It is the same rat race. All over again. First, it was the radio. The TV came and ate it up. Then, it was the TV programmes of DDK – vying with each other. Chitrahaar, Buniyaad and Humlog were the masters – all other programmes, including the news, were holding only secondary position. Then came the TV boom, and Boom!
Boom! Boom! Boom! – it is still going on – the satellite channels, the cable TV channels, the dish channels and what not – everyday, the Indian viewer goes through the excruciating pain in his head when he is given another choice of one more TV channel. Choice! They scream.
Suddenly, TV was passé. It was Radio FM – Radio Mirch, Radio Masala, Radio Spice, what not. Then, the TV industry started branching out into capturing niche audiences with special programmes. The average TV viewer was zapped by a host of TV shows, and what should he/she watch so that they can tell in their office that they watched TV the day before?
Then, suddenly, it was the cellphone – and texting – it became the new fad, that even recipes were exchanged over cellphones – Then the IPODs exploded over the Indian subcontinent. The blinding flash is still on – and youngsters are still wired.
Computers and Internet, have always been in the background, never really challenging the positions of TV or cellphone – till the laptop boom.
So, now, we are still in the grip of TVs, Cellphones, Laptops, and Ipods.
Suddenly, the blog fever had hit the country. There were blogs on everything – Blogging became the new pastime, much to the consternation of journalists and writers. And now, blogging is passé. It has been pipped by Facebook and Twitter.
It will not be long before Twitter and Facebook are replaced by some other more popular media. The race goes on…..
Obituary has already been written to the Hoarding, (Can one ever forget the United India and Amul ads) – Some media like the Giant Balloon, Cinema Slides, kiosks, pamplets, etc are still in various stages of their demise.
In all this, the most important factor is that no single medium, has ever been able to sustain its share, except the newspapers, to a large extent. Even though the character of the newspaper industry has changed over the years and competition has really cut into the industry, the durability of newspapers have largely been more dependable than magazines. The need for DAILY news is something that can never be easily replaced.
The battle for attention between various mediums will go on – the real decider, is not a single individual – the collective society has to decide which medium will last, and which medium will go.
Be it blogging, magazines, TV, or social media, the the flexibility cycle of various media will keep changing the equations. And in India, the challenge of PR and Media consultants is to identify the target audience out of this maze, which is becoming increasingly difficult. Organisations are resorting to SMS and texting to communicate with their customers rather than advertise in any media. Target audiences are increasingly becoming fragmented by various factors – even social media like facebook or twitter become niches and to get attention in this scenario, is definitely a challenge.
In this challenge, Media is increasingly becoming irrelevant. Organisations that resort to increasing their standard of service, or product, have better chances to get profits these days. And how does the product/service get advertised?
WORD OF MOUTH! Strangely familiar?