Almost every year when the IRS data is out, big media groups like the TOI group vociferously protest the data saying the data is wrong. They publish their own data to show how much more readership they have. There is no denying that the readership of anything has decreased globally. Initially, with the advent of the internet, people moved to internet sites and hence blogs became popular. However, with the passage of time as our reading habit has died and every blog readership is adversely affected.
In a national bloggers’ meet in Mumbai way back in 2014, writer Kiran Manarai and Ravi Subramanian have discussed this issue. In a session for budding writers in India, they told that most writers (95%) in India do not make a living by only writing books as readership has decreased. They have also agreed that Vlog or Video blogs were becoming popular.
Later in the conference in a session on video blogging, a blogger from JayHind TV showed how readership of any material (offline and online) is decreasing and the viewership of YouTube videos was increasing. He also mentioned about the sudden drop in readership in past five/six years and sudden gain in viewership of online videos.
We need to take important cues from this statistics –
- Between 2008-2012 newspaper circulation declined by 2.2% globally
- In 2013, print circulation declined by 6.6% in northern America, 5.3% in western Europe, 8.2% in eastern Europe and 1.4% in ME and North Africa.
- However, global circulation increased marginally in Asia, Australia and New Zealand
The IRS survey on Indian Print media depicts sharp fall in readership over the past several years, and that is no surprise even though big groups may protest against the results with their own data.
We understand that this information on readership is not only important for newspapers and print media but also important for bloggers.
The decrease in readership is one way attributed to our reading habits. Be it offline or online content, with average stress level and daily work pressure increasing, people are losing interest in reading. No wonder why Adobe came up with an option of reading a document because they probably realized that people will eventually like to hear a document then read the same.
Now let’s look at this statistics of increase in YouTube viewership from their own website
- According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network
- Millions of subscriptions happen each day. The number of people subscribing daily is up more than 3x since last year, and the number of daily subscriptions is up more than 4x since last year
- YouTube is available on Hundreds of Millions of devices
The above three points tell us clearly that quality video content is the way forward for any blogger or media house.
However, creating a Vlog is not easy. Creating quality video content is even more difficult for an individual because it requires both good content and good presentation. Hence a blogger may consider grouping with others in order to create quality video content.
For any movement or social group, it becomes even more important to create quality content for their channel.
I will take the example of men’s movement in India to illustrate this.
When this movement talks about all issues related to men then they need to have a strong YouTube channel catering only to men. This channel needs to take up any issue/event related to men.
For Example, the Vlogs posted here may be on men’s health, education, jobs, career, relationship, fatherhood, travel, fashion and et al. The list can be long. For example, in the health section, these vlogs can consider different health issues, remedies available, interview with doctors, professionals etc. In the education section, it may contain interviews with different eminent personalities, educationists etc. In travel, it may consider exploring one location and bring in all that a man can do there extreme sports, adventure, bars or it may also have interviews with some men doing excellent social work there.
There may be more innovative ideas but the execution of each idea is difficult for any one person to execute. Hence it is important for the activists to collaborate at national and even at international level.
For collaboration, this movement may consider having teams of content editors, video editors and moderators for the channel. Everyone may be given the power of creating content and then the team produce the final video for the channel. Achieving this at the individual level is not possible for any blogger, because the subjects are varied and the expertise needed is also vast. Obtaining MRM knowledge is difficult anyways.
When collaboration becomes the only way of being a successful vlogger, activists may not have a choice here. Benefits of such collaboration will be many. For example, every week there may be different events (both at national and local levels) for men and such a channel would need to cater to all those. With people from all over the country talking about them, will make the group address all relevant issues. At the current level, with individual bloggers failing to do so in a timely manner keeps many issues unaddressed.
For example, in a video on weekly updates of MRM news, this group can discuss each issue in a five-minute video and give their viewpoint. This will ensure all issues are addressed by the forum.
Video blogging is a great challenge for individual bloggers unless one is equipped with the right tools and knowledge. Hence, in near future, we may see the need for bloggers’ collaboration coming up. It will be a huge change in the blogging world and anyone who cannot adapt to this change may face an early extinction.