People say that “All good things must come to an end.” 

During 2017-2019, many printed media have been shut down, rumbling in the media world in Thailand. One of the shocking events is when the over-50-year-old magazines such as Bangkok Magazine and Skulthai died on the vine in the age of new media. Thailand lost many newspapers in 2019 including The Nation, Post Today, and M2F. With an easy reason given by the proprietor, their income has stopped, leading to inevitable closure. According to Nielsen, 5 years, the newspaper industry’s revenue decreases almost three times. It is shocking since we used to acquire around 15,000 million Baht at the beginning of the decade. 

Are old media really dead? 

Not really, but I cannot say that they are thriving either. 

We have to admit first that in the past (old) media was superior. TV channels in Thailand consisted of 3, 5, 7, and 9 in which people are forced to watch since there were not many options for media consumers. Time changes; things change. Now, media providers whether it is TV, newspaper and radio became the chosen ones with many s. It is an upside-down and the media have to thoroughly understand fragmentation and segmentation. 

Traditional media have not disappeared from Thai society. It’s always staying with our society. As we can see that every house still has a television although people do not frequently use it; radio is automatically installed in your car at the time you brought it but you barely listen to them. This indicates that the traditional media has a chance to survive.

I kid you not. 

Here’s an example of a comeback of television. Love Destiny or Buppay Sunnivas, a period romantic comedy soap opera, has made watching television re-throne. It can be seen that the rating of this drama (episode 12) has reached to 23.9 in Bangkok,17.4 in nationwide, 20.6 in urban, and 15.1 in rural areas. It has been a talk of the town since the rating of Channel 3, which has been struggling with the sluggish growth before, skyrocketed and broke the record. Compared to the average rating on Channel 3 in 2018, there was only 1.331. Brands have to pay 480,000 baht per minute to broadcast their products’ advertisements on Love Destiny’s showtime. But, the real impact is that Channel 3’s schedules had been fully booked for commercial advertisements. Obviously, as long as people have a device connected to the Internet, they are able to watch the programme any time.

Therefore, the arrival of Love Destiny is a game-changer.

Love destiny

On top of that, we learn something. 

“Content is King”

As we can see from the results of the love destiny drama that is becoming popular not only in Thailand but also in China and Indonesia as well. This quote is absolutely true. It does not depend on the devices, but it depends on the content. If the T.V. Production producers can create quality content that attracts people’s attention, it will bring people back again. Since new media become a part of people’s lives, audiences have many choices to perceive media. Content is the main reason to attract people’s attention. Thai people might like content about mystery, crime, comedy, thriller and horror but it is necessary to be on the right track. 

Another big example of Radio Station that becomes popular is EFM providing the specific contents for each user. This includes the ghost story which revives the radio station to be more active from adult listeners who used to consume this kind of media in childhood while it is new for the young. The programme regularly broadcasting on Tuesday is called Aungkarn Krum Pong (อังคารคลุมโปง), the name that is derived from the actions when people fear of the ghost and cover themselves by a blanket. Also, the programme for Wednesday is Puth Talk Puth Tro (พุธทอล์คพุธโทร), this programme is directly for the people who have personal problems especially about romantic relationships and would like to consult with the host. This radio programme broadcast not only on radio channels but also live on Facebook Page and post clips video on YouTube as well. This would be an easy option for people who want to follow this radio channel.

Leading media companies never lack talented people but the digital disruption hides them from the spotlight. The adjustment must start from the vision of managers. 

Puth Talk Puth Tro (พุธทอล์คพุธโทร)
Aungkarn Krum Pong (อังคารคลุมโปง)

Find the equilibrium!

When mentioning Content is King, we can see that the equilibrium is to find the house that people live. Digital media is now what people side. Media industry can see the big change that online platforms may be a solution to survive while original contents produced by the professional media providers are needed. Digitial contains multiple methods to access and it’s all about methods. I believe that old-media companies should understand how the world has changed in the digital age. It is true that traditional media outlets dominated public opinions in the past, leading that people had to watch whatever TV set to disseminate. However, in the present time, the behaviour of people’s lives has been changed since the new media becomes a part of our lives. We can watch anything at any time that we choose by ourselves.

People didn’t rely on only professional-media services but they also consume user-generated content. This means that the number of old media’s competitors are on an increasing trend. Compared to modern content generators such as Youtuber, old media has an advantage over them by professionalism and credibility. But, cross-platform content is required to step into the modern users’ zone. Without the entrance, modern people or users who prefer consuming media via modern technological devices cannot perceive how beautiful the interior is. Therefore, when diversifying into new media areas, old media also have their values on the content they have produced for decades but it needs a gate to enter in. 

More importantly, things go forth and back. Valuable contents can attract people back to listen to the radio (real radio), watch the drama on TV, and pay for reading articles. But, it needs a reach from multiple platforms to engage people with the brand.

These are a must for old media to survive in the digitally advanced era. Congratulations to many adaptable media and welcome back to the game. xoxo