9 Jan 2011

10 THINGS AN ASPIRING MEDIA PROFESSIONAL SHOULD KNOW

1. That Scope of a Career in Media is Vast

Media industry is one of the most versatile industries. Today, the definition of media includes Broadcasting with the help of TV and radio; Entertainment with use of audio visuals –films, videos and games; internet that includes blogs, forums, music & news; then Publishing of Books, papers, magazines; and it also includes postal mail, telephony and other interactive Media. Thus the scope of a career in this field is vast and varied. Media today serves various purposes like providing entertainment, education and advocacy among others.
Business opportunities in Indian media and entertainment industry are enormous. Most media organizations in India are in the private sector, while quite a few are owned by the government. Media organizations that are directly under the control of central government come under the ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The government media units in which one can seek jobs are: Akashvani (All India Radio), Prasar Bharti, Doordarshan, Direct to Home, Press information bureau, Publication Division, Photo Division, Registrars of newspapers, Directorate of advertising and Visual Publicity, Press Council of India, Song and Drama Division, Film Division, National Film Archive of India, Directorate of Film festivals, National Film Development Corporation, Central Board of Film Certification, Childrens Film society etc.

The Indian press, is predominantly in private hands. News agencies like Press Trust of India, United News of India, Hindustan Samachar and Samachar Bharati, form the major sources for disseminating information to the public.

Besides the government agencies, Media companies, industrial houses and start-ups backed by venture money are all launching newspapers, magazines and television channels. Some of the reputed media companies in India are – Times Group which owns Indiatimes, Filmfare, Planet M, Times of India and many other brands, Adlabs, Zee telefilms, UTV, Nimbus Communications, Sahara Group, Mukta Arts, News Corporation, Sony, Walt Disney, Sun Network, BMG, Universal, The Indian Express, Manorama etc. In the film industry, technical jobs include story and script writing for film and television, copywriting for advertisements, cinematography, photography, Sound mixing and recording, direction of films and promotional ventures etc.
Advertising industry is another major employer for media professionals. Some of the top advertising companies in India include O & M (Ogilvy & Mather), J Walter Thompson, Mudra Communication Pvt. Ltd., FCB Ulka Advertising Ltd., Mc-Cann Erickson India Ltd., RK Swamy Advertising Ltd., Leo Burnett India Pvt. Ltd. and Contract Advertising India Ltd.
Indian media and entertainment industry has the largest output by any media industry in the world. Raised regulations, quality content development, competitive pricing, increased consumer base and significant marketing, creative use of technology and work effectiveness are driving the growth of this industry. Many media companies in India have grown up speedily and are recruiting newer and younger talent for increased efficiency and creativity. The challenges and scope for growth for those who decide to make a career for themselves in the field of media and entertainment are varied and endless.

2. That Indian Media And Entertainment Industry Is One Of The Fastest Growing Industries In The Country

The Indian media and entertainment (M&E) industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Its various segments—film; television, advertising, print and digital among others—have witnessed tremendous growth in the last few years. According to a 2009 report published jointly by FICCI and KPMG, the media and entertainment industry in India is likely to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5 per cent per annum and touch US$ 20.09 billion by 2013. In terms of purchasing power, India has now become the world’s fourth-largest economy. With an estimated 30 million Indians joining the ranks of the middle class every year, it is of little surprise that their appetite for entertainment, desire for greater choice and willingness to pay for sport, films and other content is rapidly refiguring the marketplace. India’s staggering demographic profile i.e. “in 2020 the average Indian will be 29 years old or younger” – has also caught the attention of the world’s largest media owners who are eyeing the sector with great interest.

Just to get an idea of the growth potential: There are 12,000 cinemas in India but this only amounts to 12 for every million residents, compared with 117 per million in the US. Even after the landmark deregulation of the radio industry last year – which saw the government award more than 300 new licenses – India now has about 20 FM radio stations compared with 6,000 in the US. All this amounts to huge possibilities for future growth.

3. That Indian Media And Entertainment Industry Is ‘Going Global’

With the growing popularity of Indian content in the world market in general and South Asia in particular, the Indian entertainment industry players are venturing abroad to tap this booming segment. Non-resident Indian (NRI) filmmakers are now focused on global ethnic communities and the diaspora which assures them of an audience in India, UK and the US. For example, Eros International – one of the world’s leading international distributors of Bollywood films – owns the rights to 1,300 of Bollywood’s most popular films that it is keen to exploit in various formats. Eros is visualizing a much wider market in countries across Europe, from Scandinavia to Germany and Russia for these Indian films. The share of international markets in total box office collections is estimated to have increased from 8% in 2006 to 15% in 2010.

Indian content is also gaining popularity in the world market in general and South Asia in particular. The Indian entertainment industry players are venturing abroad to tap this booming segment. Consequently, many domestic players like Yash Raj Films, Reliance-Adlabs and UTV, among others, have set up distribution arms overseas.
Additionally Government has initiated many other major reform measures such as permitting 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) through the automatic route for the film industry, advertising, non-news publications and fax editions of magazines and newspapers, permitting the setting up of up linking hubs for satellite up linking by private TV broadcasters from Indian soil, giving industry status to the films segment, allocating US$ 50.13 million in the current Five-Year-Plan for various development projects for the film industry and so on. These initiatives have made the media marketplace ripe for global development and growth. Rapid growth is visible across all sectors of media and entertainment industry.

4. That It Is Definitely Not About ‘Glamour’ Alone

This is the most commonly believed misconception. Most people believe that a career in media is about glitz and glamour. While that may be true for certain roles like acting, modeling, radio/TV jockey, anchoring etc, a majority of people work behind the scene, in public relations, event management, direction, production, writing screenplay & dialogues, cinematography, sound & light engineering, editing, photography, videography, sales & distribution, teaching, researching, documentation, critiquing and so on. Focus on a programme of study that does not exploit your ‘glamour aspirations’ but on those that equip you for wide and varied career prospects in this industry.

5. That It Is Also Not About ‘Creativity’ Alone

This is another commonly believed misconception. Media and Entertainment industry is about creativity and originality, but like all other industry segments it also need people with a wide spectrum of domain-specific skills and knowledge. Creativity is not nurtured in a vacuum. Ideas need a fertile ground to germinate. Media studies is an academic discipline that deals with the content, history and effects of various media; the critique of artistic styles and aesthetic forms (genre, narrative, and so on), the study of the production process (e.g. technologies and markets), and sociological analysis (of ideological effects, reception and consumption, etc). Media studies draw on traditions from both the social sciences and the humanities, and overlap in interests with related disciplines like mass communication, communication, cultural studies, philosophy, literary theory, psychology, political science, sociology, anthropology, social theory, art history and film theory.

Good communications require a key artistic, intuitive and creative element, but always with a minimal scientific and technical base that guarantees opportunity and suitability. Any media professional would vouch for the fact that one cannot just be an anchor, or cameraperson, or director – one must also be an overall communication and persuasion expert. Know the basic rhetoric, oratory, lines of argument and be able to apply them in favour of commercial brands in market contexts. So, one should not be looking out for hardware support such as a camera, or an editing table, but for what are the basic concepts that are taught, and how they are taught. There are two reasons for this belief. Firstly, the pace at which technological advancements happen these days is so furious that whatever format you learn at the films school will be redundant by the time you are ready to spread wings professionally. Secondly, as they say – ‘it is never the camera, but the eye behind the camera’ that matters. At Centum U, this is the basic idea behind the pedagogy and course content of the Media & Entertainment programme.

6. That India Is The Emerging Hub For Digital Media

The Indian animation industry will grow from the current US$ 362 million to US$ 811.2 million by 2013. Triggered by the emergence of high-end games involving real-time 3D rendering, major animation companies such as Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) are reworking their India strategies to grow their businesses in this computing segment. Tata Teleservices (TTSL) has become the first service provider to offer mobile TV on high speed broadband wireless by launching Photon TV, which allows users to access channels on desktops and laptops. English news channel, NewsX, has launched a service which will enable mobile phone users to receive live videos on their handset, through a specific mobile URL. A considerable number of Indian special effects artists and animators are moving up the ranks of established US animation studios such as Walt Disney and DreamWorks Animation SKG and are also creating a niche for themselves in the special effects market as well. In a move that will strengthen its international presence and expand its offerings to include services such as restoration, 2D-to-3D conversion and post-production services to broadcasters and studios, Reliance MediaWorks (RMW) has acquired the assets of ilab UK Ltd, a film processing facility located in Soho, London.

7. That India’s Broadcast Media Will Double Its Size In The Next 3 Years

According to the study by FICCI and KPMG, the television industry will expand by 14.5% between now and 2013. DTH industry is estimated to grow by almost 100% in the next few years while Mobile TV is poised to grow big with the advent of 3G. Tata Teleservices became the first service provider to offer mobile TV on high speed broadband wireless allowing users to access channels on desktops and laptops. As if in corroboration of the trend, Sun Direct, Bharti Airtel DTH and Big TV have reportedly increased their marketing budget by 20-25% in this fiscal year. Radio, the cheapest and oldest form of entertainment, reaching 99 per cent of the population is also likely to see many dynamic changes and is expected to double its size in the next 3-4 years.

8. That Music Has Gone Digital Too

With music channels giving less space to music programming to accommodate game shows and reality shows, independent music bands are increasingly looking to promote their videos by making them available online. Digital music sales are accounting for ~88 per cent of the total music industry revenue in India. Future growth is expected to come from non-physical formats such as digital downloads and ringtones. Digital music will be the most important driver for the music industry over the coming years and its share is expected to move from 16 per cent in 2008 to 60 per cent in 2013. Also, within digital music, mobile music is expected to continue to increase its share and maintain dominance.

9. To Look Out For Theatre – The New Kid On The Block

A Theatre project billed as India’s answer to Broadway has just been inaugurated in Gurgaon. The project called the Kingdom of Dreams, conceptualized by the Great Indian Nautanki Company – a joint venture between the Apra Group of Companies and Wizcraft International Entertainment, plans to be active in the genre of musical theatre. It’s the first of its kind project and is likely to prompt many more of such theaters to come up in the country.

10. To Choose The Right Programme Of Study

Media success stories are not always about the most talented people, but the people who do the most with their talent. A right programme of study equips a person with the right tools of trade to make the best use of ones talent. The Media & Entertainment programme at CentumU for instance has been designed together with Subhash Ghai’s Whistling Woods International for this specific purpose. Students here not only undergo a comprehensive curriculum but also experience an on-campus programme that helps them evolve, polish their personality, connect with other professionals and get an opportunity to develop soft and leadership skills.


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