The Indian media and entertainment industry is at a pivotal turning point, where media consumption is now multi-modal – translating seamlessly from one device to another – and co-existing effortlessly with all forms of media – print, digital, and audio-visual. This is significantly attributed to the changing demographics in the country; growing affluence, higher electrification, growth in number of internet users, video enabled devices and availability of high speed internet at considerably low rates – making it possible to access content at any given point throughout the day. The total media consumption rate is at 4.6 hours per capita per day, with the overall per capita media consumption rate growing at 9% over the past 6 years.
The Rise of Hero Content
Consumers of today are spoilt for choice in terms of formats and genres with the diversification in the number of platforms to consume content. More than 30 different digital platforms have been added to the already extensive list of television channels. Out of these, the average consumer views 10-15 channels per day and 2-3 applications in any given month.
As a result, prime time is becoming less relevant and traditional media houses have to evolve to keep up with the ever increasing competition for eyeballs against the very best of every genre, every show, at all times. Remaining competitive in this new ecosystem will require hero content to be produced that is tailored content, suited to individual preferences.
The digital media space has attracted marketers globally, providing a solution based approach, ease in ideation, focussed targeting and return metrics. It is necessary to answer the overarching fear of missing out, if one does not fully comprehend digital platforms, by conducting workshops geared towards helping brands understand the digital space and helping them orient marketing tactics around the influencer network – individuals with a significant online following – rather than the target market.
Advertisers are also now working in collaboration with media houses, involving them in the ideation and storytelling process. With their help, advertisers are able to utilize a cross-channel strategy to develop better engagement with customers.
AI and Analytics creating a Tech-Tonic Shift
This tech-tonic shift has been gaining momentum in most parts of the world; a number of large media firms have been investing in smaller tech-enabled companies with breakthrough ideas. Topics such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and data visualization have been on the forefront for a number of companies, significantly altering their content creation and consumption process.
While building tech capabilities, it is imperative to focus on the following strategies:
- Aligning AI and automation projects with the development of expertise and capabilities in individual parts of the company;
- Talent and outsourcing strengthening competitive advantage while increasing internal capabilities;
- Bolster data collection and aggregation in building a personalization and recommendation engine for consumers.
The War for Talent
The industry, today, requires niche content at a high velocity in order to garner the most social influence. This has resulted in new age media houses employing around 50% employees from tech backgrounds – in digital and analytical roles. Building an effective tech culture will require digital and IT roles across verticals; workforce needs to be skilled up and media houses need to look beyond hiring talent in only IT support roles. Ensuring the talent pipeline is aligned with the industry requirements, stakeholders – media and entertainment industry bodies, government of India and large media houses – will have to work together.
Working Towards Tech-Enabled Media Houses
Staying competitive against unknown competitors will be paramount for media houses of the future. They will need to embrace tech disruptions; utilize digital consumer interfaces; update content models; address the monetization challenge, and hire the best tech-enabled talent.
The media industry and marketers will also need to form an independent third party industry body that defines what constitutes as a view and is able to provide a new measurement metric for the same. The defined metrics will have to factor in aspects such as behavioural data and engagement across screens; ensuring there is no duplication in audience measurement by identifying whether an individual is viewing the same content across screens.
Although media houses will undergo a drastic transformation in the coming years, at their core they will continue to provide audiences with compelling stories and engaging user experiences. Staying true to this is what will bolster the ongoing success of media companies.
Source: CII Report – One Consumer, Many Interaction: Indian Media House of the Future