In recognition of the increasing impact television has on decision-making by bringing world attention to conflicts and threats to peace and security and its potential role in sharpening the focus on other major issues, including economic and social issues, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 November as World Television Day (through resolution 51/205 of 17 December 1996). Television represents a symbol of communication and globalization in the contemporary world.
Everything has a short form. Television was called TV and now it has a new name, Mob! Either way the pulsating pixels, no matter the size, are the single largest source of video consumption! Though screen sizes have changed, and people create, post, stream, and consume content on different platforms, the number of households with television sets around the world continues to rise - but that will be in the short term.
But will television as we know it last? No, I do not think so. As mobiles and laptops become powerful, quick, and smaller, and as virtual clouds grow larger, the content will be king, and size will not matter (pun intended). The individual creator will replace the production team. He will be a producer, scriptwriter, narrator, actor, cinematographer, and editor all rolled into one. Already individuals are making high-quality short films on their high-end mobiles for social media and OTT platforms, and this will only increase. Extras though will always be required!
There will be volumes of content out there that you will have to endure to choose something that you want to watch up to its conclusion. Curating content will be a money-spinner for those who can endure watching and selecting content for niche audiences that are willing to pay for recommendations or to join a library of curated content and those days are coming.
"Hum Log" ko "Woh Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" - the Doordarshan era. The era when news, views, and debates were curated by the Government in power based on what they wanted you to see? Things have moved on from there. Abhi Yahi Hai Zindagi! Watch what you want, when you want, and however, you want.
But can the government allow that if it is to stay in power if it must appease conservatives who want to decide as what you must see? Well, the answer is no. And so recently, even as it allows "debates" and opinionated news, as distinct from opinionated views, to go unregulated, it has brought social media and OTT platforms that stream video content under its eagle eye.
Of course, the regulation will be colored by the glasses the regulators wear not those that you don. So, you will gradually find a return, though not complete, to the Doordarshan era! That is a given. It will also add to the Government's much-depleted coffers! It’s a new initiative - Chai pe Karcha!
Be that as it may, the content industry is set to expand, not in the way we thought it would but in ways in which we have not imagined. Content creators will emerge - many have already emerged - out of the woodwork, like ants. They will be small teams, using state of the art compact technology – hardware and software - to create stunning visuals. The distribution will shift to Social Media and OTT platforms - much like self-publication has taken over the publishing industry.
There are no locational barriers to OTT content, neither are their time barriers. Views are recorded and dashboards reveal the exactness of popularity. TRP scams will be a thing of the past, and advertisers will know exactly what they are buying into, as will content creators know in which direction they should move. The viewer and advertisers will dictate the content, rather than the other way around.
YouTube and Facebook are already creating content multi-millionaires. Social Influencers abound and are hounded by brands for their endorsements. The Brand Unboxer is a remunerative role that has all the perks of a high-flying corporate role! Interestingly, no prior experience or expertise is necessary, just self-belief, and an understanding of viewer needs and desires. Emerging content creators will probably take a leaf out of the pornography industry!
Open Content of this kind has transcended language and location and even expertise barriers. It has created multiple opportunities for youth and the old alike, especially the rural youth, to be mediapreneurs - media entrepreneurs. Newskarnataka.com's YouTube and Facebook pages are a case in point - creating both entertainment and significant conversational content for viewers according to their needs. Then there is the Newskarnataka.com Village TV initiative. An initiative to create a multitude of content and mediapreneurs in rural areas using its platforms. It is an earn, learn, and let earn initiative that is gathering speed at the speed of light and one that will light up world of villages in India. That is the way it should be.
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