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Is there Enough Innovation in Media? The Bosses Battle it Out

"...we are not seeming to invest in the core asset of a news media company which is the journalist." - Pankaj Pachauri

Photo Credit : YouTube,

Battling on the ‘not enough innovation’ side:

Pankaj Pachauri, founder and editor-in-chief of GoNews24x7, India's first app based news channel

“Traditionally media companies don’t put enough money in R&D. For the first time in the history of India, media sales of the 18 listed ‘Big’ companies has stagnated (data does not include Times of India which is not listed). Otherwise media has been riding the growth of India’s GDP growth.

In a market where sales are stagnant, the profits of media companies are sky rocketing. Why? And How? Media companies are shrinking and investing less in journalism and journalists. I know at least 2,000 journalists who lost their jobs in Delhi city alone in the last 5 years. GoNews never advertised vacancies but we got 350 applications. They were all senior level journalists and we are not seeming to invest in the core asset of a news media company which is the journalist.

As our GDP goes up, media too has grown in consonant with that. Media is a service industry. If our GDP grows at 7 percent, the service will grow at almost double that pace. So to find out that media sales are stagnating when GDP is still growing means the Indian media companies are not thinking ahead.”

Battling on the ‘there is enough innovation’ side:

Shikha Rastogi, president and group HR head at iTV Network

Ms Rastogi heads the talent search across iTV group which includes channels like India News, NewsX, ProSportify and a range of regional channels. “It’s been a great experience hiring and preparing the next generation of media professionals to embrace the innovation to come. In the past four years we have evolved greatly in an already cluttered market. Although some may say innovation is lacking in media, I say with pride that I have with me a young and vibrant workforce in our company. Innovation is our only strength. And that has brought success to our network and products.”

Amitabh Srivastava, South Asia head for Association of International Broadcasters (AIB)

“It’s all about innovation these days, even when it comes to making money out of a media channel. Those days are over when you could get away with plain simple vanilla marketing. You have to brand things so your product has value. Traditionally there were two types of revenue. One was the ad model, second was the subscription model. If you compare with the subscription model of 5 – 10 years ago, you will notice revenue was very low. Thanks to digitalization and broader internet connectivity, even DTH has come into the picture. So the broadcaster will know exactly how many homes the channel is reaching. Earlier we had no idea and the cable operator had a lot of under declarations. If there were 100 connections, only 10 were declared. So the broadcaster was bleeding money those days.

Now it is the reverse case. The DTH companies have to declare how many subscribers they have. There is innovation in advertising as well and the advertisers as well as the clients are benefiting. You don’t have to stick with television advertising. You can go on-ground and create events, do something on radio or internet. These are the new innovations being offered and it’s definitely working for the media people looking to make their revenue.”

Your turn: Is there enough innovation happening in media? You decide.

Tags assigned to this article:
pankaj pachauri Amitabh Srivastava iTV network GoNews

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