iWorld

Puneet Gupt on Times Internet’s performance post-Covid

TIL has witnessed a significant rebound in ad spend lately

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2020/11/26/pun.jpg?itok=zIH9FrLT

KOLKATA: Given the sudden uncertainties, digital publishers were fretting about the downturn in business at the beginning of Covid2019 crisis. Anticipating a very troublesome period, the publishers prepared to counter the worst situation. Fortunately, the industry has witnessed a better-than-expected state of business post Covid, Times Internet Ltd (TIL) COO Puneet Gupt said.

In a virtual fireside chat with Indiantelevision.com founder, CEO and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari, Gupt spoke about the overall sentiment in the industry which is turning out to be brighter with each passing month. According to him, TIL, as well as other publications, are now gaining momentum across all metrics. While there was a huge slump in ad spend in the first couple of months when physical movements were curtailed and the market was down, there has been a gradual growth month-on-month basis since things have started opening up, especially in the last four-five months.

 “As I say, it is a culmination of sequential growth that we are seeing month-on-month in our businesses. Maybe from July onwards revenue has picked up. I would be slightly worried about Q4 but at least with Diwali and going up to December I see that there is possible traction to build,” Gupt said.

Despite the pessimism around festive spend in the industry, TIL has witnessed good business during Diwali compared to the last year. Categories like ed-tech, OTT, gaming and digital-only products were the big spenders this festive season. These categories have picked up the overall ad spend, leading the way while other categories are following.

Amid the Covid crisis, several brands have moved their budgets to digital. Gupt acknowledged that the re-allocation of funds has helped them. “I personally think it’s a short term move and will be more even for a slight shift on digital and not the 30-40 per cent shift that we are seeing right now. But it may stay back at 10 per cent higher shift and rest goes back to the mediums where it came from,” Gupt noted. He added that TIL has witnessed significant growth in native advertising and video segment but display advertising has stayed under pressure.

“We are doubling down on what we are doing. As an organisation, we have always said that programmatic is good as it gets us revenue and gives transparency to the buyer, but a one-on-one relationship with the buyer is important. Hence, we have a large sales team when some of the publishers were scaling down their sales teams and doubling programmatic. We were saying that we welcome programmatic but we want to double down on our sales team, relationships, people-to-people connect,” Gupt elaborated on the measures that have helped TIL to stay on the growth track.

In terms of user engagement, there has been a huge spike on MX Player. The over-the-top (OTT) platform has seen 5X growth on time spent post-Covid. But the audio segment has not been to catch up with the growth of the video segment. TIL’s news properties have seen 40-50 per cent growth both in terms of engagement and visitors.

While TIL has built a strong business on the back of ad revenue over the years, it still has a long way to go on subscription side, with a base of two million subscribers. “I don't think that 2 million subscribers is a challenge. It is a big success. We started this journey a few years ago and it’s something that all of us are learning. We are experimenting, learning and building it out. I think the next level of growth is just ahead of us. We think that in four-five years of time, about three-five per cent of our users would be paying in some form or the other. We are building for the long haul and creating consumer products across the ecosystem,” Gupt commented. He hopes TIL to maintain an average revenue per user between Rs 500-1000 per annum for that large subscriber base.”

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/28/m.jpg?itok=4yPH_o7_
MX TakaTak is short video partner for Madam Chief Minister, Eeswaran

KOLKATA:MX TakaTak has collaborated with highly anticipated Bollywood as well as South Indian movies and is the exclusive short video partner for Madam Chief Minister, Red and Eeswaran.  Starring Richa Chadha in the titular role of a woman who rises against all odds to become the CM, Madam Chief...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/28/img_28012021_145441_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=X_IzcFWB
HBO Max grows subscription base, Warner Bros revenue declines

KOLKATA: With the bold move to release Wonder Woman 1984, HBO Max has gained tremendously by doubling active subscriptions in the fourth quarter. The newly launched streaming service has reached 17.2 million active subscribers in the quarter. That’s up from 8.6 million at the end of the third...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/28/rshul.jpg?itok=NxGJaXJf
After riding high on IPL, upGrad says sports partnerships a priority

NEW DELHI: The year 2020 was the year of disruption. It was also the year for new opportunities. One major upward trend was the e-learning boom and the massive growth in edtech market space which revolutionised the education sector. Indiantelevision.com spoke to Rahul Karthikeyan, head of marketing...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/28/tabav.jpg?itok=83drR3lR
Tandav and the future of storytelling

MUMBAI: A tight slap. That’s what the streaming industry has got in the face from the Supreme Court when it refused to protect the Amazon Prime Video team – involved in creating the controversial political thriller Tandav – from being arrested.

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/28/img_28012021_122449_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=4CdiMPom
Twitter gets a brand makeover, iconic bird stays

KOLKATA: Twitter has got a brand makeover to stay in step with the times and the people who inhabit the platform. However, the iconic bird of the logo is not going anywhere. “We felt the brand expression we launched five years ago didn't fully reflect the complexity, fluidity and power of the...

iWorld Social Media
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/28/men.jpg?itok=SnesBYWs
How the MensXP Shop became the rising star of a media entity

As a top-rung digital publication dedicated to men’s lifestyle, MensXP has been going through a massive transformation since adding commerce to its bouquet. The switchover from being a media entity to full-fledged retail operations wasn’t easy or hiccup-free.

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/27/tandav.jpg?itok=lPL5WSjR
SC refuses to grant interim protection to Tandav makers

NEW DELHI: The furore over Amazon Prime Video’s web-series Tandav refuses to die down. In the latest development, the Supreme Court has declined to grant interim protection to the producers of the show amid apprehensions of arrest. The court had issued the notices on a plea filed by the director,...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/27/img_27012021_150738_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=L5MrA7w0
Zee5 India elevates Manish Kalra to chief business officer

KOLKATA: Zee5 India has promoted Manish Kalra to the position of chief business officer. Kalra joined the platform back in May 2020. Earlier, he was working as AVoD SVP and business head. Now, he will now be responsible for overall SVoD and AVoD business. He will lead user acquisition strategy,...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/27/yl.jpg?itok=2nTygz6_
TikTok to scale down its workforce in India

KOLKATA: Following the government’s decision to retain the ban on Chinese apps, TikTok developer ByteDance has decided to scale down its workforce in India. The company, which employs more than 2,000 people in India, is also unaware if or when the short format video app will be functional again in...

iWorld Over The Top Services

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required