New York is also referred to as the media capital of the world. Media companies in NY area are having trouble (like anywhere 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
New York’s 8 plans include many focusing on innovation, research, retraining and new technology. Six of them are listed here.
- Forming a New York City Media Lab, a research centre for media companies, universities and others to collaborate on research, share findings and provide a physical centre for networking, lectures and workshops.
- Issuing tax-exempt bonds to help companies buy new manufacturing, research or production facilities
- Starting a Media and Tech Fellowship program meant to encourage start-ups and innovation.
- Helping start-ups and small tech firms do business with the city. (which is the local government – this I believe will really help)
- Starting a centre for media freelancers in lower Manhattan.
- 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, hence he understands 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 Govt of India help?
What could the Indian govt do for the media companies in India? To begin with they need to recognize the 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 e-commerce transactions
- Reduce, if not remove, service tax on online ad spend
- Give “Press” status to reputed online publishers. 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 the internet, so don’t mix them.
- The cost of broadband has reduced, entry level packages are as low as Rs 200/month, the problem is with the cost of PC. This has to reduce by a minimum of 50%, not sure how they can do it.