The big players of TV are a little worried and it’s all because of a small company named Aereo, an upstart which wants to change the way we view television. No wonder all the big firms from NBC, ABC, CBS to Fox have all sued it but its CEO Chet Kanojia (who incidentally is a native of Bhopal) is not worried at all for he is absolutely sure of what he is doing. Aereo TV, simply put is an ‘online TV service’. The modus operandi of the company is simple. Kanojia has made very small antennas. Each user is assigned one antenna which grabs the broadcast-TV signals from the air and with the help of a software those signals are aired to the user. Not just this, the signal can be aired to any device which the user opts for – his mobile, his PC, or even his TV set. What this translates for the user is: a) he does not need to pay the hefty cable fees, and b) he can now watch his favourite TV programme anywhere. He could be stuck in traffic and watch it on his mobile, or in office on his PC. Kanojia saw a loophole in the copyright act and made the most of it, which is why in spite of his company being sued twice he seems undeterred and has in fact won both times. Not just that, today he is sitting on a funding of $38 million with the help of which he would spread his network, which is currently available only in New York, to 20 more cities.

Kanojia saw a gap in the system and filled it up with his service. According to him, everything will soon migrate to the Internet including TV. The youth today is more loyal to a TV programme and not a TV channel. He wanted the freedom to watch it whenever and wherever he pleased. Add to that the fact that he did not want to pay for the channels he did not watch, but under the current system he had to pay for a package. Aereo, on the other hand, gave him just what he wanted.

Whether Aereo really makes it big and becomes the next best thing is debatable and only time will tell. However, it has an important lesson for all to learn and that is ‘never fear to challenge the big players or the best ideas’. You may turn out to be a game changer.


The way students learn is going to change in times to come. Some predict that with the advent of the Internet online classrooms, one-on-one interactive sessions may become the norm and shake up the classic lecture theatre model. Scientists from Stanford have already created a platform where universities can offer their courses and students have the freedom to choose different courses from different universities. 12 leading universities have already joined this portal, giving students greater access to the best courses across the globe.

Higher education in the future will see a dramatic change. One person who has been a pioneer in this is Gene Wade, the Founder of ‘UniversityNow’ which provides university courses online at a nominal fee. The students can pace out their courses at very nominal fees. Gene Wade’s vision is to make higher education ‘debt-free’ so that students do not carry the burden of heavy loans. He wants to provide high quality and affordable education to as many students as possible. He is a man a lot of people are sitting up and noticing as he had made university as cheap as your phone and cable bills and has already got 4,000 students! Not just universities but even banks are watching his moves carefully. He is going to change a few rules in education. Just the same way as Mark Shuttleworth changed the way people buy software. If Windows (Microsoft) charged a premium for its software then Shuttleworth decided to give it for free. He named it “Ubuntu”, an African word that means ‘humanity to others’, and dared to challenge the biggest player in the market. If Ubuntu can catch and retain the attention of the consumer then it has the potential to shake up this industry too.  Read More....

An Initiative of IIPMMalay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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The movie was insipid, I agree! However, marketers have important lessons to learn – no, not from the film, but its title. Think about it, all our marketing activities are centered around the “Break”. The “breaks” are our lifelines. On TV, it’s the commercial break where all the action happens for marketers!

But does TV still work? Does it hold as much promise today as it did earlier?


TV has almost become a dirty word in today’s marketing world. Most people, especially the younger generations, seem to be spending all their time online. So who is watching TV?

According to the Association of National Advertisers, a survey done on US marketers showed that 62% of them believed that TV advertising had become less effective in the last couple of years.

However, they were in for a surprise as according to Deloitte’s 2009 State of the Media Democracy report, Americans were watching 18 hours of TV in 2009 as compared to 16 hours in 2008 – and 26% more people in 2009 than in 2008 choose TV as their favorite media! According to the 2009 Three Screens Report of Nielson, Americans were watching more TV than ever before. Out of the three screens, i.e, TV, internet and mobile, the former beat the others hallow, be it UK or USA. The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) comes out with the most thorough surveys of media habits of consumers. According to its Touchpoint 3 survey, people in UK too were watching 3.7 hours of TV daily as compared to 1.8 hours of internet. In India, where TVscreens are more common than other screens, it’s definitely TV that wins!

The one gadget that is owned by most of the population of any country is TV. Also, the number of TV’s in each household is increasing. Some say that youths are watching less TV, whereas data suggests that historically, youngsters have always watched less TV and there has always been a positive correlation between age and TV viewership.

While it may sound trendier to talk of online and emerging media, the fact is that nothing motivates consumers to buy like TV spots can! So Fox Network focused on selling its TV spots and not its digital platform. Unlike other TV networks like NBC and CBS, who went to marketers with presentations showcasing not just their TV media but digital too, Fox decided to focus on only its TV networks. Their logic was simple. Nothing motivates a consumer to buy like a TV spot can.

According to a customized research done by the firm Marketing Evolution, TV accounts for almost 70 percent of the impact on a consumer’s purchase decisions. It’s an undisputed fact that the mass reach of TV and the power it has to build mass awareness is leaps and bounds ahead of any other media, be it radio, internet, out-ofhome or even cinema. This was reconfirmed by Price water house Coopers in a study to find the correlation between brand value and communication effectiveness. Out of all the forms of media, i.e, TV, press, internet, radio, direct mail and outdoors, the study concluded that on an average, £1 million increase in TV marketing investment yields £4.5 million in sales. There was a very high correlation between increase in brand value and advertising investment on TV. It just proved one old fact – nothing can build brands like TV can.      Read More....

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