Indian television industry has emerged as the latest illustration of how India leapfrogs many nations. This is what makes India both exciting and dynamic.
The television landscape in India has transformed exponentially over the past two decades. Every participant of the industry has witnessed a sea-change in technology, consumption and growth. This transformation has come with its fair share of challenges and opportunities. The transformation from analogue to digital has undoubtedly been the most significant change stories ever witnessed by any industry in India.
With digitisation spreading its territories and gaining foothold through Phases 3 and 4, I expect a lot more of the same; but overshadowing everything else, I envision a very bright future for the Indian TV industry.
At Discovery, we have been preparing for this environment. We realised that in the digital era the viewers will transcend towards well-defined and high-quality channels. Anticipating this trend, in the last three years we increased our channel portfolio from three to eight networks, launched multiple language feeds across brands and continued to bring innovative content to suit viewers’ preference – be it the launch of Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo, Discovery HD World or our second Discovery feed in India – Discovery Tamil as well as Discovery Kids in three languages – English, Hindi and Tamil.
In this new digital era, we continue to believe that TV will remain the dominant screen.
Innovation will become more significant than ever. How a channel markets itself will define its success. Marketing strategies will have to be rehashed to become sharper and more focused. Television will provide something for everyone, making it imperative to talk to each audience set individually. The viewer will have to feel, talk and experience the brand. Brand differentiation will become the core value. It is no longer about buzz; conversation and community are important. Marketers will have to think of ways to become part of viewers’ conversations and discussions to build affinity with the brand.
This new phase of Indian television has dramatically changed our outlook towards content creation, brand differentiation and above all, the economics of the television business. It has significantly enhanced the television viewing experience and alongside, has had a matching impact on our society.
Digitisation marks a turning point for the industry, and I am confident that the industry will continue to respond with commitment and innovation.
The author is Senior Vice President and General Manager, South Asia and Head of Revenue, Pan-Regional Ad Sales and South East Asia, Discovery Networks.