NDTV Convergence held the first edition of its New Media Congress in the Capital on May 8. Besides bringing together some of the best minds in the Internet and mobile domain under one roof, the Summit also highlighted the opportunities, challenges and the road ahead for India in the digital world. exchange4media.com and Livemint.com are the media partners for the Summit.
Delivering his welcome address, KVL Narayan Rao, Group CEO & Executive Editor, NDTV, said, “NDTV Convergence is a story of all online properties, which consist of TV, Internet and mobile. We need to constantly innovate the new media needs of consumers. Technology advances in India have been slow. The New Media Congress would discuss the role of developing markets and present a worldwide view of industry trends, technology and its developments in the convergent world.”
The first session of the day on ‘Digital Media: Worldwide Developments, Issues and Case Studies’ was chaired by Vikram Chandra, CEO, NDTV Networks. The speakers included Kim Reid, CEO, Mobile TV Platforms, MIH Group; Azhar Rafee, Executive VP, Reuters; and Andrew Paulson, President, SUP Live Journal.com.
Kim Reid said, “We are looking at mobile TV very closely. There are many ways to deliver mobile TV like Unicast Cellular, Multicast Cellular and Broadcast. Of these, Broadcast is the best way to deliver as there is a separate network, and no network constraints. There are roughly 820 million PCs in the world and 1.5 billion TVs in the world.”
“Globally, the biggest problem is that of regulation. In India, there also the problem of spectrum. Linear TV channels are critical for success. The average usage per day depends on the users in each country. It also depends on whether the Internet is accessed at work, home or while commuting at work,” Reid added.
The Pay TV model generated revenue faster, Reid said, adding, “Mobile TV in India requires a light touch regulatory framework in which innovation, fast deployment, mass penetration and sustainable economic mobile are the driving growth factors.”
According to Reid, localisation was important.
Andrew Paulson remarked, “We should be more concerned about execution than innovation. Whatever you do should be market driven, and not merely idea driven.”
The second session dwelled on ‘Convergence: Current trends and Impact’. Sanjay Trehan, CEO, NDTV Convergence, was chairperson of the session. The other panelists included Jai Menon, Group CIO, Bharti Enterprises; Rajesh Sawhney, President, Reliance Entertainment; Ajit Balakrishnan, Chairman & CEO, Rediff.com; Kevin Bertram, CEO, Distributive Networks; Pankaj Sethi, President-Vas & Enterprise Market Planning, Tata Teleservices Ltd; and Martha Bejar, Corporate VP-Communications Sector, Microsoft Corporation.
Moderating the session, Trehan remarked, “New Media is like a universe – interactive, infinite and full of possibilities.”
Jai Menon said, “Telecom, TV and Internet are crowding consumers. Convergence is where all three are coming together. It’s happening because the network continues to evolve. The iPhone is an example of the convergence of voice, data and media application.”
He further said that in future, technology would become faster and denser, while service providers would aggregate and simplify business models that were affordable. Thus differences between rural and urban as also language barriers would vanish.
Commenting on Digital India, Rajesh Sawhney said, “Players like Google, Yahoo, ebay, FaceBook and Apple are becoming prominent. Entertainment, media and telecom sectors account for 33 per cent of the GDP. Multiplexes have changed the dynamics of the movie industry. The Indian youth wants to co-create if not just participate, Social media and traditional media would converge. But we need to create great infrastructure, access devices and good content to keep the momentum going.”
Kevin Bertram spoke about the usage of mobile in US politics. He said, “We are integrating mobile into our media strategy. The power of interactive is text messaging, as it can be used to mobilise volunteers, interact with supporters in real time, target messages to locations and drive traffic to other channels. The emphasis on online networking pays off.”
According to Martha Bejar, “We have converged lifestyles. The audience is changing and we are seeing new experiences like multiple screens, multiple audiences, user generated content and Web 2.0. Personalisation is impacting content management. We are witnessing convergence between digital asset management and supply chain management. There is a strong shift towards Internet delivered video. There is also going to be convergence in the mobile advertising space.”