The Indian entertainment industry can learn a lot from the US television industry. "The one thing that we have seen over the years of research is that regardless of how many channels are introduced, the average home stays at a certain saturation level for channel viewing," said Robert L McCann, Chairman and CEO of Nielsen Media Research International.
Speaking at the plenary session on the second day of Frames 2004, he said that a novel trend which has caught on in the US but is yet to do so in India is the introduction of personal video recorders (PVRs) in homes.
"PVRs have been introduced in the US and have gained in popularity. They are built into set-top boxes and have various uses such as blocking channels, recording programmes live and zapping commercials and then playing back the recorded programmes later within a span of 24 hours," said McCann.
PVR is going to be a growing trend. Cable-based PVR deployment is already underway. Lower subscription rates will drive this technology. According to McCann, AOL and Time Warner are planning to deploy PVRs in set-top boxes and Motorola will have a PVR set top box out by this year-end.
He further talked of reality programming and said that this genre of programming is catching on. Reality programming hours have grown by 84 per cent in the US. However, he warned that there is also a fear of 'fragmentation' here.
Finally, he concluded by saying that research can provide useful insights, in identifying new opportunities and demonstrate accountability. Research can drive business growth.