Media stalwarts decode the mantra of surviving the digital divide

How will the radically new converged ecosystem influence decisions in 2016 and beyond? What are the biggest opportunities to leverage digital platforms and extend monetisation across multiple screens? What challenges will be most daunting as policy makers and media-execs plot their respective roadmaps? What approaches are likely to get the best results as content owners and distributors in both linear and online compete for eyeballs?

Media stalwarts like Aroon Purie, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, The India Today Group; Arthur Bastings, President and Managing Director, Discovery Asia-Pacific; Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18; Siddharth Roy Kapur, Managing Director, Disney India; Vikram Chandra, Executive Director & CEO, NDTV Group; and Neeraj Roy, CEO, Hungama got together to discuss these vital issues in a panel discussion on ‘Change or Perish: Surviving the Digital Divide’ at FICCI Frames 2016.

The discussions were moderated by Pranjal Sharma, Editorial and Knowledge Advisor - The Outstanding Speakers’ Bureau.

Speaking about his group, Aroon Poorie remarked, “We are lucky that we have all three sources – there is video, news channels and newspaper. We have worked in a way where we have tried to integrate all these elements, such as including videos on websites, which go seamlessly, and then we have print content on the websites. We are not 360 degree, but have reached the level where we first think digital and then other platforms. However, the fundamentals still remain the same and I still believe in producing great content and exclusive content which nobody else does. You cannot do commodity stuff always.”

On whether people are ready to pay for premium content, Arthur Bastings noted, “I see two different things in digital: I see an ecosystem around our core business and we have everything around it. We do not deviate from the core business.”

While mentioning that Viacom18 had ventured into the OTT space with its VOD platform VOOT, Sudhanshu Vats said, “People using these OTT platforms known that the content isn’t fully free and that they do have to pay for the data cost. From the content point of view, we know where the content is going, what exactly people are watching, who is watching and the necessary stats.”


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