From the Viewsroom

More than GDP and weapons

Sandhya Rao | Updated on January 11, 2018 Published on May 09, 2017

bl10_think_superhero

Global power’s about the reach of culture and media

It’s projected that China and India will take the lead over the US on a purchasing-power-parity basis by year 2050. The predictions are not as clear for defence spending, but it appears India will eventually be third, after the US and China, on this count. However, the US is projected to be far and away the leader of the pack as far as the entertainment and media (E&M) industry are concerned.

Now, there are many ways to determine what makes a superpower: GDP and military might are the two obvious criteria. But the more palpable and impactful surely has to be E&M. There are no balance sheets involved nor victories to be totted up. All it takes is to sign up and stream, wherever in the world you are. Or even simply browse: for information, for music, for movies, for games, to dispel loneliness, to express yourself…

Reports from PwC’s studies suggest that smartphone penetration has surged dramatically both in the developed and the developing world, leading to what is interestingly called “the democratisation of content”. News, entertainment, information, communication, time-pass…there’s all this and more available to anybody with a smartphone, with only the apps determining the extent of the hegemony.

Yes, hegemony. Because the world is now bowing before the technology monster. And this master is unequivocally led by the US. Anything on the internet is US-oriented… heck, even the spelling is American! So, never mind if Indonesia makes a dramatic rise up the GDP scale, and Brazil, Russia, Mexico, Japan, Germany scramble for a rank, it’s only the economy, silly. When it comes to what makes humanity’s heart tick, there’s no business like show business and that’s where the US tops the charts. Unless, of course, Mandarin grabs the world. But here Hindi has a head start. So what does that mean? Soft power is the real thing.

Editorial Consultant

Published on May 09, 2017

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Related

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.