Is India ready for Media 2.0 ?

          I had been chewing this thought for a few weeks now in my head, there is so much discussion about the rise of the new media all over the developed parts of the world but is this new baby been given birth to in India.

          A question that is been nagging me since long is that are these talked abou changes relevant to India. I have been trying to find data or pointers which could be supporting evidence to this.  By the way what do people mean when they say 2.0 ?  How much of any of web 2.0 , media 2.0, publishing 2.0 etc is applicable to India.? Before I delve into India and Media 2.0 let me explain a little about what is meant by media 2.0. 

Loosely this term refers to an economic change (I like the word inflection :)) affecting how media is being produced & consumed. These is brought out by changes in technology of how people produce and consume media and also how preferences of consumers are changed.

           Let me explain a little bit further there was not a time too far ago when our only way of consuming media was through channels which were TV/Radio/Theatres etc. In this world the most powerful person in the media value chain was the one who controlled the distribution as that was the most expensive (exhorbitant license fees, huge setup costs etc) asset. It turned out that in such a dynamics that those who market the best could get the best returns. So in this world there was clamour for amassing the best marketing armor.  Also in this dynamic it became evident that irrespective of how good media content is produced, if you had big marketing muscle power you could get away with highest returns. Also producing good media  was naturally expensive and risky ( there are so many big production budgets which have bombed). This more or less explains why some of the current big media players are so big  what triggers the reasons for the M&A happening in this space.

      What is happening  now is due to change in technologies distribution & production dynamics are changing in a big way.  Players in the market who find that they are better off doing more marketing than making better films they do not have incentive to do good production. This leaves a bad taste with the consumers on this and drives them away from the mass media (shift in consumer preferences)

       What this causes is a drop in the equilibirium price of media industry because of the change in supply & demand. ( To be a little bit more technical  , supply & demand curve are both pushed outwards leading to drop in equilibirium price).  Now this is happening in the developed world and there is a lot of data supporting the above arguments. What I am trying to do is to gather data for India on which I could do this analysis. (Does anyone have any pointer, it would greatly appreciatd). I saw this but it was of not much help

     On the contrary what I find is that there is data supporting that the Indian media industry is still deep rooted in Media 1.0 world. Not single media company has got even a  whiff of media 2.0. Still the most of these companies are buying TV , Billboard media space, rights from Barbie/Chitrakatha/Dhoni blah blah and are happily singing the ‘content is the king’ tune.

      Thus while Murdoch buys Myspace and BBC opens up its content for people to do anything that they want mauj buys righs from sachin ( & interestingly sequoia funds it too ).   This is what has been puzzling me for a while now, are these changes(economic) to happen slowly to India or is it that it is already hit us with its force and it is that we (industry) are not reacting/adapting to the changes. 

       In all this what I find very hard to believe is that no one seems to be even remotely talking about it (even in the blogosphere -? ).  Even does not impress me here, which I think is a fairly good Indian media 2.0 example.

        In the rest of the world there is fair share of visionaries, smart bunch of people who recognize this changes and pushing the boundary of think in the 2.0 space notably Stowe boyd, John Hagel, Clay Shirky, Scott Karp, Umair Haque, Jeff Jarvis.  Where are the Indian counterparts ?


  1. Jeff Jarvis says:

    Some of the geniuses I’ve gotten to know in this world did study at your alma mater. They’re in the U.S. now. Rishad Tobacowalla is the chief visionary for Publicis, the giant ad agency and Om Malik, a talented reporter just left Business 2.0 to devote himself to his blog, GigaOm… to name two. I have no doubt the geniuses and visionaries are around you, it’s just a matter of finding and hearing them. In the U.S., more people blog and so it’s easier to find them. In India, the UK, Germany, and elsewhere, fewer blog. I hope that changes so I can hear more ideas from more perspectives.

  2. rajan says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for comments. Om malik I know is extremely smart but he is not tracking the Indian space. And infact I have been ruminating the lack of an Om Malik in India many times.

    (, )

    In the post I am referring those who are tracking the Indian market space, I referred them as Indian because I thought they are the ones who might understand the Indian space well. I would be a lot happy even if someone else is able to analyze the Indian media market like some of you guys do for US.

    Thanks for the pointer to Rishad , I will try to check out his work.


  3. Sameer Pitalwalla says:

    Saw an indian name on watercoolergames, linked to here. Am currently doing my thesis on online content distribution, very much in the vein of the web 2.0 spiel. Interestingly I too have been thinking about the implications and have felt the lack of source data to extrapolate on. I can however suggest the Indian Media Business, by Vanita Kohli for getting an overview of the market, it has some relevant data pertaining to the rise of satellite television and film cross promotions and licensing.

    What college/course are you from/doing.

  4. Sameer Pitalwalla says:

    Re on gmail when you do.

  5. rajan says:

    I was going through Henry Jenkins Book Review by Ian Bogost on that site a few days ago but I have no clue how the link to here ended up there :), I don’t remember leaving a comment. Thanks for the pointer I will try to get my hands on that book.

    I hope to see a lot of folks in who might give some interesting insights media 2.0, as I mentioned in another of my post I hope to see a lot of practitioners there.

    I studied from IIIT-H. I graduated in the year 2003 with a B.Tech(CSE)


  6. Caiek says:

    So much spam (

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.