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Harry Potter and the magic of media

As the launch of the final Harry Potter book coincides with the latest movie launch, it is believed Rowling redefines the publishing business for all time to come, reports Shiv Aggarwal.
None | By Shiv Aggarwal, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 24, 2007 07:28 PM IST

It is symbolic that the launch of the final Harry Potter book coincides with the launch of his latest movie. Its creator, JK Rowling, has perhaps redefined the publishing business for all time to come. It was a floundering business that was reinvigorated by a heady mix of creativity, hype, innovation, and effective marketing. This also summarises the history of the media industry in general, barring one important component — technology. And this last bit is perhaps today the most influential factor in the growth of the industry.

This industry is not for the faint-hearted. Its trailblazers have traditionally varied from the 'bold' to the 'beautiful'.

Every successful organisation in this field has a superlative team of professionals. Its success would not have depended on the promoters' brilliance alone, but also on its ability to attract and retain the right mix of professionals. How does one acquire such talent, or how do you get to become a part of such a team? The answers are at best undefined. The demands of the complex industry are completely at variance with the training being imparted by our educational institutions. The industry is hard-pressed for talent, and is readily absorbing all cross-domain movements. So if you are caught up in the wrong industry and want to be part of the media growth story, this could be your chance.

The industry is poised exactly as Harry Potter is at this point of his 'career'. The creator is now tired of him and wants to be rid of him. However, the creation has long surpassed its creator. The decision is now up to the readers. A similar problem confronts the print and electronic media vis-à-vis the Internet, which threatens the traditional revenue streams. Will the magic of Potter rub off on media as well?

The author is CEO of ABC Consultants

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