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Are digital media and traditional media friends or foes?: Experts mull

18-January-2018
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Are digital media and traditional media friends or foes?: Experts mull

The battle of supremacy between Digital and Traditional media continues even as the former has become a favourite of sorts not just with the aam janta but also marketers and media moguls.

But the question here is: Do marketers have to choose between digital and traditional or is there a way to strike a perfect balance between the two mediums? Is digital a threat to traditional mediums or can marketers create an environment where both mediums can co-exist to create synergy?

These and other pertinent issues were raised by a panel comprising HT Media Ltd CEO Rajiv Verma, Republic TV MD and editor in chief Arnab Goswami and Viacom 18 COO Raj Nayak, who came together at the unveiling of the DAN-e4m Digital Report 2018. Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia Chairman and CEO Ashish Bhasin moderated the session held on January 16, 2018.

Bhasin began the discussion with an apt and light-hearted take on popular television anchor Arnab Goswami. "Arnab is the finest examples of using the digital medium. Without spending a single penny everyone knew he was launching a channel while no one knew the name," he said.

To start the session, Verma, who heads one of the largest print media houses, spoke about the consumer consumption pattern. He mentioned that the way data pricing and data consumption have exploded, it shows that consumer habits are changing. “Legacy media companies like HT have no choice but to embrace digital and even lead this movement. However the disruption that we are facing right now is not something easy for a traditional media house like us.” He also mentioned that HT Media is not restricted to print they have presence in the digital space as well with news website like Hindustantimes.com, livemint.com and others. “The challenges are that these changes will not come easily, for this new skills have to be acquired and new talent has to be acquired and then there is the whole question of a business model.”

Goswami, who launched his TV channel- Republic, and a digital platform last year, believes that Video will be the future of this country. Also he expressed uncertainty on the existence of print five years down the line. He said, “Can you do away with Print is a question mark. For the foreseeable future you cannot do away with TV. It is not traditional Vs digital that we should debate. It should be TV digital Vs digital TV.”

Nayak, who was representing the entertainment broadcasting category, asked, “What is digital medium? For me any content that goes through internet is digital content. I don’t think there is something called new media or traditional media. You are giving viewers today a choice to consume content whether it is text or video on different formats for them to consume. Consumption on digital is happening but at the same is monetization happening or not - that is the challenge.”

On monetization, whether it will be on TV or digital, Goswami said, “You will monetise more on TV over the next 5 years because consumption patterns have been established. Next game is video, it does not matter if you see it on an OTT platform or Republic TV. Engagement will only be on video. The future is not text!”

He also mentioned that today we are not spending enough time creating original content. This needs a paradigm shift and that is just around the corner.

Nayak agreed with Goswami as he added, “Right now, nobody is breaking the barrier. Advertising is the follow up, but we need to invest in the creation of original content, and create a paradigm shift.”
He also mentioned that if metrics are in place, for example EKAM, then monetisation will happen together (for TV and digital). "We are going to sell big impact properties for Colors and VOOT together," said Nayak.

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