Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Old media New Media 2 - The one's that changed the game

The Balance of Payment crisis in the 80's forced the Indian government to introduce several reforms opening up the economy and placing the country on the 'globalization' map. The 'Licence Raj' partly ended and several industries got a boost. The Information Technology and the Communication Technology got a further boost with the appointment of Mr. Sam Pitroda. The yellow coloured STD PCO's that dot every corner of the roadside around the country are because of Mr. Pitroda's vision.

Apart from the parallel evolution of technologies in computers, Internet, cameras and mobile phones which converted the audiences into producers, three major 'events' are also responsible for the way we distribute digital content and communicate with each other in India.

The first one was in 1990-91 when Gulshan Kumar, through his T-Series produced and sold audio cassettes at a fraction of the price at which they were generally sold. If I remember right, music cassettes used to cost anywhere between Rs.100 - 150; Gulshan Kumar turned the industry on its head by selling the audio cassettes of his film Aashiqui for just Rs.25/-. Everyone could now afford to buy legal and non-pirated music!

When Reliance said 'Karlo Duniya Mutthhi Mein' in the later part of 1990's, making incoming calls free while offering mobiles at Rs.500, it forced the industry to lower rates and ultimately offer free incoming calls. I am sure I wouldn't have been able to afford to pay for incoming calls.

The third big one was Moser Baer, which changed the game again when they brought out video DVDs at a price of Rs.34 when they were selling at a minimum 150 bucks. And they have good titles too!

I am waiting for the next big one, the Aakash Tablet. I have mentioned this in my earlier posts too. This one is causing a lot of heartburn to millions who have already 'bought' it. "Inteha ho gayi, intezar ki".

To the manufacturers and Mr.Kapil Sibal I say this- We have the inclination and the patience, you have the time; but all of us have used up most of it. So hurry. Please. At least for the millions of students.

Note for my students: This one I have typed between Borivali and Dadar, again in a criwded train between 7.10 and now, 7.50 a.m. So when will you send me a link to your blog? The one which you type and upload while travelling?