People will keep consuming television: Experts

Industry experts recently discussed the future of TV and the unanimous conclusion was that it is still the most preferred medium for long-form content

When the future of Television was being discussed at a recent media event, Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC, had something to reveal about TV viewing habits in India. "The future of India depends upon the choices of the urban and rural population. While the rural crowd likes watching daily soaps and sports like wrestling, the urban crowd is attracted towards talent search, reality shows and only one major sport, which is cricket. Despite different choices, what remains common for both the classes is likeability towards drama. High drama content in television gives high TRP ratings," said Dasgupta.

Panellists included Ajit Mohan, CEO, Hotstar; Raj Nayak, COO, Viacom18; M K Anand, MD & CEO, Times Network; Anuj Gandhi, CEO, Indiacast; Ashish Pherwani, Partner, EY; Amit Khanna, Industry Veteran and Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC who also delivered the keynote address, while the session was moderated by Paritosh Joshi, Principal Provocateur Advisory.

Speaking about the challenges, Mohan said, "People will gravitate towards high quality, long-form stories which have been the bedrock of television." He also said, "The belief is that people will gravitate to stories which are different from TV, but this is not true, people are consuming long-form TV content as well."

"The economics is majorly reliant on advertising and rich content," added Mohan.

Talking about the distribution and on the future of TV, Gandhi said, " If content is king, distribution is god. What is the whole equation and role? Distribution is changing every day, and now there is only one God, which is the consumer."

He also said that content is the key driver of the equation. Whether it is satellite TV, linear TV or OTT, people will keep consuming television.

On similar lines, Nayak said that he believed that the future of TV is bright. "If distribution is king, content is queen and then we can decide who is more powerful. As a broadcaster, I will say that my content is reaching more people. Linear watching on Jio TV is exploding. TV is everywhere. In future, content will reach more people and have more touch-points. Opportunities to monetise will increase," he said.

He also shared some interesting data which revealed that people in the US like to watch content on large screens with 40 per cent of them viewing on 40-inch screens, 24 per cent on bigger, large screen TVs and 9 per cent on very large screen TVs while around 24 per cent watch on 32-inch TVs.

"We are on the brink of absolute paradigm shifts," said Khanna. He also said that the average time a person spends on mobile devices and applications in a day is an hour and 20 minutes and it is still growing. He said that we should stop using work 'distribution' since it is all about 'accessing' which will change the paradigm completely.

M K Anand also mentioned that the future of TV is the ease of doing broadcast business, which has improved tremendously. "Be it the ease of getting OB vans and their connectivity or Satellite Bandwidth, the ability to churn out a channel is so much simpler and easier in 2018 than it was even as recently as 2014," said Anand. For more updates, subscribe to exchange4media's WhatsApp Channel- https://bit.ly/2QUdLCK

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