2015 – Is ‘Digital‘ the new ‘Normal’

25 million video views on a digital platform for the Indo Pak match, 4 million downloads of the digital entertainment app ‘Hotstar’ from STAR within a fortnight, the burgeoning valuation of e-tailing online platforms, the growing acceptance of public service delivery though online intervention as well as digital being seen as viable tool to curb corruption are the news which have hogged our headlines since the start of 2015. Individually, these are no doubt significant events which demand attention but looking at them collectively it is a huge ‘Tsunami’ which is about to engulf us in many ways we imagined but never experienced. Our lives are about to change mostly for the better, but also in many ways  where we still do not have full understanding. Probably it is the tipping point or very near the tipping point that we all have been discussing about. All this change or ‘Tsunami’ as I call it has happened due to a revolutionary device called the ‘MOBILE PHONE’.

No change in Indian subcontinent has been as disruptive as ‘Mobile Telephony’. Ever since it was introduced in 1995, it has virtually changed the way we communicate, exchange information and do business. It has been an inalienable part of you for the past 20 years encouraged by its ability to bridge distances through low rates and devices. With its smart phone possibilities, internet service highways and large connected population it now promises to change your life again if the present news is any indication. In this new world order of which India is a part what can we expect?

As a consumer of content and services the following:

  • Ability to consume past and present content whether it is informative, entertainment oriented or specialist content at the place, time as well as on the device of your choice.
  • Ability to consume services whether public or otherwise with least intervention, least cost and at the time of your liking.
  • Ability to consume goods with widest choice, best bargains and delivered to the place of your choice with payment option to your liking.

As a businessman, provider of services and goods it opens the whole world as a market without any boundaries and without the present infrastructure costs with key supply partnerships in different parts of the world.

However ‘Utopia’ is still not at hand and many adjustments – legal , technology related as well as market related need to be made before we reach the full potential of the change which is at hand and that we will encounter to its full extent going forward. Some of those adjustments are technology as well as infrastructure related, which will require time to build and the roll up can be different in different markets. Other adjustments  – like a sudden overhaul of your business model, for example the change from fixed screen to multiple screens for entertainment content, change in subscription and adfunded models for content can be painful. Consumer preference usually predates the change in business models and that change will be painful and maybe a little drawn out. New avenues of revenue will need to fulfil this loss of revenue in present models either through enhanced coverage or better charging services. Another area which will evolve would be the IPR regime and the IPR protection of brands in an increasingly accessible world.

Welcome to the world of uncertainty!

Welcome to the Digital World!


Published by eyeonmediablog

Professional Chartered Accountant and presently the founder and chairman of Sapphire Professional Services Pvt Ltd - a boutique advisory firm in M&A,Strategy and Structuring ( www.sapphire-pro.co.in ). Previously a senior partner with PwC and leader of the Entertainment & Media industry in India for 7 years.

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