The television industry has a new reason to worry. Prime-time viewers among the younger audience are swiftly moving to social networking sites and the internet.
Vizisense, an online audience measurement agency, states in its latest social media report that the highest activity on the internet is recorded between 6 pm and 10 pm. “We found that users between 15 and 24 years are most active on social media sites like Facebook and Orkut between 5 pm and 9 pm, indicating they are logging in from home PCs. While users in the 25-35 year age group are most active on social sites at around 3 pm, indicating extensive use of social networks at work,” says Amit Bhartiya, Business Head, ViziSense.
Broadcasters, until now, have argued that the 81 million internet subscribers cannot compete with the 91 million households who own a television (source, Ficci). Even if numbers tilt in favor of the TV industry, capturing a slice of the online audience and mobile subscribers is getting critical for broadcasters.
MTV India has recently announced digital engagement programmes in the form of two new shows — ‘MTV TJ Hunt’, a platform to find the official MTV youth representative for all social media and ‘MTV @ The Tube’, an open platform to bring forth amateur producers who will get a chance to feature their creative content in the online space. Aditya Swamy, channel head of MTV India admits, “The success we have had in the social media space has only reinforced the power of the digital medium.” The channel has also launched digital shows like ‘Bootycall’, ‘Jose’s Briefs’ and ‘Roadies Battleground 3’ on its website and Facebook page, and is eyeing to strengthen its hold in the digital space.
According to Iffort Consulting, MTV-India is the most popular brand on Facebook in India. With close to 525,000 fans on the social networking site, Iffort Consulting’s analysts say, “We think they (MTV-India) are trying to pitch their channel to a wider audience and are making people from various parts of the country participate in discussions, by floating youth-centric topics and subjects of general interest.”
Bhartiya of Vizisense notes, “Social networking is finding users beyond the top eight metros. In fact, almost 60 per cent of users on social media sites come from outside of the metros and that explains how engaging the platforms are for youth.” Facebook, LinkedIn and Ibibo remain the top social networking sites, where an average Indian internet user spends the most time.
Nielsen analysts had observed that one in seven people who were watching the Super Bowl and the Beijing Olympics’ opening ceremony were online at the same time. And, that number will only continue to escalate, claims Nielsen. Google’s YouTube, the largest online video sharing platform, is being wooed by several broadcasters and movie studios to engage the younger audiences.