IPRCCC 2018: In a Fireside Chat, experts say all media will co-exist

At the IPRCCC 2018, RJ Khurafati Nitin and Charles ‘Biharilal’ Thomson spoke about the battle for audience attention, consumption of content outside India and the YouTube phenomenon

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Dec 14, 2018 8:48 AM  | 3 min read

At IPRCCC, 2018 in New Delhi, the audience witnessed to an informal dialogue on mediums of communication between renowned RJ Khurafati Nitin and Charles ‘Biharilal’ Thomson. The conversation started off from language, war for audience attention, media and widespread phenomena YouTube.

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Nitin asked if Thomson found the digital world to be cluttered with too much happening. He asked, “What works, what doesn’t work? There’s no formula to it.” Thomson from his experience insisted on a success formula. “YouTube works on algorithms. There’s an interesting science behind it as well. I tell everyone whenever they put content online it should bring a smile on the face of the viewer. The chances of it going viral increase as well.”

The conversation moved to mediums where Nitin pondered out loud if war amongst social, television, radio and print exists. “Each has its own space and can’t eat into the other’s space.” As it turns out there is a friction in communicating to people. That’s the real war. Medium is going to evolve as pointed out by one of the members in the audience.

Talking of digital, the increasing dependence on YouTube amongst the youth is another widespread phenomena, Thomson pointed out from his experiences. He came across a smart 16 year-old from England and her brother. “What dawned on me was her knowledge was limited to books (during exams) and YouTube. She had zero knowledge outside YouTube. So as we move down the age group we see that their reality is completely different.” Then there is the challenge of monetising digital content Thomson observed.

Also with telecom players offering Netflix and Amazon Prime Video India free for the first few months, there is a huge consumption of content with no relation to India, as pointed out by Thomson. “The Indian youth is absorbing a huge amount of content which has no relationship to India. There is a huge change happening. Also, foreigners are picking up on India a lot faster than local Indians,’ he commented.

He shared an example of how an OTT service provider Vuclip has taken on and beaten Netflix in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore by offering diverse content of Tamil, regional and Korean content. It has picked up a large library over a period of time.

The conversation again shifted to YouTube and every youngsters' obsession with it. “Every young kid is becoming a YouTuber. One out of two has spark and rise. They are now the most influential people in the country,” Thomson remarked.

The other thing Thomson shared about YouTube was the search result for ‘Hindi YouTuber’ which he observed to be quite amazing, both on reach and audience front. “The top Hindi YouTuber is getting almost 20mn subscribers. It is a fast-changing world.”

In the flow of the conversation, he actually mentioned how India is ‘tailor-made’ for him as every person in the village recognises him due to his popular character Biharilal.

The session was concluded on the lines that there will be a constant change in media, but all of them will co-exist whether its radio, digital, print and radio. Nitin summed it, “The charm of a newspaper will never go away. Kabhi koi aage kabhi koi peeche (sometime the medium will be ahead or behind each other).

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