Dear MxM by Jaisurya Das: Any scope for M&E law? (+will HT work in Pune?)

24 Mar,2017

By Jaisurya Das

 

And Pune is seeing some significant media action as I figured .. Yes, Ladies and Gentleman, Welcome back to Dear MxM, India’s largest counselling board for the fraternity! 

 

Legend has it that media in Pune has never been short of excitement and the news of Hindustan Times launching an edition here bears testimony to this ! 

I must say, this leaves me quite amused. On the one hand, you shut down several editions and on the other, you enter a market that has TOI firmly entrenched and Indian Express following suit albeit their significantly lower numbers. But that is what media is all about. One idea, one thought and one board room meeting can lead to organised chaos and often highly structured harakiri !!

So, is there potential for HT? I seriously hope so, at least for the sake of a good friend who’s taking over as the Resident Editor and others from the fraternity who will jump on board. The cloud of gloom hangs low on the media horizon with news of further pink slips at ABP and others doing the rounds, and here we are with HT in hiring mode.. 

The amazing dichotomy of media strategy. Reading audiences is critical here for a new player irrespective of their integral brand strength or persona. This will be the challenge and the only way ‘brand astigmatism’ can be kept at bay. 

For the record, brand astigmatism is what I term the phenomenon of planning moves based on distorted signals from your audience.. 

If they get it right, a good #2 slot is certainly possible, more so considering the obvious lack of inertia at IE Pune. Marketing obviously is last of on their agenda and hence being pushed to a number 3 is just a matter of time. 

I wish the HT good luck. Get your act right, read right and steam roll like there is no tomorrow. Pushing with a battering ram is the only answer. Assertive marketing is the need of the hour. If you have it in you, go fro the jugular. Amen. 

 

I am studying law, and am into intellectual property and copyright. While I am excited about the media, I am not sure whether it’s worthwhile specialising in M&E law given that it’s a very unstructured industry. And that of course also makes it very interesting. Your comments, Sir?

Wonderful! Thanks for writing in to Dear MxM.

Yes, you have a point; Intellectual property rights are a much ignored area in our country, despite its increased need for authors, content producers and the industry at large.

Rampant plagiarism and piracy is really making life tough for authors and content professionals whose sole earning is royalty. It is time for tough regulation and control, and legal professionals have certainly a major role to play to control this menace. However, as you rightly imagined, it is at a very nascent stage here.

I am pretty certain that this decade will see an increasing need for talented regal professionals armed with IP law skills. I would urge you to hold on and work towards getting into this niche as it is bound to pay off sooner or later.

And to be honest, I don’t think the M&E industry is unstructured; It is just a lot or organised madness that grows on you 🙂

 

Sir, I have learnt that you operate out of Pune. While work may have got you there, but what made you decide there instead of more media-active markets like Mumbai and Delhi. Your response will help influence my decision too, as I am essentially a Punekar, but now living in Delhi.

Ah, to be honest with you, I found Pune the right mix of excitement and lethargy that just befitted my character ! Having said that, Pune does lack the action that you see in mature media markets like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru.

I guess it is also about what you want in life. Today, distance and geographies mean nothing more than a stable internet connection ! I have been here for two decades now and I don’t think Pune limited my work or objectives in any way . In fact it gave me the comfort of balancing a great work atmosphere with a super family life.

But, do be aware that smaller markets like Pune pay less salaries and perks, though the city itself is all about the right kind of perks, be it the weather, the food, housing or just the friendly crowd.

 

I attended FICCI-Frames in Mumbai on March 21 and the very clear message is that digital is driving content in the media. But the revenues are not commensurate with the popularity of the media. Why do you think that is the case, and when will things change?

Indeed, digital is here to stay and grow exponentially. There is little argument on this. Revenues are very low as of now but give digital a chance. Mainline media took decades to get where it is now…

The growth rates in digital versus print and TV is in itself an indicator of things to come. Digital penetration is growing at a rapid pace now and players like Reliance and the soon to be merged Vodafone-Idea will only add to this at a feverish pace.

Revenues will have to follow since advertising on digital will be the most cost effective way to reach a specific target audience. Today there is enough data being collected to be able to serve very skewed, contextual advertising to the potential customers. There is very little wastage in digital compared to the other mediums and when the advertising budgets get tighter, digital will be the obvious choice..

It is just a matter of time, young man!

 

And on that note of optimism, it is time to say Sayonara for the week. We will be back with digital precision, next week, same space. Be good, and take great care of yourselves !

 

Jaisurya Das, maverick and media evangelist, eats, sleeps and makes love to brands. His consulting interventions are aimed at making brands powerful and sustainable. He is also the Contributing Editor of MxM India and Co-Founder of pune365.com.For more on his work visit www.xanadu.co.in. The views expressed in this column are his own.

 

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