Digital Media Embraces The New And The Old

Venke Sharma

2015 was a fantastic year for digital media and marketing. Leaving behind its label as a niche market, new media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are as much a part of our lives today as print, television, and cinema have been. And the best part is that digital did not replace traditional media, as many experts predicted.

Consumers, in fact, are living connected lives in which they do not differentiate between new and old forms of media. To them, it is one world that seamlessly connects various media forms and platforms, and where people can conveniently switch from screens and consume multiple messages simultaneously.

Just look at the numbers: The match between India and Pakistan during the 2015 World Cup was the most-watched live sports event on TV, with 288 million viewers. But more stunning, it was also the most-watched live sports event online and most-tweeted moment in India, with 118 million impressions.

Online video viewership is here to stay – but it’s not a monopoly

Without a doubt, new media is changing the rules of the game. Traditional media players are well aware of the growing popularity of user-generated content. Not surprisingly, the past year saw the launch of a host of Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms challenging the popularity of YouTube.

Even though more OTT players – both local and international – are expected to join the fray, much will depend on how the technology and infrastructure adapt. Cheaper, faster bandwidth and Wi-Fi will enable more on-the-go content consumption as the main viewing vehicle increasingly becomes the smartphone. The video ecosystem promises to be interesting, with TV channels, OTT players, online content creators, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube fighting and feeding off each other. 

Programmatic advertising: Catch me if you can

Another area witnessing a significant amount of change is advertising. The focus is slowly but surely moving to who should see the ad rather than when and where. Targeting and retargeting the most relevant audience to achieve a desired outcome is becoming more real-time than ever. Commonly referred as programmatic advertising, ad placement is based on an analytic study of consumer behavior patterns.

In essence, our Web experiences are so intricate that our browsing history and preferences are used to deliver appropriate ads. How many of us have visited travel websites and checked out a destination, only to be offered a plethora of low airfare options to that city? Well, that’s exactly what programmatic advertising does, and brands, agencies, and media channels are trying to get a better grasp of it.

Having said that, it’s still too early to swear off traditional advertising on TV. KPMG analysis of the media and entertainment industry indicates that television advertising in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14% between 2014 and 2019, reaching INR299 billion.

While there is clear evidence of digital media transforming the Indian media landscape, there is no cannibalization taking place – for now. This can be attributed to the sheer size of the market and the depth of access. Going forward, I foresee digital media thriving, yet complementing, to the overall growth of the media market.

What do you think? Comment below or contact me on Twitter @venke.

This article is an abstract of Venke’s personal blog, 10 digital marketing trends that may shape 2016, originally published on January 6, 2016. 



Venke Sharma

About Venke Sharma

Venke Sharma leads Digital Marketing and CRM for STAR India Pvt Ltd. He was recently named the most influential Digitalist Thought Leader from India. Digitalist Magazine’s research partner Absolutdata, a leading analytics and research company, scanned more than 1,200 business leaders in over 650 organizations and analyzed 1,000 LinkedIn profiles and 40,000 Twitter conversations to find the "Top 25 Digitalist Thought Leaders." Subsequently, a jury comprising of industry luminaries adjudged Venke as “Most Influential Digitalist Thought Leader” in the domain of marketing.