Capitalizing the Opportunities that Digital Platforms Offer

Sarbani Bhatia, Senior VP - IT, Dainik Jagran

The Media & Entertainment Industry is currently dealing with one of the most disruptive phases of transformation.  The digital revolution has created an entirely new landscape and eco-system for the M&E industry, whether it is the generation, management, distribution, delivery and consumption of content or the quest for finding sustainable sources of revenue generation in the midst of the growing hunger for rich and personalized content. Traditional media organizations such as print and TV need to think of ways to capitalize on the opportunities the digital platform are is offering with more urgency than ever before. Like anywhere else in the globe, making the digital platform a commercially viable venture will remain a challenge even in India but media owners have to work outside their traditional revenue model for generating sustainable revenue streams from the digital platform as well.  Content creators need to look beyond the traditional studios and channels to monetize their content.

Consumers not only have far more content, they also have a wide choice of platforms and devices to choose from. The quality of content coupled with the ease and comfort of the experience of consuming the content is what determines the brand and platform to which the consumer will be drawn to.  Development of habit-forming brands which can lead to a loyal, repetitive fan-base is absolutely necessary for a steady flow of revenue.

With the proliferation of smart devices, upsurge of social networking sites and exponential rise in demand for online content, M&E companies have no choice but to adopt Big Data Analytics & Cloud Computing. M&E companies  are turning towards Big Data Analytics to understand customer preferences and behaviour patterns. Big data helps companies to make real-time decisions and create compelling engagement with customers. Marketers will need to use Analytics to find the target audience for advertising and subscription revenues. Analytics also helps in understanding market segmentation and scope for penetration .

The rising demand for good quality pictures and videos needs M&E enterprises to deliver High Definition (HD) content to its consumers. These files are considerably large in size  and therefore need greater storage space and more bandwidth. Cloud based solutions are being adopted to meet space constraints as well as to improve agility in delivery .

Further, applications such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) are being deployed increasingly for better customer targeting, intelligent trend analysis on brand spending, understanding wallet share, account planning, media inventory tracking and other improved business processes.

M&E companies are rapidly implementing Mobility Applications such as Field & Sales Force Automation to enable real – time data collection and reporting from employees on the field, thereby saving time and expenses. Digital workflows are being developed to automate every step right from the camera / keystroke capture to end-user presentation, supporting high – definition, high resolution, dynamic and responsive content. High speed networks and low cost storage facilitate smooth and fast communication of large files in the enterprise technology infrastructure.

The scope for IoT devices in the M&E industry is really exhaustive as it can help to create and deliver personalized content, based on data captured through sensors regarding a person’s habits and preferences. In spite of the vast potential of IoT, the execution still remains at a very nascent stage.

The M&E industry is rapidly transitioning towards a direct-to-consumer approach. The competition is heating up in the television arena. Video-on-demand is dominating the Media and Entertainment industry. Globally, people are asking for streamed video through over-the-top (OTT) services rather than the traditional cable or satellite TV. This evolving video landscape requires studios and distribution networks to work out new strategies to cash in on the explosion of video-on-demand .Studios which have been able to ride the wave of this rapidly changing scenario are those which have produced great content deliverable across multiple platforms aimed at innovative offerings.

Another exciting emerging field in media and entertainment is that of augmented and virtual reality. These technologies offer an entirely new set of opportunities for content creation. The global investments made in the field of AR/VR have been phenomenal. India is still taking baby steps in this segment. It is estimated that the market for AR/VR will grow at an exponential rate in the near future. Wearables, which seamlessly connect to other devices,  are the new entrants in the arena of Internet of Things (IoT). They offer a very rich and personalised experience .

To sum up, the Media & Entertainment industry is poised to enter a very interesting phase which is hugely digital, direct-to-consumer, fan-centric and versatile. It is of utmost importance that at this stage, technology should be effectively leveraged to enhance and expand the content and entertainment offerings, to tap the alternate revenue streams from digital formats and to keep the operations running smoothly and efficiently.