Have you ever thought about how the TV industry works? Why do news channels hire hundreds of employees to provide news updates to the masses? Well, media owners are not philanthropists. They do not make huge investments only to serve you with instant news updates. They are businessmen who are striving to gain more and more market share in the Pakistani TV news channel industry.
They want you to stay glued to your screen throughout the day and never miss any transmission so that they can win expensive advertisement contracts. High viewership of shows helps them earn high advertisement revenues. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, print media remained the primary source for government and businesses to reach the masses.
With the advent of dozens of private TV channels after the privatization of the broadcast media industry in 2002, print media lost its advertisements to electronic media. Small newspapers could not survive this loss. Big print media outlets also suffered a financial crunch. However, public sector advertisements that are usually awarded to the major print media outlets saved them from bankruptcy.
Many news writers lost their jobs largely due to the closure of several magazines and daily newspaper businesses. Moreover, large media outlets also started downsizing as they lost lion’s share of private sector advertisements to TV channels. Today, digital platforms are posed the same challenge to the TV news industry as electronic media posed to print media two decades ago.
In this article, we have shed light on several factors that are precipitating the decline of the Pakistani TV news industry.
Technological innovation was the prime reason for the decline of print media. Unsurprisingly, the decline of the TV news industry is also due to innovation in technology. Technological advancement is fueling a digital media revolution in the country. Sitting in front of the TV seems quite old-fashioned these days. Staying online is the order of the day. Moreover, smartphones and access to the internet are no more a luxury in Pakistan. Technological advancement has made it possible for individuals to get news on their smartphones rather than watching it on television.
The decision of the incumbent government to slash the advertising budget has aggravated the financial woes of the Pakistani TV news channels industry. Previous governments used to may much higher to news channels to buy airtime. Government advertisement rates were around three times higher than the private companies for the same duration and time slot. The majority of news channels are facing a financial crunch because their revenues from government advertisements have suddenly dropped.
Another factor that is contributing to the decline of the broadcast media industry I the changing demographic in Pakistan. The majority of the population is young in Pakistan. According to a recent study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), currently, 64% of the total population in Pakistan is below the age of 30. Young people do not take much interest in TV. They find it boring to watch the news on TV. The majority of the young population is very active on social media. They get news from social media and find no spare time to watch TV. Small children also watch tv as their interest is growing in news. people also watch news from social network but that are not much reliable.
During the last century newspaper was the only source for businesses to advertise their products and services. Later on, electronic media became the predominant source of advertisement for businesses. Today, organizations are relying on digital and social media to engage with customers. Facebook and Instagram pages are full of advertisements these days. Moreover, YouTube is a wonderful platform for advertisement. Amidst the upsurge in the number of social media users in Pakistan, advertising on social media pays far better dividends than that of electronic media. Therefore, TV channels are losing their potential advertisement clients to social media platforms.
Someone has rightly said nothing is permanent but change. Electronic media outshined the importance of print media and consequently innovation in technology led to the decline in the importance of electronic media. As digital media is getting popular with every passing day, Pakistani TV news channels are feeling its impact in the form of shrinking advertisement revenues. The digital media revolution has also rendered some print and electronic media journalists jobless.
As every cloud has a silver lining, TV channels can save themselves from worsening financial woes by improving their presence over digital media. Several major news channels including Geo News, ARY, and 24 News HD are heedful in this regard. These channels have millions of followers over YouTube and Facebook. Electronic media channels have to come out of their comfort zones and expand their outreach over digital platforms if they wish to survive the onslaught of digital media.