Role of Digitization in Media and Entertainment Industry

Rishi Khemka, Chief Enjoyment Officer (CEO), ARK Infosolutions/ MindBox IndiaRishi is an Avid enthusiast who has spear-headed interesting initiatives like starting India's first design championship for students

Just a few days ago, Niantic and Warner Bros announced that they’re working on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, a location-based, augmented reality game that will have Potter fans go around the real world to learn spells and battle magical creatures. For Potter fans, the news is awesome sauce and on a personal level, I believe it might be the next BIG thing after Pokémon Go– the AR game that changed the face of gaming last year. Remember fans staring down their phones shambling around to catch a new Pokémon? It’s the perfect amalgamation of the real and virtual realms. In fact, recently even Apple’s new operating system enables the phone’s camera to become the interface through which you can view the world to let the real and digital be merged. Then, there are software to merge live action footage with digital visual effects and audio innovation that has revolutionized the way audiences enjoy entertainment across the globe. Even tracking professionals throughout the VFX industry is easypeasy and honestly, the possibilities are endless.

There is no denying that augmented reality is the way forward and that every element of social, economic and geo-political spheres are accelerating towards this digital rage. It’s amazing to see how the hitherto channels of communication - traditional and native - are metamorphosing into the new age digital era. It is a progression the world is witnessing not by choice but by compulsion; then again, no one’s complaining.

In India, the unprecedented growth in connectivity, data and broadband has accelerated our transition to becoming a knowledge economy. This in turn has fueled opportunities in various related industries in media and entertainment. Backed by the rising consumer demand and improving advertising revenues, there is now a whole new world of possibilities for people to express their ideas and share their stories in more exciting, creative, and persuasive ways. Products like 3D Equalizers, Autodesk, BorisFX are ahead of their times in developing 3D designs and entertainment software with great visual effects and excellent video editing solutions. Digitization has transformed the experience of watching movies in 3D,
4D and 5D with high definition pictures and sharper sound. Our modes of entertainment have shifted from Radios, Fms, Walkmans and Stereos to apps like Shazam, and Apple Music, which have personalized user experience with curated playlists. Digitization is converging all your needs to one place and creating a singular hub through interactive data communication.

Even the share of the Indian animation and gaming industry is growing at a rapid pace. With the deeper penetration of 4G into the market, the industry is expected to witness large changes, primarily in the domestic market. Also, as players move up the value chain, we are to see more users get involved in end-to-end game development.

Welcome to the Real World

Inno time, humans will be augmented. Our march toward this human-machine integration will lead us to be cyborgs who are always connected and forever updated. It sounds like science fiction, but the truth is – this is virtually real. An oxymoron of sorts that’s already happening. Advance chips are being made to help phones and tablets run Augmented Reality programs with ease. Add to that the development of head-mounted displays, like Play Station VR and Oculus Rift that are real game changers. Next, bioaugmentation devices like digital contact lenses or intraocular devices will take things a few notches up.

It’s amazing to see how the hitherto channels of communication traditional and native are metamorphosing into the new age digital era

Cloud: The World in Your Hands

From mere storing of files and pictures on a virtual drive, cloud computing has matured into becoming the engine of enterprise technology and innovation. And because there is no capital investment in new hardware or software or its maintenance, cloud solutions are appealing to users due to their reduced time to market of applications and auto-scaling capabilities. Add to that the abundance of advanced new services that can be incorporated into applications - from machine learning to internetof-things connectivity, the options are copious.

Brand: New

In the broadcast space, the reach of digital videos is making the traditional broadcasters rethink their content and strategy. Look at Netflix and Amazon Prime – their original content and a fresh, progressive outlook, easily accessed on hand held devices is a huge respite for urban viewers. In order to successfully compete in the new ecosystem, it’s imperative to ride on this change wave and reap in the benefits. The technique for it is to position IT to take charge of the digital journey. Think content made using 3D animation and visual effects – using state of the art postproduction houses and services of the best cinematographers and film editors – we’re all in for a treat.

Next is What?

Digitization is the key to India’s competitiveness and the timing couldn’t have been better. The list of benefits is a long one, however, the real question now is how must the contributing organisations respond? The answer, I think lies in understanding the sheer potential of digitization to transform the lives of citizens and positively impact the society and environment. If implemented well, it holds immense potential to create significant value for India in the coming days. And the big idea here, is to make the integration with technology more seamless.