Guest Column: Mobile Advertising- an upcoming section of Broadcast Industry

Digital is the third highest category of advertising spends, albeit lagging far behind TV in which mobile is playing an extremely essential role in the revolution. The availability of everything over second screen makes it really easy for us to do anything and everything in a compact scenario. Television and Radio plays a vital role in the mass distribution of content and continue to be huge industries. Because the content utilization across the country is increasing at an unprecedented rate and there is a rise in purchasing power and technological advancement, the platforms delivering this content has also seen a radical alteration.

We are already observing a growth dependency on hand-held devices for consumer content consumption. It has the power of having the information we need wherever and whenever we want - and it is primarily, on demand. The onset and hearted acceptance of international brands such as Netflix, Amazon Prime etc in the country signify that the Indian audience is ready to accept the major transformation in the digital world.

With the increasing usage of high-end phones, the way markets are consuming content is rapidly changing as well, where regional language content is seeing multiple growth and consumption. Platforms such as Hungama and Hotstar are seeing abundant growth as audiences in these markets tune into them for their daily dose of content at the tap of a finger.

However, this shift doesn’t need to be at the expense of television. Instead, television will benefit from this industry transformation in three powerful ways. First, mobile is a content-first platform. Second, mobile is a video-first platform. Third, mobile is a data-first platform. Television has both the content and the video by the bucket-load and is increasingly desperate to become data-first.

Mobile is rapidly expanding the different types of content that people are able to engage with. New applications and devices are adding greater capacities in increasing the broadcast. In other words, the availability of broadcast is changing, as well as our viewing habits. Channel owners are increasingly looking for new and more diverse distribution platform in order to maximize the reach in a more fragmented media landscape. The mobile industry is providing the platform and innovative technologies to help channel owners utilize their content in new ways and reach out to today's audience. Mobile is breaking traditional barriers to consumption of content and driving broadcast forwards.

Radio broadcast is also progressing in a similar manner. It allows its users to customize their experience. No doubt many of the other radio broadcast stations will follow suit and launch their services as mobile web or app solutions in order to cater for the next generation of radio audiences who will expect a mobile experience.

Though there is no specific media, but mobile TV is the cutting edge of this changing broadcast landscape. The app enables users to stream TV from participating channels directly to their mobile devices but its coverage abilities are limited and more channels need to participate if they are to succeed, by offering users more resilence. It also lacks the feature of rewind, pause and record the shows they are watching, a crucial part of watching TV wherever and whenever. However, this is only the beginning and the development of new devices shows this.

Undoubtedly, broadcast on mobile is on the verge of commencement, but channel owners and content owners are facing an exciting challenge of speeding to be first. However, the question is not about technology's availability to make this possible, but how the services should be designed and how they will be used. Ultimately, the service providers need to be convinced that they provide the best content and an engaging experience on the target audience's platform of choice. This ensures their business set and prepared to reach the next generation of consumers in a span of next five to ten years. 

(Megha Tata is the Chief Operating Officer at BTVI)


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