In a global first of sorts, Lastminuteinventory.com, a portal for trading of remnant media inventory, will commence online trading from September. The trading will go commercial from Diwali, later this year. Lastminuteinventory.com has been ideated, conceptualised and actualised by Dentsu India, with active knowledge inputs from Dentsu Inc, Japan. The portal is owned and run by Last Minute Media Pvt Ltd, which will operate as an independent corporate identity with arm’s length relationships with its equity owners. Besides Dentsu India, some media groups will also hold small but strategically significant equity in the venture.
Lastminuteinventory.com claims to be the world’s first online real time media exchange and is dedicated to trading, hence monetising, inventory available with media-owners till the very last minute. The portal provides a new buying channel for media owners to reach and engage geographically dispersed media buyers, both big and small, making for a win-win transaction in the purchase of available last-minute media inventory.
Sandeep Goyal, Chairman, Dentsu India, who will also be Chairman of the Board of Last Minute Media, said, “Making a reality out of Lastminuteinventory.com has been a year-long exercise. Globally, e-Bay has attempted in the past to do something similar. In fact, Wal Mart, too, tried something similar in the US, trying to monetise last minute media inventory, but both didn’t really work out. In this enterprise we have the benefit of Dentsu’s long years of media experience and we have been fortunate in getting the co-operation and support of media-owners in India, who see this as a pioneering new platform. I am sure the entry of Lastminuteinventory.com will fundamentally redefine the way media is bought.”
Goyal explained that Lastminuteinventory.com provided consolidated real-time, transparent, bird’s eye view of all available remnant inventory across all media. It will help buyers complement live campaigns by picking up good deals without having to renegotiate existing spends. On Lastminuteinventory.com, good deals will be available throughout the year – not restricted to campaign period alone. It will give media buyers the opportunity to evaluate media buys possibly at lower costs.
It could also make available scarce last minute media inventory available in real-time, for example, on premier sporting events or on important breaking news events, at a possible premium. Lastminuteinventory.com provides an online trading floor and facilitates an exchange where media owners upload available last-minute inventory. Advertisers and agencies can browse and evaluate the available inventory, and then possibly bid for it or buy it outright. There is online allocation and offline fulfillment.
‘Last minute’ needs to be defined by every media owner as per the requirements of their own business. ‘Last minute’ has to be a function of the internal systems and processes, cut-off time and material deadlines within each individual organisation. It may vary from a week for a TV channel that has an overseas play-out to maybe as late as 6 pm for next day’s newspaper for another media organisation.
“The TOI Group, Star Group and Zee Group have already confirmed their support. CNBC-TV18 Group, including their CNN-IBN offering and other channels, the Sony Group, the Discovery bouquet, Hindustan Times, India TV, the ESPN bouquet, the Aaj Tak bouquet, Eenadu+ETV, will be on the portal. For the time being, though there is a lot of enthusiasm from regional media groups, Lastminuteinventory.com will only enlist them closer to the commercial launch date. First round of presentations have already been made to some of the larger media buying agencies,” Goyal further said.
He added that clients like Hindustan Unilever, Airtel, Hutch and Raymond had shown active interest in the portal.