Digital Media India 2020 Conference

Ways on how news publishers can create and increase their video content online

Rupa Jha, Head of Indian Languages, BBC World Service, India speaking at the Digital Media India 2020 Conference. Photo - WAN-INFRA

Videos are a great medium to tell a powerful story and engage with the audience and set them thinking and inspire them to make a difference. Powerful, thought provoking stories, riding high on content with beautiful visuals can lead to an immersive experience. Videos can therefore be both informative or entertaining and sometimes even both.

Speaking on the ways on how news publishers can create and increase their video content online, Rupa Jha, Head of Indian Languages, BBC World Service, India addressed the audience at the Digital Media India 2020 Conference organized by WAN-INFRA wherein she shared with the audience some of the successful strategies implemented by BBC World Service, India with examples.

BBC has an identity of being credible and balanced and the three guiding principles of BBC have always been Clarity, Innovation and Distinctiveness. Elaborating further, she says, “BBC stands for credibility, quality of product, doing less but doing impactful work. We believe in making complex things simpler and reaching out to ordinary people and making it accessible and understandable for them so that it doesn’t just become an academic exercise. That is what has kept the audience going on for BBC.”

Content is always a crucial factor in storytelling and in BBC, when it comes to content, they are guided more by impact than reach. Jha says, “How much we have been able to move the dial of impact is what guides us because ultimately that will create loyal audience and that has been the driving force for us.”

Speaking about the strategy of BBC, she says, that over a period of time she has realized that “Audiences always love simple narratives. They always appreciate simplicity in whatever you do.” Optimization is another driving factor and according to her, “One has to learn how to optimize on each social media platform. Every platform has its own texture, demand and tone and one has to be very careful of how to optimise on each platform and direct traffic. So, BBC focuses quite a lot on platform and we make content platform specific.”

Another factor that plays a key role in creating content is Relatability. It is important to ensure that the stories are relatable and the audience can relate and connect to it. According to Jha, “Even if it is an international story, we see if we can relate it to the Indian audience, otherwise it does not work and audiences drop off very quickly”. One should also place equal importance on engaging with the audience on each platform. However, she noted that there would be stories “That have not worked with the audience, but as public service broadcasters, we will do it because it is important to be told” thereby reflecting the honesty and sincerity of BBC. Last but not the least, Jha laid special emphasis on Collaboration which is essential to any kind of creation and growth. She said, “Collaborate with artists and they will be more than happy to work with you.”

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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