Satrajit Sen

Digitisation Begins 2013: Life after Digitisation

In the aftermath of digitisation, channels can no more blame distributers for their underperformance.

Presenting the opening keynote at 'Digitisation Begins', an event on digitisation and its implications organised by afaqs! at the ITC Sheraton in New Delhi on January 22, L V Krishnan, CEO, TAM India discussed about how things have changed in the post-digitisation era.

Digitisation Begins 2013: Life after Digitisation
At the outset, he clarified that his hypothesis is based on early days data. Krishnan noted that the customer is changing and in the aftermath of digitisation, channels can no longer blame the distributers for their underperformance. "The onus now lies on the entire team to make the channel a household name," Krishnan said.

Krishnan noted that TAM data showed that there was 2.5 per cent increase in availability of channels post digitisation, and 30 per cent increase in fragmentation.

"We need to be patient with the end consumer and not push our channels to them," Krishnan observed.

Dividing the digitisation number in rural vis-a-vis urban India, Krishnan noted that out of the 60 million digitised homes in the Indian market, rural India has 34 million digitised homes and urban India has 26 million so far. Decoding further, Krishnan said, "Punjab is an amazing market to talk about with 70 per cent digitisation. Regionally, North and West markets are digitising fast and growing between 4 to 8 per cent."

Bringing out post-digitisation trends, Krishnan noted that destination viewing is going to be more popular and the phenomenon is largely being seen now in Delhi and Mumbai.

Krishnan further added that intra-genre surfing has also evolved where genres like cartoons, English movies and local news have increased engagement. Cricket will dip and other sports like football, hockey and tennis will grow, he predicted.

There will also be a shift from primetime viewing as non-primetime viewing shows a rising trend, along with a decline in primetime viewing. For example, in the music genre, the time band of 7am-9 am shows a rising trend in viewership figures.

And finally, channels will cease to be personality-driven. "Now it is time to diversify to different genres and build a network. Single channel networks will face problems in connecting with the audience. Top seven networks registered 80 per cent of audience post digitisation in Mumbai and Delhi. Top channels will launch more genres and standalone channels will perish," Krishnan observed.

Advising on what broadcasters need to do, Krishnan added that broadcasters need to cut down distribution cost and market the content. "In a similar genre, the No. 1 channel gets similar reach as the No. 5, hence focus on content is imperative. Similarly, advertisers need to have focused communication depending on the TG. Geographical distribution of channels will impact brand launches," Krishnan added.

To know more, view L V Krishnan's presentation here.

The event was partnered by MediaPro and TheOneAlliance.

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