First rule of first principle thinking, do not use first principle thinking when a mental model is available

Category: Media

TV more interesting but still same

I watch lot more TV these days in comparsion what I used to do a year ago and that is probably the reason I get lesser time to blog :). Either the channels are churning interesting stuff or I am becoming less averse to the kind of programming that I once used to hate , maybe it is both. I still have a distaste for shaky camera effects with blinking flashy lights in many aired programs but I find it a great excercise to observe consumer tastes and behaviour especially the talent hunt shows and contests.

An interesting observation or recent change is that big budget movies  like Om Shanti Om, Sawariyein , Goal, Jab We Met … are being promoted via popular TV shows such as “Star Voice of India”, “Sa re ga ma”, “Nach Baliye”, “Indian Idol”… . I would have not known so much about these movies as such as if they were’nt so heavily promoted on these shows. Which brings to a point that I have been beating again and again that in India we are in so media 1.0 world as marketing economies of scope is still the dominant strategy. It is cheaper and easier to buy attention rather than to build it.

It is just not media everything including web, entreprise, consumers is still yet to see the brim of their 1.0 version in India and hence we can’t witness anything that can be called as 2.0 as the rest of the world defines it.  Infact the opportunity cost of doing a 2.0 business in any of the spheres is extremely high when compared to a 1.0 business while it is the other way round in the other parts of the world ( that’s a topic for a full post by itself)

Big Media vs Individual – Indian Media

Nikhil has spurred up an interesting conversation @ contentsutra about big media and individual content creators.Read the entire post and don’t miss out the comments section as it has pretty important thoughts.I have been following this debate in many places and now it’s spilled over to this side of the globe.

As much as I want just like Nikhil to hail ‘user generated content’ aka UGC (I dislike that term but using it for the lack of a better term) I certainly don’t think Indian media market is prime for it yet.The main reason for this is that the media value chain in India is the same as the older form of other media markets with the scarce part still being distribution and marketing. Put in another way media markets are still a function of distribution and content.  This is not directly observable but evidence for this could be seen through the still rising numbers of TV viewership (while elsewhere it is declining) and increase in average ad time.

Elaborating on this a little further the following two are the two main important reasons.

  • Slightly shifted supply curve

Technology is certainly driving down the cost of production but not much as it is still very expensive to create content ( creation devices such as cameras/recorders and bandwidth costs/horrid publising platforms/syndicators/aggregators). To think about it intuitively try to ascertain the ratio of  uploads/downloads that happen in any user generated sites specific to India.

  • Unmoved demand curve

Another most important aspect is the lack of demand for user generated content. In other media markets there was high demand for user generated media because consumers were saturated and tired of mass media.To think about it how many examples can be recounted that have come out in the last one year which is a user generated vide/audio/post which has caught the imagination of the Indian audience.

The new industry structure (promised through this UGC) that seems so exciting is possible only when the supply curve shifts considerably and the demand curve moves outwards so that we derive a new equilibirium and industry order.

No company can do much about the shifts in the demand curve except wait/prepare for the opportune time.   But the parameter that it has control over could be worked upon. But on the whole treating UGC as a yet another fad opportunity and trying to build a business through plain concept arbitrage in India might be extremely risky.

Some things mentioned in the post which I specifically do not agree with.

“There are innumerable instances of blogs with consistently great content”  – Quality on an average erodes with UGC but this is really not the point blogs will trump newspaper despite of that fact. Blogs on an average give better news experience is how I might put it.

“Life magazine shut offline publication in the US earlier this year” does not indicate anything about the Indian market, the media markets of developed country and developing countries are vastly different.

Property rights (fight for editorial space) as rightly put is certainly going to assume new meaning in this phase and it would be most fun to watch how this pans out.

wwigo: cameraphone as webcam – public beta

There has been no post on this blog from me since long as the last couple of weeks had kept us extremely busy on our new release. I am happy to say now that early this week wwigo was released into public beta. It is available for free for download, so if you have Nokia Series 60 phone do give a try. This was a very low profile release but the response and the feedback that we are getting so far has been fablous. We had some delay in doing this release but the delay has been worth in terms of tremendous improvements in the product and support for phones that has been added and that reflects in the feedback recieved.

Note in BW

     We were covered in  the dealtracker section in BW in this weeks’ edition, blogged about it in detail on the motvik blog

Wifi & Demos in MoMo

  This months MoMo scheduled on coming Monday (26th Feb)  is going to be very exciting.  First of all there is going to be an interesting talk on state/market of Wifi in India which I had been following very closely in the last few months plus we will be demoing WWIGO which is currently in alpha. Hoping to get a lot of feedback on the product from the community.

More details about MoMo here.

Resuming

     My absence from the blogging world has been extremely long and I missed a lot of news and action due to that. Though I have had previous breaks but none of them have lasted this long.  The reason was that I had been working on my startup (Motvik) which kept me very occupied leaving pretty much no time for anything else.  The product that I am working would enter in it’s private alpha stage today which now gives some room to do few other things.

Some of the regular readers would know about my extreme obsession with camera phones and how I have raved about them previously so it is just easy to guess that my new product also is around a camera phone.  To explain in one single sentence what the product does

      “It  is piece of software which converts a cameraphone into a webcam for use with PC/Laptop” 

 and hence the product has been named ‘wwigo’ (prounounced ‘vigo’ ) which stands for ‘webcam wherever i go’, it currently works only on select Nokia phones while we are working on to build support for other phones and platforms.

We have been quite inspired by getting real and hence have taken a lot of lessons from that in doing our work , this blog post itself is a testimony to doing development in a real way. 🙂

With a milestone achieved I hope to get back on track on blogging on a regular basis. Btw you would also find me blogging at the Motvik blog. One of the things that i realized is that running a startup and blogging simulataneously is extremely difficult and I bow to all those who are able to do it very successfully.

Blogcamping

I will be camping at Blogcamp in Chennai and listen to tales of  the very early stage of media 2.0 in India. Hope to learn a lot and also have fun. blogcamp

Blogcamp – About Media 2.0 and India

I would be most likely attending Blogcamp in Chennai. It aims to be the biggest blogger meet in the country so far.

 

 

As I much as I dislike everybody suffixing a 2.0 to everything that they can I am very much guilty myself propogating 2.0 memes. Blogcamp though loosely defines the topic/ theme as blogging, citizen journalism, podcasting , vlogs etc IMHO it should have a theme titled “Media 2.0 in India”. And that is exactly why it is interesting and very exciting for me. I am a technologist who follow things from an economic point of view and that has led me to reach out to these fascinating changes happening in the media industry. Here you would find my brain fart on the same a topic (media2 & India) posted a while ago.

But this is a very theoretical approach to the whole thing. Blog camp promises to gather people who have been in the media space for long or have experienced the new media first hand. Many of these folks are those understand a lot of these things in an intuitive way. So it is going to be quite fun watching & learning from these people.

Rebundling Media by BBC

      If there is one big corporation that understand the deep changes that are taking place in the mediascape and also embracing those changes and preparing itself for the new world order then it has to be the BBC. (Fox comes second and is way behind even with Myspace in its kitty)

      Launching of Audience created stations by BBC is another steps which shows that it steadily moving in the right path. Now according to the old control-everything-mindset of thinking this could be the most blasphemous thing to do but it is reallya  brilliant move.   Many are & will be baffled by this as one commenter says in adrant forum says.  

      “Im also wondering how BBC user controlled broadcasting is going to work – will the user controlled stations compete for Search Engine and Broadcast share with the BBC itself? Will listeners and viewers find themselves listening to a user generated BBC news station over the regular BBC? Will users mix their own news with the BBC news feed”

 
     Some time ago the BBC opened up their content and now they have provided the tools to rebundle them and it is as simple as that.

    IMO Others in the industry will sit up and take notice on what the beeb is doing  but will take very long to actually embrace the changes in the media landscape.

     Btw to understand why what BBC did makes a ton of sense read this post by  John hagel’s on future of media. It can’t be explained in more elucidating way.

Myspace to India

 

      Just came across this news Myspace to expand to 11 countries and that  includes India. My previous post Media 2.0 & India seems to be appropriately timed.

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