarwal further said, “Online editions of newspapers deliver the news free, but it is mostly targeted at the metros. Convergence remains technologically complex. In this scenario, a 20-page newspaper remains significant. Thus, the growth of print is going to be there. The key challenge is to map out the fragmented place and target the young readers. We are preparing ourselves for the digital age. In the era of breaking news, it will be difficult for print media to keep up with the fast pace. Digitalisation shows more content pirated at low cost. There is no choice of credibility or reliability on the Net. As publishers, we should prepare ourselves for the digital age.”
“The online version of the print brand is an extension. 17 per cent of the media pie goes to digital media, but 60 per cent of the audience still prefers the print version. The newspaper and the online version of the newspaper are different offerings. On the Net, you browse for things you like or things you would like to know about. From the print version you know what you don’t want to know. We need to decide which side we are on – print or digital,” Aggarwal added.
Looking at the crystal ball, Aggarwal said, “Reading papers like DNA on a Palm Top is possible today. This technology has started happening in the metros, and will percolate down to smaller cities in time.”