"Content is king, but with many kingdoms:
According to B Saikumar, Group CEO, Network18, the biggest challenge for media professionals is to ensure their brands straddle media & geographies
While media brands profess that content is king, there are several other factors that vie for importance.
Giving an idea of how content went from being the king to losing out to other factors and then regaining its importance, B Saikumar, Group CEO, Network18, recalled, “Way back in TV18 in 2000-01, we were a production company getting to be a broadcast company. There was a line ‘Content is King’ and I thought that line was good. This was much before TV18 got a broadcast bouquet and got into print. But as we grew, we realised that while content is important, one of the key challenges for us was that discovery and distribution of content is getting to be so much more important.”
While the group was producing great content, the challenge was how to get to the consumers on different platforms and at different places. At that point distribution became king and content was not so much the king. If one is a print brand, they depended on the subscription channels – the newsstand, the paperboy. If one is a broadcast brand, they depend on the cable operator. “The focus increasingly was content is good, but let’s ensure that we are all over the place,” he added.
Cut to today, discovery is now widespread and secular. Good content will be consumed and shared more, and the good news is that content is back to being king. This is the return of the king and is good news for media in general, this has come with its own set of challenges, which is that this king has too many kingdoms. “In the past when we talked about a brand, we talked about a broadcast brand or a print brand, we always linked medium of delivery with content. The biggest challenge for media professionals is how do we ensure that our brands straddle media and geographies,” Saikumar pointed out.
B Saikumar was sharing his views at the Delhi leg of the e4m Conclave on October 22, 2012. He was speaking on the topic ‘Content: One King, Many Kingdoms’. The Conclave is presented by Jagran.
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