The discussion on industry challenges and opportunities post the digitisation phase, took another level on day two at FICCI Frames 2012.
To start with, Neeraj Roy, chief executive officer and managing director, Hungama Digital Entertainment, said, "Once the digitisation bill comes to effect, the advent of user-generated content would go up."
However, Rajiv Makhni, managing editor, technology, NDTV, felt that user-generated content seemed to be a low hanging fruit that never has ripened.
Talking about innovation in advertising in the wake of digital,
Vikram Sakhuja, chief executive officer, South Asia, Group M, said, "Currently the traction is on the 30 second commercial on YouTube. What we need to find is that one digital content format that will take marketer's imagination."
Rajan Anandan, vice president and managing director, Google India, said, "Digital share of media starts with performance category, and we are at a nascent stage at the moment."
He cited the example of how a large chunk of performance based advertising (like ads for jobs) has moved from print advertising to digital. Anandan stated that while print advertising will continue to grow albeit only in single digits, digital advertising is set to see a 40% growth.
Day 2 also saw debates on how one would build sustainable business models for niche channels. In that context, Ajay Chacko, president, AETN18 Media, said, "We should start looking at absolute numbers and stop taking percentage figures into consideration now."
Both Monica Tata, general manager, entertainment networks, South Asia, Turner International India, Atul Pande, chief executive officer, sports business, ZEE, affirmed, "We are special interest channels and not niche channels." Pande added, "since we provided special content, we get an opportunity to offer it at a premium pricing."
Rasika Tyagi, senior vice pesident - english programming, Star India, explained, "Niche channels might cater to a limited audience but at the end of the day, it's not 'how many'; 'it's who'. The five million houses where we deliver content, has viewers who decide and shape trends and opinions. We tell advertisers that this is how we give our audience what nobody else will deliver."
Turner's Tata expressed concerns on effective measurement of content efficacy to which, Paritosh Joshi, chief executive officer, Star CJ, said, "The recently established BARC intends to capture the sense of qualitative issues as well."
Towards the end, Tarun Katial, chief executive officer, Reliance Broadcast, said, "The question for any broadcaster is whether his channel is loved (because it's a free channel) or whether it is really needed by the consumer (when it is a paid channel)
L V Krishnan, chief executive officer, TAM, said, "Measurement helps bust myths, the kind of myths that have just gathered around digital.
Former Madison Media CEO, Punitha Arumugam, present at the panel discussion, discussed that digitisation will impact in expansion of rating but she is awaiting the process to take place to be able to see all the changes that the industry hopes it to bring in.