NY Mayor wants to save New York’s media industry

New York is also referred to as the media capital of the world. Media companies in NY area are having trouble (like any where else) but the good news for them is – their billionaire Mayor wants to do something about it.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to save New York’s media industry.  He announced plans for a city-funded stimulus designed to create jobs in publishing, TV and online media with training facilities, tax breaks and inducements for media companies to set up shop in NY….More

Its eight plans include many focusing on innovation, research, retraining and new technology. Six of them are listed here.

  1. Forming a New York City Media Lab, a research center for media companies, universities and others to collaborate on research, share findings and provide a physical center for networking, lectures and workshops.
  2. Issuing tax-exempt bonds to help companies buy new manufacturing, research or production facilities
  3. Starting a Media and Tech Fellowship program meant to encourage start-ups and innovation.
  4. Helping start-ups and small tech firms do business with the city. (which is the local government – this I believe will really help)
  5. Starting a center for media freelancers in lower Manhattan.
  6. Creating a training program to help people find opportunities in new media. (unless the economy improves nobody will hire but training people is important)

Bloomberg has a strong media background, I guess he can feel their pain. Few ideas will work, few will not. But at least there seems to be an intent to wake up this recession-bear and convert it to a bull.

Can the Indian Govt help?

What could the Indian govt do for the media companies in India? To begin with they need to recognize Internet as a medium! They seem to be injecting stimulus packages only to the print media (many of which have deep pockets). Few things the Indian govt could possibly do for the online world,

  • Remove service tax on ecommerce transactions
  • Reduce, if not remove, service tax on online ad spend
  • Give “Press” status to reputed online publishers. They give but not without we pulling our hair! We need easy access to press conferences
  • Appoint an “Internet Minister“, that is the only way something serious will happen to internet penetration. IT (software) is not internet, so don’t mix them. And for god’s sake don’t get this minister from Uttar Pradesh, life will be hell with the statues on the internet!
  • The cost of broadband has reduced, entry level packages are as low as Rs 200/month, the problem is with the cost of PC. That has to reduce by a minimum of 50%, not sure how they can do it.

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