New media & technology pumps life in economic slowdown

    MUMBAI: Optimum usage of technology and new media in ongoing times of economic slowdown seemed to be the mantra of panelists on the session for Recession and Entertainment Industry at FICCI Frames.

    The current phase offers a fair opportunity for all those who are innovative and dare to think disruptively. One of the key strategies supporting this is the use of technology in order to keep costs low and reach to the maximum number of people.

    This has been endorsed by the likes of economist Swaminathan Aiyar, KPMG head entertainment Rajesh Jain, Reliance Entertainment president Rajesh Sawhney, Intel Asia Pacific director Narendra Bhandari and Madison Communication CEO Punitha Arumugam.

    KPMG’s Jain said, "Companies should focus on their core strengths and not diversify. Also business models should be made keeping digitization in mind."

    Reliance’s Sawhney added, "All developed countries in the world focus on new media. We in India need to become obsessive about new media. New media such as Google and iPod were unfamiliar terms until 10 years back but have become an integral part of our lives now. We should not underestimate what lies ahead in the long term."

    Since high capital cost is required to run new media, Intel is investing $ 1.7 billion to manufacture nano chips, which will consume less power and can be used on smaller devices.

    Further, advertising costs on new media is far lesser than on mass media. Now since brands are reducing their advertising expenses, the internet can serve as a cheap advertising medium. "Financial and automobile companies may redirect spends towards the digital medium because it is more accountable for sales as opposed to mass media, which is more accountable for exposure," said Madison’s Arumugam.

    On the media front, digital and new media such as the internet, radio and TV (to a certain extent) will continue to grow despite the recession, but print and outdoor will feel the pinch mostly due to high their high advertising rates.

    On the brands front, FMCG and Telecom brands will continue to spend on advertising, but all others will have no option but to drop advertising costs. In times such as these, media companies can either help brands by reducing advertising rates or bring in new advertisers and broaden their base.