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Targeted advertising is the way forward for news channels

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MUMBAI: In a tough environment how can news channels monetise better from brands? Well, speaking at the Seventh Indian News Television Summit 2014 organised by indiantelevision.com, Amagi co-founder KA Srinivasan answered the big question.

He began his keynote by giving the number of brands and advertisers on print and television. “Print media today has about 1.2 lakh or 1.5 lakh advertisers as compared to a paltry 11,000 on television.  When we look at brands there are about 17,000 brands on television compared to 2 lakh brands on print,” he said referring to a study conducted by Amagi from 13 October to 14 September.

News as a genre, specifically English and Hindi channels, has 600 advertisers and about 1,000 to 1,400 brands advertising for the entire year. He then compared these numbers to print readership, which has a penetration of 20 per cent. “In any market outside India, print advertising is typically half of TV advertising size. While in India, a market where print is dramatically under penetrated compared to TV, we are seeing equal, if not more, advertising revenue generated by print,” said Srinivasan.

He added, “As per the study, regional advertising consisting of only local brands on print, radio and outdoor is at least Rs 6,500 crore. The print classified size market is Rs 1,300 crore and is expected to grow to Rs 3,600 crore in the next two years.”  

He then suggested ways by which news channels could tap into this market. A national channel which delivers substantial audience in various markets can monetise better by going after regional brands which is what Amagi has been doing. “In the US such targeted marketing was worth Rs 30,000 crore,” he informed.

Srinivasan stated the example of how a television channel being watched at the same time in four different geographies can potentially showcase four different ads at the same time. By creating ad inventory regionally to address more advertisers and brands, news channels can increase revenue dramatically. The model can be utilised by local advertisers and large national advertisers while launching a brand specifically for one region and can save on spillage.

“Hyundai ran an ad for different regions of Maharashtra like Baramati, Kolhapur, Sangli, Nasik etc simultaneously. Each of these ads ran with the local contact detail of the local dealer in each of these local cities,” he said. The study also presented a case study about the Telugu news classifieds market. “The market includes non FCT scrolls, tickers, ashton bands and brand builders predominantly scroll driven with local matrimonial, property deals that is worth Rs 20 crore and just in one market. Can it be replicated across India?” he asked.

Another monetisation opportunity for news channels is by aggregating a number of channels together as advertisers find it attractive since this presents them a substantial chunk of viewership. “We believe that there are umpteen number of opportunities today that are completely untapped in terms of targeting geographically from a pure FCT perspective,” Srinivasan said in his closing remarks.

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