The Evolution of Digital Media and Content
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Technology is such an essential part of human lives as we are inexplicably depend on it for our basic needs – entertainment, information, travel and communication.
India currently has more than 220 million smart phone users in the country. Internet penetration, especially with smart phones reaching the masses has made the world more closely knit than ever.
Over the last few years social media has been the primary recreational tool that has kept Indian internet users engaged over the internet. Apart from consumption on social media, Indian internet users have also started using the web for a variety of other services, including, e-commerce, entertainment, online ticketing, e-banking, etc. This consumption pattern of social media users has helped platforms to understand the social media behavior of their consumers and engage them according to their interests, thus, helping them curate digital content in a similar fashion.
Supremacy of Digital Media on Social Media
Digital media is primarily any media that is encoded in a machine readable format. Digital media is frequently contrasted with print media and other traditional media. The main focus of the designers of digital content is that it should be short and quick to consume. Over the last 2 years, digital media has been a forerunner across all social media platforms, the main focus of which has been on 'Content'.
There are a plethora of formats in which digital media is now produced, ranging from web shows, short films, news, short form content, gaming, & social interaction. Over the last few years there has been a radical shift from TV screens to smaller screens (smart phones) for content consumption by viewers. Instead of the earlier format of watching television with family, each member of an average Indian household now consumes content on their personal gadget according to their own will, interest and time. Hence, the comparison between primary and secondary screens is slowly diminishing, both working seamlessly together. This big change is expected to increase content consumption, as well as change the type of content consumed.
A lot of these platforms initially started off as a storehouse for archived content, of either old movies or TV show episodes already aired. This became a legit way to watch or download movies over the web and helped curtail piracy to a large extent. Real-time content such as cricket matches or award shows have also proven to be USPs of such platforms in the past. Due to the data price war amongst top Telecom companies, real time content generation provides a lot of potential for these platforms to attract the audiences.
Increased digital consumption in India is expected to help media conglomerates drive consumer aggregation. Several other factors would also contribute to the opportunities to create and increase the reach of digital media. As majority of the Indian population still resides in Tier II & Tier III cities, creation of original content in vernacular language basis the audience's geographies would also help to attract eyeballs. Not only the medium and the language, but unique and out-of-the-box concepts of such content would also trigger to reach the right target audience.
Digital media and content has come a long way since its inception
An increase in the earning population in the country and ease in the ability to pay due to the rise in payments technology can be clearly seen in the emergence of subscription based models of digital media platforms.
Thus, to sum it all up we are in era where interest of the audience or the quality of the content is no longer governed by the size of the screen one is watching it in. It will be the attention it commands from the viewer, through story arcs or other conventions that will dictate the “dominant” screen. While no immediate impact on TV viewership has been recorded since digital media started off, there has been a marked increase in the time people spent online. Digital media and content has come a long way since its inception but the content platforms need to utilize a right mix of old and new content creation tools to keep the audiences engaged.