The year 2015 saw a whole lot of changes in the media and entertainment industry, and we witnessed tectonic shifts in the way news is delivered and consumed. Real-time news became immensely popular with the launch of Twitter Moments, Snapchat Live and Apple News. (Today, the world's largest tech companies are also news companies.) More than ever, people read and watched content on their mobile devices - a trend that will no doubt catch on even more in the future. Let's have a look at some recent changes that unfolded in the media landscape.
1. News media start ups
The past year saw a spurt in news media start-ups headed by luminaries of the journalistic fraternity. Recently, Shekhar Gupta and Barkha Dutt came together to launch The Print, a digital and events venture. Then, Raghav Bahl, former managing director of Network 18, started The Quint, a mobile-focused news venture, along with the co-founder and journalist Ritu Kapur. The website publishes news, analysis and opinion across genres. Recently, it was reported that Bahl is in talks with New York-based Bloomberg LP for a joint venture to launch a co-branded television channel and website with a focus on business news.
Another new entrant was The Wire, started by Siddharth Varadarajan, former editor at the Hindu. This digital news media start-up has tied up with news agencies like Press Trust of India (PTI) and Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) for content.
The primary reason for the launch of news portals is the rise in news consumption on mobile devices in India which is a trend quite similar to that in the US. Digital news sites like Scroll and The Quint are generating about 60% of their user traffic on smartphones.
2. Crowd-sourcing platforms
News sites such as The Huffington Post , DailyYo and The Wire invite writers to contribute and have managed to garner well-known contributors to add to their profile.
3. Immense pressure on journalists
Journalists work under pressure in the best of times, but the Times Group upped the ante by implementing a policy of breaking stories on Twitter and linking the salaries of journalists with the same.
4. Cross-posting of content by major rivals
The most surprising element was when The Times of India published an article written by a senior journalist of Mint . The strategy behind the cross posting of the content by the two rivals is yet to be decoded.
It is quite clear that the media landscape will change in unpredictable ways. Factors such as the launch of 4G and the increasing digitisation of content will further spur the use of mobile devices to consume information. The entry of Netflix in India also suggests that the next wave will be led by visual and video content.
However, all said and done, in this age of digitization, localization of content will play an even more vital part. Print is not dying anytime soon in India and vernacular media remains crucial to the masses.
As the reach and the impact of visual content such as info-graphics, apps and videos see an upsurge, brand consultants need to update their strategies and narratives with both external and internal stakeholders. Similarly, even as digital PR grows at an unmatched pace, traditional PR cannot be ignored -- integration is the keyword. Communication specialists must drive the business of storytelling both on online and the offline media.