The TV Business May Be Starting To Collapse [Indian version]

I recently saw many TV industry people tweeting about this article“Don’t Mean To Be Alarmist, But The TV Business May Be Starting To Collapse”. When I looked at the article I thought it made sense…. but only in America. If you try to analyze each point which is being written there and compare it to the situation in India, you will not be able to relate it. et all.

First of all it talks about how newspaper industry (in US) was so wrong in forecasting the trend and how fast people switched their preferences. It also says people stopped using classifieds and started using Craigslist over internet. Hmm.. this sounds true in our country too as most of us have switched to or Justdial for our classified needs. But have we dumped our newspapers yet? I don’t think so…

So as per the article the newspaper industry in America saw a sharp decline in revenues during past 5-6 years and that was a sudden change which forced many companies to either exit or get acquired. In our country things are quite opposite (as if now). Today, India is the TOP country in the world by newspaper sales and the newspaper even tops the advertising revenue pie (whopping 47%) second only to Television [Here is the detailed news].

The author goes further and adds some startling facts like- they never watch TV shows when they are broadcast, any more and they rarely watch shows with ads.


So it’s apparent from the article that “internet” is the single biggest culprit behind demise of “newspapers” and (as forecast) “Broadcast Television” in US. And speaking about internet we (Indian people) have barely learned to find friends over Facebook- we still read few steamy articles over internet but when it comes to getting daily dose of news, I have seen majority of people switching on their TV set or grabbing the newspaper with a cup of tea. And internet TV? God, are you talking about some alien thing or what? I still can’t watch a full HD video streaming effortlessly on my 2MBPS internet connection (which downgrades to 256Kbps if I consume my free quota :P) yet. Boxee, Tivo, Netflix, Hulu are alien concepts to us. And to add to my amazement, the author says-

Our kids see TV ads so rarely that they’re actually curious about and confused by them: “What is that? A commercial?”

I bet our generation is yet to see any such change. I’m not saying we lag behind when it comes to TV content consumption, I bet we consume more.. only fact is that we are still very much into real-time TV consumption. Also, the ads help us know more about what’s happening in the internet world. I bet many of us didn’t know about Flipkart until the ads featuring cute kids hit our small screens. So in our country the story is opposite- you need to reach out the your audience, they won’t come out and search for you over Google (mostly).

I know many of you might not support my views, but this is what I think about the majority of TV viewers in India. TV business (i.e. charging advertisers for showing ads) is not going to die in India for another decade or so (although advertisers will get smarter). Channels will close down for sure (because there are too many) and consolidations will happen, DTH will emerge and with HD content people will watch more content with less advertisements, but majority of us will watch the Television content the way it is today! Hail TV!!

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