Smule announces strategic investment of over $20 million from Times Bridge in India

This is Times Bridge's third investment this year, after investing in MUBI and Houzz

exchange4media Staff 18-October-2018

SmuleTimes

Social network for music Smule on Thursday announced a strategic investment from Times Bridge, the global investments and partnerships arm of The Times Group. This long-term partnership with Times Bridge will give Smule a strategic edge as it scales up operations in India, its second-largest international market, the company said in a statement.


Smule currently boasts of 50 million monthly active users. On Smule, users are able to collaborate with and listen to all types of music, with anyone from anywhere in the world. Times Bridge has entered into a strategic partnership with Smule and concluded an investment worth over $20 million in the company. This is Times Bridge's third investment this year, after investing in MUBI and Houzz, in their bid to expand their existing investment portfolio of innovative consumer tech companies. 

Times Bridge will also guide Smule in engaging India’s multi-lingual music culture. Leveraging its network of media assets, Times Bridge will partner on varied aspects such as community building, collaborations with top artists, targeted regional programmes and advertising. Smule is the first social music platform to partner with Times Bridge in India. 


With this investment, Smule plans to increase its exposure in the Indian digital music market and grow the market organically. Smule is keen to tap into India’s flourishing diverse music culture. In May 2017, Smule raised $54 million in a financing round led by Chinese technology giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. 


Talking about the partnership, Jeffrey Smith, Smule’s CEO and Co-founder, said, “Indian audiences are passionate about connecting through music. We want to enhance those connections in an authentic way and we are thrilled to partner with Times Bridge to marshal the best of The Times Group on Smule’s behalf.”


“Smule is about empowering our community to do more of what they love – from singing with their favourite celebrities to collaborating with friends to discovering new music. We're thrilled to find a partner that both shares our vision and has the cultural insights and market reach to deliver it,” Smith added.


Rishi Jaitly, CEO of Times Bridge, said, "Times Bridge’s mission is to bring the world’s best ideas to India and share India’s best insights with the world. Smule is a deeply original, bold idea with a mission of changing the way the world experiences music. Our investment will advance Smule’s music mission across the Indian subcontinent and unlock the creativity of many millions along the way. We are delighted to be working with a partner who approaches India with the empathy, conviction and optimism that the Indian market warrants.”

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

HUL net profit up 9 per cent year-on-year to Rs 1,444 cr in the quarter ended Dec

Consumer goods firm’s quarterly profit growth as per expectations of analysts

exchange4media Staff 12 hours ago

HUL

Hindustan Unilever Ltd’s (HUL) quarterly profit has risen at its slowest pace in more than a year, in line with the expectations of analysts. 

Its net profit has gone up by 9 per cent year-on-year to Rs 1,444 crore in the quarter ended December, as per media reports. The consumer goods firm had paid Rs 510 crore taxes during the period as compared with Rs 297 crore a year ago. 

The company’s revenue rose 11.3 per cent on a yearly basis to Rs 9,558 crore, compared to the Rs 9,447 crore estimate. The volumes rose 10 per cent as per the forecast by analysts. The company has reported double-digit volume growth for the fifth straight quarter. 

The operating income has increased 21.8 per cent year-on-year to Rs 2,046 crore. 

“Mixed improvement and operating leverage contributed to the margin expansion,” Chief Financial Officer Srinivas Pathak was reported as saying. “The consumer demand was stable during the quarter. The rural demand is ahead of the urban,” Pathak said recently. 

The company has said that its near-term demand outlook looked stable. Pathak said the macroeconomic factors would be monitored to keep a track of consumer demand and costs. “Our focus is on volume-driven growth and improvement in operating margin,” he said.

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Annette Male named APAC CEO of Wunderman Thompson

Male will join WPP from Publicis Groupe where she was the Chief Executive Officer of Digitas APAC

exchange4media Staff 18 hours ago

Male

WPP has announced the appointment of Annette Male as the APAC CEO of the newly formed Wunderman Thompson agency, according to media reports. Male will join WPP from Publicis Groupe where she was the Chief Executive Officer of Digitas APAC.


In this new role, Male will be responsible for all North Asian and South East Asian markets. Male will report to Wunderman Thompson Global CEO Mel Edwards.

Some media reports quoted Edwards as saying that APAC is a key growth market for Wunderman Thompson, and that they couldn’t be more delighted to have Male leading their team.

Wunderman Thompson has been created by the merger of J. Walter Thompson and Wunderman. J. Walter Thompson was led in APAC by John Gutteridge, who will now take up a new role leading the newly formed group as Chief Executive Officer of Wunderman Thompson in the AUNZ region. Caspar Schlickum, who was running Wunderman as Chief Executive Officer of APAC, will not be continuing with the company.

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

WPP named in Bloomberg’s 2019 gender-equality index

The gender-equality index identifies companies committed to advancing women in the workplace

exchange4media Staff 19 hours ago

WPP

WPP has been named an industry leader in the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI) which recognises companies committed to transparency in gender reporting and advancing women’s equality.

Bloomberg’s 2019 index includes 230 firms from 10 sectors, headquartered across 36 countries and regions. Assessing information against a globally-established threshold, the GEI looks at how companies promote gender equality across four separate areas: company statistics, policies, community engagement and products and services.

WPP is the only company among its peers to be included in the list.

Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said, “As we continue to build a culture at WPP that is inclusive, collaborative and diverse in our talent and in the work we create, we’re proud to be recognised in the Gender-Equality Index as a leader in our industry.”

Peter T. Grauer, Chairman of Bloomberg and Founding Chairman of the US 30% Club, said, “WPP’s GEI inclusion is a strong indicator to its employees, investors and industry peers alike that it is leading by example to advance ongoing efforts for a truly inclusive workplace.”

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Uniqlo appoints India Marketing Head ahead of 2019 launch

The Japanese fashion retailer has chosen Shantanu, ex-Senior Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble, Greater China, to head its India marketing operations

Venkata Susmita Biswas 22 hours ago

Uniqlo

Ahead of Uniqlo’s India launch in the last quarter of 2019, the Japanese fashion retailer has appointed a marketing officer for its India operations-- Shantanu. 

Shantanu, an alumni of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, has 14 years of diversified leadership experience in the FMCG space in Asia. Prior to joining Uniqlo, Shantanu was the Senior Brand Manager, Haircare, Procter & Gamble, Greater China. He joined P&G first in India in 2008 as Assistant Brand Manager for Tide. 

Shantanu announced his move to Uniqlo by updating his professional profile on LinkedIn. He has taken up the role of Marketing Director for Uniqlo India.

Uniqlo has around 2,000 stores in 19 markets worldwide, including the United States, the UK, France, Germany, China and Canada. The first Uniqlo story in India will be located in Delhi.  
 

Susmita is a digital marketing reporter at exchange4media. She writes on latest developments in the ever-changing world of digital media and in-depth stories on all things advertising.

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

The Editors Guild of India has announced its list of new members

With an aim to strengthen the organisation, editorial leaders from across the news and media sector to are invited to apply

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago

EditorsGuildofIndia

The Editor's Guild of India has announced its list of new members. Other members include Mukund Padmanabhan and Sonia Singh. With an aim to strengthen the organisation and introduce new members, the Editors Guild of India has also invited editorial leaders from across the news and media sector to apply. Applications will be reviewed by a three-member credentials committee headed by TN Ninan and will be approved by the Executive Committee.

Application details can be found on their website: https://editorsguild.in/

Here is the full list of new members:

Alok Joshi

Amit Baruah

Brajesh Kumar Singh

DK Singh

Harvir Panwar

Jyoti Malhotra

Kumkum Chadha

Maneesh Chhibber

Meera Devi

Nandagopal Rajan

P Vaidhyanathan Iyer

Raghavan Srinivasan

Rakesh Sinha

Rama Lakshmi

Ruben Banerjee

Sanjay Pugalia

Shailesh Dobhal

Shaji Vikraman

Shalini Langer

Shyamal Majumdar

Smita Prakash

Sugata Srinivasaraju

Vandita Mishra

YP Rajesh

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Rohitash Srivastava appointed as the Planning Head of Ogilvy North

Srivastava was previously the National Head of Planning at Orchard Advertising, based in Bangalore. 

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago

Rohitash ogilvy

Ogilvy Gurugram has appointed Rohitash Srivastava as the head of its planning unit. Srivastava was previously the National Head of Planning at Orchard Advertising, based in Bangalore. 

An alumnus of SRCC and MICA, Srivastava has explored the domain of strategy from various perspectives. As a communication planner in agencies like DDB, McCann and Leo Burnett; as a strategy consultant when he co-founded Water Consulting (now Interbrand India); and as an experience strategist when he led the function for SapientNitro in India.

Srivastava believes in solutions that are powered by creativity and his portfolio also reflects this belief and diversity of experience - with work for brands like Amazon, Saffola, Thumbs Up, Limca; digital acts for British Airways, Nestle, Grants Whisky and even digital transformation programs for clients like the Taj Group of Hotels. His work has been awarded multiple times at the Effies (including the Grand Effie), APAC Effies, WARC and features in the Facebook India case study playbook.

Kapil Arora, President, Ogilvy North said, “Getting a multi-faceted planning lead like Rohitash on board, is in line with the One-Ogilvy approach to building brands, with strategic planning stringing together our channel-agnostic thinking and solutions. I’m looking forward to working with Rohitash in our Gurugram office, as he brings in an infectious energy, an envious track record and our shared passion for the creative product, as a means to deliver on client business objectives.”

Commenting on the appointment, Prem Narayan, Ogilvy India Planning Lead said, “Clients today are looking for seamless end to end marketing solutions. An ideal strategic planner needs to have core brand building skills to craft big culture shaping brand ideas and have a sharp understanding of new media, data and technology to create great brand experiences. In Rohitash, we have someone who straddles both brilliantly. What I found refreshing in him is his ability to 'simplify', in a marketing world that is getting rather complicated. Above all, he is a happy person who we feel will build a happy culture. That is very important for us at Ogilvy.”

On his part, Srivastava sees his move to Ogilvy as an opportunity to further unleash the potential of its impressive portfolio of clients. He says, “Even before I started a conversation with Ogilvy, I was aware that they have a huge leverage with clients, a great culture and some of the best talent in the country. What I wasn't prepared for, was to meet a bunch of people who were unanimously obsessed about just one thing - their product. I am excited to be part of this team and my ambition for Ogilvy North is to build a cutting edge strategy team that further sharpens the work and leads to client solutions that help build business.”

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

P V Vijaykumar, VP, Initiative Mumbai no more

He had two successful innings with Initiative, from 1995 to 1997 and again from 2003

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago

PV

P V Vijaykumar, VP, Initiative Mumbai passed away on Tuesday. PV, as he was fondly called, was battling illness for the last one year. 

He had two successful innings with Initiative, from 1995 to 1997 and then again from 2003 onwards. 

He started off heading the media operations for Bajaj Auto in Mumbai, then moved to Chennai to head the Chennai operations. 

More recently, he was managing Union Bank, Dr. Batra and BPCL accounts. 

PV’s commitment and dedication made him popular with both clients and his team members alike. Jovial and fun loving, he will be remembered for his warmth and his characteristic sense of humor. 

A statement by his company said: “We have lost a colleague, a dear friend and a true fighter. Our heart goes out to his wife and young daughter and we hope that they will find the strength to deal with this irreparable loss. Let’s keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Former Lowe Lintas Chairman and CCO Arun Iyer launches new VC, Spring Marketing Capital

The VC co-founded by Iyer, Raja Ganapathy ex-Chief of Marketing of Sequoia India and former DDB Mudra Group CEO Vineet Gupta, will provide capital and consultancy service to technology start-ups

exchange4media Staff 2 days ago

ArunIyer

Former Lowe Lintas Chairman and CCO, Arun Iyer has teamed up with Raja Ganapathy, former Chief of Marketing of Sequoia India and former DDB Mudra Group CEO Vineet Gupta to launch their own Venture Capital, Spring Marketing Capital, according to news reports.

This development adds to the growing trend of top executives branching out to start their own ventures. According to reports, the VC will provide capital and consultancy services in the areas of marketing and branding to new technology start-ups. It is believed that Spring Marketing Capital already has several assignments including from Healthkart and BYJUs.

The fund has a target corpus of $30 million, which it plans to invest across five to seven startups every year under ticket sizes ranging from $1-2 million. Ganapathy's team is believed to have already had the backing of several investors and is at the advanced stage of finalising LLPs. The VC is expected to close $20 million by June 2019.

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Manu Sawhney appointed as new CEO of the International Cricket Council

Sawney will replace the incumbent David Richardson, who will be stepping down after the World Cup in July

exchange4media Staff 2 days ago

ManuSawhney

Manu Sawhney has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of the International Cricket Council. Sawney will replace the incumbent David Richardson, who will be stepping down after the World Cup, according to reports.

According to a statement by the ICC, Sawhney, the former CEO of Singapore Sports Hub and Managing Director of ESPN Star Sports, will join the organisation next month before formally stepping into Richardson's role in July.

Sawney's appointment was confirmed following a global search and appointment process headed by ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar and the Nominations Committee.

In his 17 years with ESPN Star Sports as Managing Director, Sawhney was responsible for driving the business and growing revenue. In addition to this, he was instrumental in the global broadcast partnership deal with the ICC that ran from 2007-2015. He is also a non-executive director and member of the Audit Committee of Manchester United Ltd.

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Genesis Burson-Marsteller rebrands as Genesis BCW

The rebranding follows the February 2018 merger of Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe to form BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe)

exchange4media Staff 2 days ago

GenesisBCW

Genesis Burson-Marsteller in India has announced its formal rebranding as Genesis BCW, effective immediately. The rebranding follows the February 2018 merger of Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe to form BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe), one of the world’s largest, full-service, global communications agencies.

“We are excited to take on the BCW brand proposition as part of our new identity,” said Prema Sagar, Chief Executive Officer & Founder, Genesis BCW. “The respect, credibility, and leadership that brand Genesis has established in India will only grow further with the vision, energy and fresh offerings of BCW. We are incredibly excited about this next chapter.”

Founded in 1992 by Sagar, the 26-year journey of Genesis mirrors that of the public relations industry in India and tells a story of constantly pushing boundaries. Genesis has given the Indian industry some of its firsts: It was the first to develop proprietary tools for reputation management, the first to create and put into practice service quality measurements, the first to use technology and, more recently, the first to develop the one-of-its-kind Live! Newsroom. In 2005, Genesis PR became part of the Burson-Marsteller global network under the WPP Group and was rebranded Genesis Burson-Marsteller.

Genesis BCW will continue to be led by Sagar along with newly appointed Managing Director Deepshikha Dharmaraj. Together with the other members of the India Management Team, they will ensure continuity and excellence in the firm’s engagements with its clients, people, industry and community.

“In India, the Genesis brand is synonymous with PR excellence and as an employer of choice for up and coming communicators. The brand will continue to thrive and resonate in our industry as Genesis BCW,” said Matt Stafford, President, Asia-Pacific, BCW, to whom Sagar reports. “Our India team is on a roll. The end of year financial results for 2018 have just been finalized and Genesis BCW achieved its highest annual revenue growth in its 26 years of existence.”

BCW combines Cohn & Wolfe’s expertise in digitally-driven, creative content and integrated communications – across the consumer, healthcare and technology sectors – with Burson-Marsteller’s strength in public affairs, corporate and crisis management, technology and research.

A separate announcement on the formal rebranding of Cohn & Wolfe Six Degrees as Six Degrees BCW will be made soon.

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.