Newspaper & Mailroom

Digital Media India 2021: How technology can aid the new normal

Friday 05. March 2021 - The tenth edition of WAN-IFRAs Digital Media India (DMI) conference was held virtually from 2 to 4 March, with more than 200 news media executives from over 15 countries in attendance. The Hindu Group was named Champion Publisher of the year on the occasion of the South Asian Digital Media 2020 Awards Ceremony.

The conference, with the theme ‘Digital revenue and technology,’ covered a range of news publishing topics, such as digital transformation, subscription stories, newsletters, ecommerce, and settling in with the ‘new COVID-19 normal’.
Day 1 of the conference opened with a keynote address by Edward Roussel, Chief Innovation Officer, Dow Jones & The Wall Street Journal, USA. Roussel touched upon five key trends on how tech companies are changing news consumption and how journalistic content must focus on brevity, community, audio, video and personalisation.
To say that the relationship between publishers and technology giants has intensified in the last few days, weeks or months is putting it lightly. Regardless of the way forward, the trends, developments and products pouring out of Silicon Valley should have publishers’ undivided attention, said Roussel.
The five largest technology companies in the US — Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon — currently hold a combined market value of $7.5 trillion, and publishers can not afford to ignore the situation.
“News is one of the ways these tech companies can get their consumers to get back and use their products on a daily basis,” said Roussel. “Therefore, it is imperative for them to have news credibility.” Roussel said this is both a blessing and a curse for the media industry. “It’s a blessing because if some of the largest global companies are entering news, it tells you something about its importance as an economic currency. It’s a curse because these companies could become very significant players in the media industry in the short, medium, and long term,” he said.
The first day closed with a session on how publishers should adapt to the end of third party cookies. ‘Identify users (collect data with their consent), segment them, target users with the right experience at the right time with personalised offer to register or subscribe, collect data over time gradually and monetise by advertisments or subscriptions unified around those identified users, said Michael Silberman, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Piano.
The second day of the conference featured sessions on brand studio and digital advertising and also hosted the South Asian Digital Media 2020 Awards (SDMA2020) ceremony, which saw more than 80 entries from more than 20 media companies. The Hindu, ABP, NDTV Convergence, and Network18 emerged as the top winners. The Hindu Group was adjudged the SDMA 2020 Champion Publisher of the year based on the overall number of gold, silver and bronze won by them at the awards.
The conference continues tomorrow (4 March) and will end with a conversation between Krishna Prasad (Former Editor – In-Chief, Outlook, India), Mariam Mathew (CEO, Manorama Online, India) and Bharat Gupta (CEO, Jagran New Media) discussing transformation and growth of digital news business and the way forward for South Asian news publishers.
The conference is sponsored by Google News Initiative, Chartbeat, piano, Stibo DX and ppi. It was supported by Asian News Media Focus, All About Newspapers,, Indian Printer and Publisher, RIND Survey and Press Ideas.
Back to overview