#Frames2013: Indian M&E must take a global stance: Dominic Proctor

14 Mar,2013

By A Correspondent


That the media and entertainment industry in India is making steady progress is known, but whether it is able to deliver advertising value to brands in a manner that gives them maximum bang for the buck is still questionable. For brands to remain interested in the medium and empower them to play a larger role in steering the ecosystem forward would require a great deal of recalibration from the industry and its stakeholders.


The session on ‘Will advertising still be the key growth driver for the converged ecosystem?’ by Dominic Proctor, President, GroupM, Global threw up interesting insights on the role that the advertising and media industries had to play in helping the sector achieve remarkable growth.


Taking off on the key theme that had been drawn up for him Mr Proctor said, “If you ask me, will advertising drive growth in the converged ecosystem – the short answer to that is yes! But the real question is – we all know that India is an emerging entertainment superpower, but will the growth come from just from extending business in India or will the business grow because of the global ecosystem? We believe that the Indian entertainment business is at crossroads and they can make a choice of whether to stay as a relatively inward-looking business or join and be a part of world entertainment business.”


Questioning the reasons for the industry being under-valued, Mr Proctor stated, “I often wonder why the media business as not managed to do what the IT business has in terms of its growth and size. While the IT business is about $ 100 billion the media business is still about one-fifth of that size. The reason why the IT business has become what it is because it has taken a global stance.”


Presenting another interesting facet about the media industry, Mr Proctor said that the thing about India is that it is a powerhouse of strong content. “If you look at the sector, the country produces more than 1000 films every year, has more than 700 channels, has more than 7 DTH platforms, about 900 million mobile downloads, has a huge base of consumers who access content online or through a mobile device… all these are factors around which India could build itself up in the global entertainment value chain. Right now what is happening is that a lot of programming on television or music on platforms or even sports is being produced for local consumption; that approach has to change and a more global route needs to be taken,” he said.


Adding further, Mr Proctor said that where content is concerned it is obsessively dependant on things like Bollywood, cricket, stars etc but it was important to see whether these options were going to be sustainable in the long run. “For example, cricket in all its form is seeing a downfall in viewership over recent months. This poses a serious threat to its profitability and sustenance in the long run. But what is interesting is that Indian sports is expanding its horizons and looking at options such as football, hockey, golf, etc. But it is still not what is observed in other markets like the US and UK where each sport has become an entity of its own, be it in terms of viewership or revenue generation. So sports marketing in India will require a broader base for the long term.”


Sharing his observations on the medium of films, Mr Proctor said, “If you look at films, the problem with that sector is that it hasn’t really moved at a pace that benefits brands more than it does from cricket. This is despite movies having a larger viewer base than sports. The tie-up as of now between the two is still very clumsy and they need to find new ways to take it to the next level. One way they could do it is through the web, which presents massive opportunity. Other avenues include hyper-targeting through STBs that could also change the way the ecosystem works. The way forward for our business is to move from inventory planning against demographics to specific audience planning and buying because the technology that we have at our disposal allows us to optimise our offerings by serving different advertisers and consumers.”


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