The ad network industry in India is around 10 percent of the total Internet advertising space and is growing at a fast rate. Networkplay.in, launched on October 15, 2008, by ex-Yahoo! employees and backed by Network18’s venture funding arm Capital18 and Goosefish Media Ventures, claims to have grown over 40 percent in the first quarter itself. The online vertical ad network is confident of growing more than 60 percent in the third quarter. The revenue of the organisation is mainly made up of its telecom, media, and travel and tourism clients.
In a market dominated by Cost per Click (CPC) or Cost per Lead (CPL), Networkplay.in has completely focused on Cost per Thousands (CPM) or Impressions, that is, building and evangelising the Indian Internet advertising market for brand advertisers.
The vertical ad network currently offers six verticals – Travel, Women, Social Conversational Media, News, Tech, and Health and Wellness – that have been built with the aim to help advertisers reach specific audience base, which can help brand advertisers reach their desired consumers effectively and reach out to consumers with specific interests and engage with their brands.
Speaking with exchange4media, Sunil Punjabi, Co-Founder and Vice President, Networkplay, explained, “As an advertising medium, the Internet industry is worth Rs 350 crore, which is poised to grow to Rs 1,000 crore, according to industry estimates, but the growth of the industry will not happen if it continues to sell only on performance. This will happen only if the Internet gets its place as an advertising medium, something that the industry started off with, and that that will happen only if non-advertisers on the Internet are converted to Internet advertisers.”
He further said, “There are a lot of companies that continue to go with performance, but we continue to believe that if the Internet is to grow, now is the time to ensure that more money is spent on the brand.”
Networkplay.in claims that its biggest achievement so far has been its contract with professional networking portal LinkedIn, which has also contributed to around 45-50 percent of its advertising revenue. “Our greatest achievement came with signing Linkedln as the exclusive representation in India. In fact, all the five companies that were bidding for Linkedln were over two years in existence, and we were the only company who was in existence for six months at that time, but we still bagged the contract over others,” added Punjabi.
He further said, “Networkplay also aims to attract non-advertising clients to advertise on the Internet. For instance, it has got clients like Godrej Ezee, The Economist and India Today Book Club to advertise with them, to name a few, and these are the traditional non-advertisers who come on board with the organisation. “We are increasing our base by signing with clients that are not only on exclusive basis with us, but also with those that are on non-exclusive basis, therefore, there is no restriction to either of them.”