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New media marks buoyant future for West Bengal

Posted on Dec 22, 02:32PM | IBNS

The total print market in West Bengal is expected to cross INR 1450 crores (currently stands at INR 980 crores) by 2016, according to a latest report.

Deloitte and FICCI have launched 2012 report on the East India Media and Entertainment (M and E) industry.

As per the report, given the changing social matrix,the consumption pattern of the readers, the publishers and the advertisers is evolving with time.

With the advent of new media, providing all the news on a real-time basis, a reader refers to newspapers largely for analysis and viewpoints.

Lifestyle and personal finance is becoming increasingly successful in terms of supplements, outside the daily news. Traditionally, the readership of dailies in West Bengal has been dominated by the vernacularprint, said the report.

Readers are increasingly becoming more discerning and benchmarking vernacular dailies against English dailies not just in content but also in newsprint and presentation.

Going forward, it is expected that the print will continue to grow in West Bengal as newer readers emerge as well as a diaspora that can be reached better online.

As per Goutam Ghose, Chairman, Media and Entertainment Business Conclave- East and Prosenjit Chatterjee, Convenor, Media and Entertainment Business Conclave - East: "New media channels like internet and mobile not only carve a niche but also look to redefine the West Bengal M and E landscape, proliferation of screens is making media consumption more personal than ever. This would gradually impact not just the way content is being distributed, but also created."

Driven by increased differentiation in terms of product format and category, Radio, with its old world charm is expected to penetrate into more cities and towns in West Bengal. Growing at a CAGR of approximately 20 per cent, it is expected to double its present size by 2016.

Government regulations as well as clarity on royalties (including online playback) are seen as potential levers to put growth into a higher orbit.

As new advertisers embrace radio, it is expected that the radio stations will in turn expand their reach through online stations and smartphone applications to expand their listenership beyond geographical boundaries.

The Bengali Film industry too has seen lot developments in the past decade, according to the report.

The industry has exhibited growth, both in terms of the number of films being made/certified (jumped to a 12 per cent in 2011) and the investments made in producing these movies. A need for market research to discover the changing tastes of audiences in the districts is also identified in the report.

New media has acted as a catalyst in developing appetite for newer genres and slicker entertainment. Embracing newer talent from neighboring states is actually expected to increase in future.

This holds true for the TV industry a well. While GECs will continue to dominate Bengali television, increasing fragmentation will be a key challenge, with competition not only from the increasing number of TV channels, but also from new media.

Cross-pollination of content and formats from other languages, Increase in product placements and harnessing online/ social media will be key to the growth of the TV industry.

Sandip Biswas, Director, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt. Ltd, said, "West Bengal's M and E industry depends on the industry's ability to develop quality content and deliver it through the best- in-class platforms both in India and abroad. With new technology shaping the way content is delivered to customers and evolution of new media platforms, this seems all the more possible."

He further said, "The region however is not devoid of challenges as in the rest of the country. Infrastructure development, piracy and improved content monetization are the major challenges being faced by the industry at large."

Converting the huge potential in However, the region is not devoid of challenges as in the rest of the country. Infrastructure development, piracy and improved content monetization are the major challenges being faced by the industry at large.

The M and E Industry has been contributing substantially to the ex-chequer. In return, it is expected that the Government may come up with clarity on various debatable issues affecting the industry and provide income tax sops for better profitability of the players.