Television

Digital measurement: Star leads the way, partners Zapr

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MUMBAI: Even as India's only television rating body BARC India plans to get into digital measurement arena, Star India has made a major splash and taken a strategic minority stake in Zapr Media Labs, one of the largest media intelligence repositories and cross-device targeting platform which enables brands and media-owners to identify their offline media audience and re-target them on mobile and web.

BARC India's intent, through its planned foray into digital measurement, is to measure total unduplicated audience across all devices and platforms, measuring combined program impressions or advertisements regardless of where and how content/ad is being consumed, through a Single Source Panel. BARC had planned to provide a TV+ Digital viewership measurement service across the globe covering over 50 per cent of media spends between TV and digital. BARC was said to be in talks with an Israeli media technology company to customise for it tools for measurement, which is likely to be rolled out in phases from sometime in 2017 or early 2018.

However, in what seems to be a march ahead of BARC India, Hotstar, one of India's leading OTT platforms, and Zapr today announced a strategic partnership to drive the next wave of mobile audience analytics in India. The partnership is accompanied by a minority investment into Zapr from Star.

For Hotstar, the partnership signals a clear intent to evolve from a media startup to a full-fledged technology and analytics company that shapes the next wave of mobile usage and advertising in India. With more than 60 million users in the month of January and a sharp uptick in user growth in the last few months, the platform already boasts of some of the highest daily engagement amongst its followers.

In what is certain to be an exciting development for advertisers and agencies, the two companies will work together to create a deep understanding of mobile audiences that can be leveraged by brands to create personalized communication and offers. The two will collaborate to create deep audience segmentation and razor sharp targeting as a trail-blazing move for the mobile advertising ecosystem

Zapr Media co-founder and CEO Sandipan Mondal informed www.indiantelevision.com, "Our partnership with Hotstar and Star reinforces the great response we've received from our industry partners, and we look forward to continuing to grow our relationship with the media and advertising industry."

Mondal added, "At Zapr Media Labs, we're focused on building one of the world's largest media consumption repositories and audience targeting platforms. Over the past few years, we've been working very closely with our partners across brands, agencies and broadcasters on deeper audience segmentation, sharper targeting and richer insights."

While access to the Internet has been exploding in India in the last few years, especially on the mobile screen, mobile marketing has been constrained till date by the lack of availability of platforms that marry deep user engagement and audience segmentation. While many brands have deployed significant amounts of money on mobile in the last few years, especially through banner and in stream display ads, marketers have been frustrated by the lack of brand building vehicles online that allow them to leverage deep audience analytics. In what is clearly a trail blazing move for digital marketing, the partnership could herald the emergence of more robust audience analytics and better accountability for results in the mobile marketing world.

Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan said, “In the transition from the broadcast world to the digital world, advertisers got a data bonanza but in the process had to give up the ability to engage consumers who are actually paying attention to what they are saying. Hotstar has the opportunity to build the world’s first platform on digital where consumers are engaged and immersed while at the same time delivering deep audience understanding that allows brands to talk to individuals rather than segments. We believe that we have a shot at creating the world’s premier truly personalised advertising service, which benefits both brands and consumers.”

Mondal added, “We look forward to accelerating the pace of our research & development, growing our product portfolio and building a deeper and long lasting relationship with the larger media and advertising industry.”

Zapr’s proprietary technology platform analyzes television viewership across 600+ channels in India providing targeted digital analytics and insight into offline consumption behaviour. Zapr has built an analytics platform that combines this proprietary understanding with enriched data that allows advertisers to use it for sharper audience targeting and analysis.

The announcement is a big step in the direction of becoming the premier personalised advertising service.

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