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Permalink - Posted on 2019-04-09 10:13
New media has successfully overtaken the traditional, and this includes everything from entertainment portals and video games to the way we communicate. All thanks to technology.
Can you imagine life without the internet today? I can’t. We’re living in the age of the digital consumer, and it’s not just me saying this. There are more than 4 billion active online users. India alone has >463 million. One industry that’s seen the true impact of this digital disruption is Media and Entertainment.
The Indian M&E sector has seen a CAGR of 13% last year, and is expected to cross Rs. 2 million by 2020. That’s massive! More than 1.5 million users have completely shifted to digital media, and don’t use traditional media anymore. Smartphones have been a key driving force in this scenario. While we have approximately 405 million smartphone users today, the number is expected to cross 805 million in the next two years. Private equity investments in media and entertainment worth $115 million were made in 2018, and investments in networks and spectrums have surpassed $20 billion. The numbers speak for themselves.
It’s all connected!
20 years ago, the concept of a digitally connected, online world seemed unreal. The usage of the World Wide Web was limited to 5% of the total population. Not anymore. New media has successfully overtaken the traditional, and this includes everything from entertainment portals and video games to the way we communicate. All thanks to technology.
I can’t imagine a world without IoT powered devices. We’ve come a long way, from struggling for the Doordarshan news, to binge watching movies at ease; from painfully slow dial-up connections to super-fast Wi-Fi. There’s an app for everything! Smart TVs are quite popular now, thanks to the masses’ rising disposable incomes and a shift towards premium lifestyles. Most middle class families own at least one of these. According to Deloitte, Indian users spend 17% of their total screen time on entertainment. With cross platform integration, gaming consoles can also plug you in to Netlflix, Prime, Hulu and Hotstar. Can you imagine the amount of content that is?
Shifting consumer preferences in a tech-enabled landscape
Digital content is king now, especially for millennial audiences. The internet started out as the voice of the people, and now, thanks to the constant stream of technological disruption that’s proliferated, it’s gone a step ahead. Every person is their own media entity, thanks to social media platforms that enable public storytelling. Tech has successfully transformed the process of content creation, the role of the publisher and the control over this content. Affordable data and 4G networks have had huge role to play. New media works because it is immediate, enabling and convenient. Everything happens at the touch of a button
More and more people are embracing regional content as well, and that’s another opportunity to tap into. There’s been a vast shift in consumer attitudes as well, and people are more focused on easily accessible content libraries rather than ownership. The cloud has been the biggest boon for media & entertainment in this respect. Take the Netflix example, and their move from a DVD based business to a digital library. It’s not just entertainment. Count Music in. Most consumers have embraced music streaming rather than downloading, and Spotify launching in India is the best example. It crossed a million users in less than a week! Pretty awesome, if you ask me.
It’s not all a bed of roses. Within India, challenges like content piracy and slow internet speeds are the biggest hurdles for digital content and media. Cord cutting is far from becoming a reality, at least right now. But we’re in a good place. We must not forget how lucky we are to be living and breathing this disruptive change, and how monumental it is. User generated content means only one thing: more data. And that’s the only thing more valuable than gold, or even oil right now. Digital content led platforms give businesses and organisations the chance to gather insights through this data. Especially when consumers portray different personalities on different platforms. The perception of TV as the main entertainment device for families and individuals has already been altered, as consumers gravitate towards personalized content on multiple screens. Customisation is key.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms are also going to be crucial going ahead, since consumers are actively using voice assistants to make content choices. What does the future look like? To me, it’s a community of people coming together to create engaging content in real time, a time where interactive streaming (like Netflix’s Bandersnatch) is not a once-in-a-while phenomenon. It’s time to move from cable to cloud, and I, personally can’t wait!
From Cable To Cloud: The Evolution Of Media With Technology was originally published in Josh Software on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.