Media & Entertainment Industry Trends from India
1. Print news publishers have moved to digital platforms thanks to COVID-19. However, online initiatives are completely different from physical newspapers. The NYT and other foreign publishers are developing cohesive communities that can be monetized.
2. The power of vernacular will lead to a growth in print ad revenue. Vernacular newspaper circulation has gone back to pre-COVID levels in most parts of India.
3. There is a fundamental shift in consumer behavior, resulting in a digital market. If most consumers are on digital platforms, there will be a limit to money being invested in traditional platforms.
4. Every time a new medium comes along, everyone predicts the death and demise of the old one. But everything survives and continues to co-exist. It’s not an either-or world.
5. Currently, all sectors are skewed towards ad revenue. The growth of SVOD is heartening and shows that people are willing to pay to consume. COVID-19 has shown that ad revenue is the first to drop. However, people continue to pay for services.
6. Truth over trends: source credibility matters when it comes to news, which is why legacy brands will survive. Somewhere, news started moving towards being a part of entertainment rather than media.
7. With people working from home, there is no corridor gossip. With the markers also doing well, the circulation of the Economic Times is now 2.75x per-COVID period.
8. Bundling, especially for digital news from smaller, independent creators will unlock value and drive monetization. Digital news has to fight with entertainment because the advertiser needs to find the consumer, irrespective of the nature of the content.
9. The basic equation of a digital platform is (content cost + CAC) < ad + sub revenue. In most models today, revenue does not cover CAC and things are going to get worse with Google moving away from cookies in 2022.
10. Content strategy had been about owning a particular section of the audience - something that has helped e-commerce platforms grow their share in the ad pie. Find your audience and serve them what they want.
11. When the dust settles, brands will become media-agnostic to solve for distribution. For a challenger, distribution is no longer a barrier. For an incumbent, it is no longer a moat. Demand for escapism and knowledge will never come down. It’s all about distributing it well.
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