Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Online Media is part of me now

A strange thing happened this morning. The bell rang at 7 AM and I went and opened the door to see a man standing in front, holding a pile of newspapers and saying something in Kannada. I could barely understand what he said, but I got the gist, he was trying to sell me “The Hindu” newspaper. He was telling me, to try out “The Hindu” newspaper, it’s good and today we are giving you this free of charge. I refused to do that because I told him I read Times of India and anyways I read online. Did I say online?

Wow, this is very interesting. I never thought I would give reading online as a reason to the newspaper boy. But yes, I said that automatically.

Almost 3 months back, I was conducting an interview for the position of marketing and this journalist who used to write for CEO and CIO articles for a premium media group was not enthused enough hearing about our plans. As I was telling her that we do only online marketing in our company. She couldn’t believe that and said what about offline? At that moment I made some bold statements like soon you would see the offline media taking a hit because of popularity of online media and people will start migrating to online media, even to read newspapers.

That girl went away and later called me to say that she couldn’t join us as she wants to stay in offline media only. She couldn’t see the future and couldn’t analyze how the world has rapidly moved over a short period of time.

Am I jumping the gun? Probably not, after looking at how Times group, India Today Group and others have moved to online channels by launching their online portals and how people have started reading and spending time online much more than offline. Looking at how finding a word meaning in a dictionary format has moved to searching in a PC dictionary or even better for searching anything now we just Google it, its rampant and its obvious the traditional media has taken a definitive hit.

Will the offline media die? I do not know, may be not, however, the future is online and mobile and if the companies do not see this yet, they are doomed. I would have spent this money to promote my online channel than sending a messenger boy to my door step asking me to buy the Hindu newspaper.

Online media has become part of me now and I haven't even conciously realised it till these small incident make me realise this. Why suddenly this change has come, probably bacause of Web 2.0 proliferation. This is going to be my next topic.


Mona said...

Hi sachin,

We are writing about same topic using words and names.
Online media has captured the world.. Last year reports says the Net penetration in Urban India is only 4% as of now and in that, lot has been done.
There is still a great untapped market and as the technology is advancing, many nw things will come. even, I had enabled some feeds in my Orkut account for easy reach to news.

But, still offline media has its own charm.
The market for both wil be different, unless and utill, government dont ban the use of paper. [:)]


srivikas said...

sachin, a thought provoking article indeed.
Here are my thoughts on this:
- Offline media will be here. because there are still so many ppl out there who do not have access to internet. there are more mobile phone connections than broadband connection. and still most of my friends use cyber cafe three days a week to check their mails. so offline will stay.
- Online marketing(for that matter all forms of digital marketing) will expand exponentially in India. I rather prefer seeing ads in internet or print media, rather than 5-10 sec ads on tv. but then there are some exceptions. i would watch ads on tv for its creativity factor (the recent being the airtel and Vodafone ads).
- You aint jumping the gun! You are damn right on the fact that online marketing will hold roost in most urban/going to become urban cities in India.
- But the real… the real advertising wars will be fought on mobile phones. SMS is passé now. You will see ads becoming big in WAP/J2ME/Mobile Tv etc. it is not will it happen or wont it happen. It is the question of how soon it will happen.
When 3 G will be launched in India, mobile internet service cost will come down. We will see a major chunk of 35 million GPRS enabled (not activated) mobile phones going the mobile internet way.
Trust me on this one. I have done enough research here.
I recently attended the Headstart event in Bangalore (will be attending the momo Bangalore on 28th Jan as well) and Ram Shriram (early Google investor/ head of sherpalo and ceo of said that whole internet revolution will become big in other major markets in the world, India will see a revolutionary of sorts in mobile phones.
To conclude:
Offline marketing will eventually take backstage and online will be a big thing. But mobile advertising and mobile social networking will be the biggest thing which will happen in India.

Sri Vikas
Product Manager
spartanvikas (dot) wordpress (dot) com

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