MSN India and NDTV Media have joined forces in a bid to revolutionise mass media advertising in India. Media marketing and consulting company NDTV Media will now represent MSN India to clients and advertisers across the country. It will offer advertisers an opportunity to advertise on MSN properties like MSN.co.in, MSN Hotmail, MSN Messenger, MSN Spaces, MSN Search, etc.
MSN India in addition has also launched Desktop TV as a pioneering effort. The Desktop TV will allow advertisers to run their television campaign on MSN India Home page without making any changes to their television commercial. Thus, this new initiative allows advertisers to leverage their existing television commercial to reach out to the large online user base of MSN India.
Elaborating on the tie-up, Raj Nayak, CEO, NDTV Media, said, “If we look at dotcoms today, there are 3.8 crore users, which in perspective is five times the readership of the leading English Newspaper, and the medium adds about 10 lakh new audiences every month. As is known, there are 30,000 advertisers on print, 3,000 advertisers on TV, while there are only 70-80 advertisers on the Internet. So, one can imagine the potential of the Internet space and even if we are able to bridge the gap of getting all the advertisers who are on TV to start with we are talking of expanding the market by some X hundred per cent.”
“Though each marketer is aware of the potential of the Internet, one concern all have is that though they want to spend money on the medium and are even excited about the medium, they don’t know how to go about it. So, for us as an organisation and for us as partners if we are able to demystify the medium then I think there is huge potential. Because what we are talking about today is a medium that delivers numbers, far most cost effective and has no geographical barrier,” Nayak added.
NDTV Media and MSN India aim to make buying online simple and easy for advertisers, even easier than buying on television or print. A new rate card has been introduced, which gives advertisers complete freedom to choose how their ads would be run, choose time-bands, the days they want to advertise, how their ads will appear and the share on voice in MSN network.
MSN’s Head of Sales and Marketing, Rajnish, said, “We totally agreed with Raj at the outset that this medium is not sold the way it should and our experiences in every other market in the world tells us what works and what not. And then we finally said now we have a great partner and the best way to educate the industry to do it ourselves. I personally feel that if MSN and NDTV together can’t transform this new mass media that we have then don’t think anybody else will. Our take is that once we take a leap and go forward we see the entire Internet industry will benefit. Thus, this initiative is more outward looking that inward.”
The rate for a 30 second commercial on Desktop TV starts with Rs 750 and goes up to Rs 1,000 depending on the time band selected. Then there is an advertising opportunity created called Ashton Band, which is constant messaging, which costs Rs 75,000 for a month and will run the entire day. The average time for each message is five seconds. “We guarantee exposure and audience and we are selling Desktop TV and Ashton Band just as television advertising is sold,” Nayak added.
Other than this, there is display advertising, which is essentially one position on the home page like a Mast Head (top of the page Solus advertising), which has three costs ranging from Rs 35,000, Rs 65,000 and Rs 50,000. On every other page, along with the Mast Head position there are two other positions for advertising, island position costing anywhere between Rs 9,106, Rs 18,320 and Rs 13,740 and tower advertising costing Rs 8,600, Rs 17,200 and Rs 12,900.
Nayak further said, “The other advertising options include sections like movies, entertainment and other sections, which are doing well, and then specific interest channels like matrimony, astrology, romance, etc. We are customising these sections and have not put a rate card and are available on request.”
Advertisers who are currently onboard Desktop TV are Reid and Taylor, Sahara TV, GE Country Wide, India Today and Alliance Insurance. These rates are inaugural rates and will be up for renewal on April 1, 2006.
The objective set out by MSN India is to get 200 advertisers on MSN in the next one year. Nayak said, “We believe that we have 800 advertisers brands on our network and we have relationship with 600 to 700 clients in this country, so the KRA for us to first educate our clients together and then if we are launching this medium than we want to seen to be doing something different. Our primary target is to get the advertiser who has never experience the medium to come and advertise on Internet and give him value and deliver so as to get him back again and again, as also get the regular clients advertise on the Internet. The model is not based on impressions.”
According to him, the world advertising was approximately $10 billion, while the Indian advertising industry was about $30 million and audience base was 70-80 advertisers, therefore there was huge potential.
Nayak further observed that they were in repeat order business; whatever they do they have to go back to the same customers again and thus, things they do will have to be within the framework of delivering value. Hence, they have worked a lot on getting the pricing right and a lot of effort has gone in working on a model to keep the cost at a bare minimum cost.
Said Rajnish, “We are the fastest growing ad market in the world. The Indian market is growing at 21 per cent, which is ahead of China, which is at 16 per cent. The online ad market is growing at 63 per cent, the fastest in the world. So, if we continue to grow at these rates than the sheer organic growth will take us to about $165-200 billion by 2010.”
On the exclusivity of the deal, Nayak commented, “It is an exclusive deal with MSN. We are very clear that one of the things we as a company policy we don’t do any business that is conflicting with any of our principles so we if we have tied with MSN we will not tie up with any other online company. Of course, NDTV.com will be there.”