With digitisation in television, new avenues are opening up both in terms of content and advertising. In conversation with exchange4media, Srinivasan KA, Co-founder, Strategy, Business Development and Marketing, Amagi Media Labs shares his perspective on targeted advertising, reaching out to local advertisers and giving them a choice of premium national channels, and explains the journey from being technology wizards to converting into serial entrepreneurs.
Targeted television and digitisation – do you think the Indian TV viewing experience is set for a change?
Digitisation is great for the consumer since he gets a better viewing experience and more access to a range of channels. Digitisation of cable television will play a key role in helping the Indian media and entertainment industry grow. With targeted TV advertising, the consumer gets to see a far more relevant set of ads, since they are centred around his or her region or city.
What are the key sectors that have opened up to targeted advertising?
Since the launch of the Amagi platform nationally early last year, hundreds of retail and regional advertisers across categories – education, jewellery, apparel, real estate, FMCG, white goods and auto dealerships – have flocked to the platform to advertise on premium national TV channels. Today, Amagi boasts of over 1,500 clients across the country. These brands are largely regional brands from different industries.
From reaching out to local advertisers and giving them a choice of premium national channels to reaching out to premium national brands for targeted local advertising – you have turned the model on its head. Comment.
Having successfully captured the region-level advertising space, we wish to expand our horizon to become a media-house to national brands that have very specific regional needs. To give an example, tea consumption in India changes every hundred kilometres, which is the need for various forms of tea. Advertising this without the fear of spillage is the need of the hour, which is where Amagi comes into the picture. So today, a brand may wish to advertise a particular soap only in West Bengal in a national channel, which is possible with Amagi.
We are seeing that beyond regional advertisers, our platform significantly benefits corporate advertisers as well. We now work with a number of large advertisers offering them regional targeting solution. Examples of needs that we address:
Regional brand advertising: Large FMCG and consumer goods advertisers have a portfolio of brands, including specific regional brands that need focused advertising on TV
Consumer Promos: When a brand wishes to advertise a regional consumer promo (valid only in a particular market)
Booster/top ups: When over and above a national campaign, brands require boosters in their priority markets
Variants: Variants in the creative or the language or the product, which needs to be communicated differently in different markets
Dealer-tagged Advertisements: A national ad playing in different regions with region-specific dealer tags
BTL: Ground activation support on TV in a particular region or city
How much of demand forecasting is required in the Amagi business model, given that most broadcasters are yet to bite into targeted TV?
Broadcasters see us as a valuable partner who can help increase their revenue streams and yields. Today, we don’t see hesitation from most broadcasters; if anything, there is positive momentum across broadcasters to join the bandwagon. As a fact, we now have broadcast partners across every TV genre. We have been in this business for over five years now, so it is now easier to predict the kind of business and forecast the demand for ad space.
You have tapped into channels of different genres. Which are the latest ones in your kitty?
We have recently tied up with Zee Media Corporation to offer geo-targeted TV advertising on Zee News and Zee Business channels. We have also tied up with CNN-IBN, Ten Sports and Ten Cricket recently.
From technology wizards to serial entrepreneurs, how has the journey been so far? What are the new plans and ventures on the anvil?
When we started, we wanted to build a billion-dollar organisation that will revolutionise the industry. When we realised digitisation of TV could open up dramatic choices for targeted advertising, we knew we had the kernel of a successful business idea. The journey so far has been both exciting and daunting, since we have embarked on a path never travelled in India. Amagi has been on trial blazing growth path in the last three years. Our intent is to accelerate this growth and become a media powerhouse.