It is said that a country becomes dangerous if its democracy faces imminent threat as only one opinion is allowed by the people in power, and opposing opinions are thwarted. In today’s world marred by fake news, India which should show the light to the rest of the world is itself in danger. The press freedom is hiding for its life; journalists are bought, silenced or murdered.
This is an age of Fake News If you think it is only a social media phenomenon, you may be wrong. As print and TV media too pick up stories from social media, they have also become the carriers of rumours, fake news and hate speeches which divide communities and spread hatred for each other and create an obnoxious atmosphere, especially during elections.
Mukesh Ambani is often dubbed as the ‘Disruptor-in-Chief’ in Indian telecom sector. In Sep. 2016, he successfully snatched massive chunks of subscriber base from leading players like Airtel and Vodafone by launching RJio which offered free data and unlimited call and SMS to lure the customers before making them loyal to its network with cost effective plans. Indeed, behemoths like Airtel and Idea were too bewildered to react before the sudden onslaught of RJio.
Assocham-PwC report M&E industry to grow at a CAGR of 11.7% in India n 25 January 2019, the ASSOCHAM-PwC joint study on ‘Video on Demand: Entertainment reimagined’ was released. As per report forecast, the Indian media and entertainment industry (M&E) will grow at a CAGR of 11.7% from $30.3 billion in 2017 and will reach $52.6 billion by 2022.
Although TRAI’s Tariff Order has been fully implemented and even the interim period for the process is ending on 31st March, many complaints from consumers are pouring in against blacking out of channels and substantial increase in subscriptions. Some market surveys published in the media have also shown that consumers are paying much more than they paid earlier and still did not get their choice. Inspite of all this, TRAI insists that all is well.
In January 2019, two tech giants Facebook and Google pledged to make political ads more transparent ahead of General Election 2019. They have taken this opportunity to clean their image torn last year. Both companies have faced outrage over issues related to misuse and accountability, and this year’s polls could prove a crucial test for them.
The 2019 edition of Convergence India, IoT India, Embedded Tech India and Mobile India expos finally came to an end after three days of productive activity. The event saw record visitor numbers and strong sales across all disciplines. The event had something to offer to all - trade delegations moved fruitfully from booth to booth; ideas exchanged among compatriots; and business was discussed.
Finally, we have started implementing the new tariff schemes as per TRAI directions. It is commendable for the TRAI chairman not to get bowed down to the pressures from some stakeholders who were trying to delay the process once again by going to the court. Few court cases are still pending in the Delhi High Court but the Apex court has given very clear verdict earlier upholding TRAI’s right to frame regulations including tariff fixation for the cable and broadcasting industry keeping public interest in mind.
On 20 January 2019, leading video on demand (VoD) or over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix, Hotstar and Sony Picture Networks signed an agreement to self-regulate streamed content in India by following a voluntary code of conduct. This was a landmark step towards addressing the viewers’ concerns on disturbing visuals and dialogues as being shown through web series.
We have welcomed TRAI’s New Regulatory Framework for the Broadcast Industry because we have been waiting for a regulatory regime for our industry since 2004 when TRAI was handed over the responsibility of this sector. Progressive regulations are highly required to benefit all stakeholders creating a level playing field and steering the industry on a path of progress and profitability.
It takes 1.5 hours for Ram Prakash to commute to his office daily. He would have got bored to death sitting in Metro train doing nothing but staring at other faces. Thank God, it’s smartphone which saved him and millions of jobbers across the world as they are suing that time to refresh themselves with the videos of their choice. This is an age of video-on-demand (VoD) and over- the- top (OTT), being supplied in plenty by leading platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar and Zee5, all at the cost of television.
After the successful career in DTH and Media industries, Mr Anil Khera moved on started a media company called One Take Media Co. One Take now provides Value Added Services leading Airlines, DTH, Telecom and Cable Industries besides various OTT Apps opting for One Take contents. It is interesting to know the genre spreads of One Take from Kids to Hollywood Movies to Korean/Turkish TV series.
2018 has ended with many hopes for the industry. The year 2018 appears to have passed very soon as nothing significant has happened for the cable and broadcast industry throughout the year. All hopes for a better future at the beginning of the year have belied and industry is in a state of gloom. New Tariff order and regulations have been implemented with some important clauses missing. Some of them are still in the courts making us carry forward our hopes to the next year. Economic situation in the country is topsy turvy and hopes for stable economy have also been carried forward to 2019. DTH and MSOs are still reeling under the impact of demonetization of 2016 and implementation of GST in 2017, unable to invest for network upgrades for broadband services or adopting new technologies of OTT and Video streaming.
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