Recently I watched a panel of media experts discuss about the change in the media world after Covid-19 in India. Here are the few points which formed the gist of the discussion
-> Covid has impacted the media world as never before. Print media, TV news, radio, digital media, social media platforms, OTT etc.
-> The subscriptions and readers of print media like newspapers, journals etc is decreasing for the last few years, especially since the onset of the covid. This might be due to the fear of covid, as well as the availability of digital options readily available to the reader.
-> Infact, reading has decreased nowadays. No one wants to read a long article or even a book. So, summary of the article/book is what readers prefer. This has huge consequences on the society because this shows the patience of reading and appreciating the author’s efforts is dwindling. And that’s why we see, audio books, or youtube videos showing the summary is viewed or listened more than actual reading.
-> TV is Dead! Yes, this has been the common understanding of the most of the experts. Since last few years, the audience is shifting to Over the Top (OTT) mediums as these mediums have smartly bundled the viewers choices ( for all age groups and genres), and marketed them at an affordable price. Hence, viewers now prefer to watch a movie or TV show on Netflix or Prime, rather than on traditional TV or even theatres. This has also impacted the advertising revenues which earlier television used to have the largest chunk, while in recent years, it has been consistently reducing.
-> The readers and audience of all backgrounds have access to Digital mediums today. This is because of the affordable and fast internet access provided by companies like Jio in India. Due to which, many people prefer to read news online instead of buying newspaper, prefer to watch TV shows and movies on mobile.
-> Digital is the King of the media nowadays. This is the because every medium has started its own digital platform, be it newspapers like Hindu with subscription based options, Radio channels like Radio Mirchi or All India Radio with their apps which can be installed on Iphone ( which lacks FM receiver…strangely), Digital journals, magazines, bundling of news app like InShorts etc. Everyone is using Digital space to reach out to the readers who have switched from traditional paper/TV based medium to digital-online-mobile medium.
-> Radio is still holding its ground due to its real life experience unlike songs app like Spotify, Saavn and Amazon Music which has millions of songs. Even though the subscribers are increasing but Radio remains the medium for millions who have mastered the art to tune their work with radio’s frequency at the same time. Hence, for advertisers, radio remains an important medium.
-> In India, earlier, English newspapers and channels used to be the preferred option for elite audience. But now as English is becoming more common due to spread of internet and mobiles, its audience is growing. But at the same time, vernacular remains a strong medium as the vernacular newspapers like Dainik Bhaskar, Sakaal, Ananda Bazaar Patrika etc have also started their own digital mediums and apps to retain their audience. Hence, the competition between English and vernacular unlike previous times is growing.
-> Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Koo, are becoming the channels for staying updated with the news and current affairs. Also, the option to express the comments, share the news & content, like or dislike, subscribe makes these channels more attractive than the traditional filtered and edited news channels. But it is also worth noting that the traditional news channels and papers are more trustable as compared to social media, which is also been targeted by fake news and propaganda theorists. Hence, the user has to maintain discretion while accessing such mediums.
-> Finally, the popularity of Youtube channels, podcasts and blogging as a medium to express opinions is ever increasing. Even though the revenue or advertising is yet not well matured unlike the TV, but viewers prefer to watch a favorite YT channel over traditional TV news channels for information. This has led to mass explosion of data and information on the YT and it might even lead to mis-information and hence, proper and authenticate content delivery is expected.
Thus, the media world is going through a revolution and as of now, it seems that Digital is going to be the future of media.