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Gender sensitivity; print Vs digital; radio sector – a packed Day 2

The day saw the launch of the FICCI Women in Media Forum. Discussions also pertained to whether print & digital can co-exist, and the road ahead for the radio sector with upcoming Phase III auctions

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | March 27, 2015

Ficci-frames-2015Day Two of FICCI Frames 2015 saw the launch of the FICCI Women in Media Forum, which was followed by a keynote address by Barkha Dutt, Consulting Editor, NDTV, where she described her journey as a successful media executive, now about to embark on her own entrepreneurial venture.

Jagi Mangat Panda, MD, Ortel Communications, welcomed the gathering and described the FICCI Women in Media Forum as another milestone for FICCI Frames. “Media is the most progressive business, a tool for gender sensitisation,” she said. At the same time, she felt that media today was still as gender insensitive as any other sector. She called for close examination of the depiction of women in TV. The Forum will be a platform for exchange of knowledge and ideas between women in media, both nationally and internationally. It will aim to represent women to relevant policy makers on issues pertaining to employment terms and practices in the media and entertainment sector.

In a session titled ‘Redefining Traditional Paradigms: Digital Media and the Print Sector’, industry experts discussed on the need to rethink strategy and tactics for print media for it to be at par with the digital platform, which was evolving at a fast rate. The session was moderated by MxM India’s Pradyuman Maheshwari.

Anant Goenka, Wholetime Director, The Indian Express, was of the view that digital platform had opened a myriad opportunities for the market and had the ability to reach a wider audience and penetrate the interiors of the country. On the other hand, newspapers had a loyal readership base, while regional newspapers were growing steadily and did not look to be fading out in the near future, he noted, adding, innovation and original content creation were key to success in both spaces.

Sachin Kalbag, Editor, Mid-Day, said that online medium provided a platform to a media house to build upon a story, which was carried in the newspaper,  throughout the day by using social media platforms, mobile apps and other digital mediums. Digital platform could ensure that the stories were being discussed during the day and not forgotten after being read in a newspaper.

NidheeshTyagi, Editor, BBC Online, observed that newspapers had enjoyed an indispensable position, but were now at a tipping point and there were indicators that showed that consumers were shifting from newspapers to the digital platform. Newspapers had “stiffness” and it would be a challenge to compete with the digital medium, which was faster in dispensing news, he added.

Vinay Maheshwari, Senior Vice President, Sales, Market Development & Brand Marketing, Danik Bhaskar Group, felt that print and digital could co-exist without cannibalising each other. The two mediums enjoyed a very different genre of readership and audience. However, he added that newspapers still had the advantage of being affordable by all. But the Internet was catching up fast as it was also now being considered a serious business.

While speaking about the ad spend, Shripad Kulkarni, CEO, Percept Allied Media, said that print and television had a greater advertisement share than digital. However, he pointed out that digital had emerged as one medium, like no other, which was able to affect both print and television. He added that newspapers could well co-exist in future with digital, but there was a need to rethink strategy and recalibrate. It was essential to rethink about distribution, content and monetisation of content of print media for its sustainability.

In another session, titled ‘Radio Phase 3 – Opportunities and Challenges – From Content, Advertising andRegulatory perspective’, panellists talked about the FM industry, which is on the brink of a reinvention and a much-needed expansion in content, audience measurement, frequencies, advertising and the emerging online segment. The session was moderated by Tarun Katial, CEO, Reliance Broadcast Network.

The conversations mostly revolved around the innovations in the radio segment. Annu Kapoor, who hosts the radio show ‘Suhana Safar’ on Big FM, talked about the importance of having such new formats for differentiation across networks.

Tapas Sen, Chief Programming Officer, Radio Mirchi, noted that most of their listeners loved Bollywood songs and so that took precedence over other content. Stressing on the lack of additional frequencies for the same channel in a city, Sen pointed out, “In New York, which has a similar density of population, there are 64 radio channels across genres, while there are only eight radio stations in Mumbai.”

Talking about the traffic updates aired by radio channels, the panellists pointed out that such updates in Mumbai weren’t as useful as they were in a city like Delhi, which had alternate routes to follow.

Meanwhile, Anurradha Prasad, MD, B.A.G Networks and President, AROI, talked about what the Phase III auctions could bring to the industry. She stressed on the need for quality content across the new channels, and the need to generate fresh and local content for the new radio stations.

Mallikarjun Das CR, CEO - India, Starcom MediaVest Group, spoke about the requirement of a better audience measurement system other than the existing RAM for understanding the medium in a better way.

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