“Dear marketing guru, I am not dead. Not so soon” – Regards, Television.

This post is inspired by “trash”.  There has been a lot of “trash” on the world wide web written by experts and gurus with regard to the death of mediums like Television and the dominance of digital. Yes, this is within the domain of marketing and advertising. The articles / posts have had titles like “The Television is dead” or “Digital is here to stay and TV is on its way out” and the digital marketing community of India has been witness to these. Sadly, this has not been the case. At least so far. I offer two reasons to dismiss the notion that one medium (in this case, the Internet) will prevail over another medium (Television).

1. Television has managed to attract both viewers and investors in the Indian market

There is no doubt about the fact that the Internet is a mass medium with 80 mn active Indian users. Sure it has grown in size from the days of an active base of 40 mn users in India. But due to various factors it hasn’t yet managed to reach the scale of Television that boasts of reaching more than 480 mn viewers in India (source: Hansa Research). As a marketer, one cannot think of not reaching out to an audience of this size. Even Google had to make TVCs to market ‘Google mobile search’ in a country like India – a behavioral pattern which almost comes naturally to us! Apart from viewers, the broadcasting industry has also managed to attract investors who are pumping in a lot of monies with the single objective of getting returns. Case in point, Mukesh Ambani’s deal with the Raghav Bahl-promoted Network18 Group. Experts are of the opinion that we will see more of such interests and acquisitions in the broadcasting industry. Interestingly, even in a market like the U.S., television still remains as one of the most popular mediums (Check this Nielsen report for a detailed analysis: http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/mediauniverse)

2. Quality of content on Television

According to various sources, there are more than 600 TV channels in India and it is also estimated that there are around 6000 production firms producing content for its audiences. Apart from these we have shows based on international formats that are succesfully adapted in the regional and local languages. Add to these the content expertise of firms like Balaji Telefilms that make more than Rs.150 crores in revenues – clearly, making and distribution of content on traditional formats like television will not see any change soon. In the near future, I won’t be surprised to see if most of the content  that used to be hard-wired will be repackaged or replicated for the mobile screen. Also, with the rise of social-TVs and smart-TVs, Television has become the early adopter in recognising the potential of multi-media engagement and adapting itself to newer mediums.

Hence, there is no point in arguing whether Internet will kill the television as a medium for advertising and marketing. We are moving into an era where a lot of mediums will survive together. Understanding and exploring these mediums will be the key for marketers. And this will be very different from a more traditional approach where the main message is simply repeated across various TV channels.

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~ by rb on January 14, 2012.

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