Battlegrounds Mobile India launches today

After an early access period, the game is now available for download on Google Play

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Jul 2, 2021 12:34 PM  | 2 min read
battlegrounds mobile india

KRAFTON, the South Korean video game developer, today launched BATTLEGROUNDS MOBILE INDIA developed exclusively for gaming enthusiasts and fans in India. After an Early Access period, BATTLEGROUNDS MOBILE INDIA is now available for download as a free-to-play multiplayer game on Google Play with an amazing array of maps, game modes, and exciting launch week challenges. 

Set in a virtual world, BATTLEGROUNDS MOBILE INDIA is a new battle royale game where multiple players employ strategies to battle it out and be the last man standing on the battleground. BATTLEGROUNDS MOBILE INDIA went live for pre-registrations on Google Play on 18th May 2021 and had secured 40 million pre-registrations as of today.

The Early Access for the game started on 17th June 2021 and saw incredible support from the community with 20 million players trying out the game and providing valuable feedback.

Sharing his views on the official launch of BATTLEGROUNDS MOBILE INDIA, CH Kim, CEO of Krafton, Inc. said, “We at KRAFTON are delighted to introduce BATTLEGROUNDS MOBILE INDIA for our fans in India today. Designed exclusively for our Indian fans & gamers, BATTLEGROUNDS MOBILE INDIA will provide a superlative gaming experience. This is just the beginning of a series of new content, collaborations and esports tournaments coming your way, and we will strive to ensure that our fans and community in India can fully enjoy the battlegrounds experiences.”

That’s not all, as more players join the launch events in game, fans will be rewarded with a free permanent purple outfit and various exciting rewards like outfits, weapon skins, etc. On the special milestone of reaching 1M, 5M and 10M downloads exclusive gifts have been sent to players’ event center including the Constable Set, including everyone who downloads the game. The key events for the Launch Week include Friends For Life, Journey to the TOP and various exchange events, where multiple achievements reward players with different gifts.

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Google may post a drop in ad revenue in Q4 results

The total revenue is expected to show a slight increase

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 2, 2023 7:21 PM   |   1 min read


Google is expected to post a drop in advertising revenue as it posts its Q4 results early Friday morning, say media reports. This will the first drop in ad revenue since Covid struck in 2019 giving a huge push to the digital medium.

Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc., according to analysts, is expected to post $60.4 billion in advertising revenue for the fourth quarter, a decrease of 1.3% from the same period in 2021.

Google’s video platform YouTube is also expected to record a second straight quarter of declining revenue. Alphabet is expected to report $76.2 billion of revenue overall during the fourth quarter, a slight increase from the same period in 2021.

Alphabet said last month it would lay off about 12,000 workers, or 6% of its workforce, in response to a weakening economy. Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said during a companywide meeting that top executives would take cuts to their bonuses.


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Byju's lays off another more than 1000 employees

Employees from engineering, sales, logistics, marketing and communications teams have been asked to leave, say media reports

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 2, 2023 6:58 PM   |   1 min read


Edtech firm Byju's has reportedly laid off another more than 1,000 employees. The move is being seen as an attempt to cut down costs amid slow revenue growth and funding winter.

According to one of the media reports, the company is laying off employees from the engineering, sales, logistics, marketing and communications teams.

One of the reports claimed that while 300 employees from the engineering team have been sacked, the strength of the logistics team has been brought down to 50 per cent.

The company had undertaken a round of lay off in October last year when it let go of 5 per cent of its total employees, amounting to 2,500 employees out of 50,000 strong workforce. At that time founder Byju Raveendran had justified the layoffs saying it was a critical step for the company to become profitable.


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Meta Q4 revenue falls 4%

As per reports, Meta's annual sales have dropped for the first time since 2012 but beats forecast

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 2, 2023 11:12 AM   |   1 min read


Meta has reported a revenue of $32,165 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2022, a fall of 4% from the previous fiscal. The company's net income for the quarter stands at $4,652 million.

As per media reports, Meta's annual sales have dropped for the first time since 2012 but it was not as severe as expected. As per the financial report, the marketing and sales figure stood at $4,574 million for the quarter.

Sharing first-quarter predictions, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “We expect first quarter 2023 total revenue to be in the range of $26-28.5 billion.”

"Our community continues to grow and I'm pleased with the strong engagement across our apps. Facebook just reached the milestone of 2 billion daily actives," said Zuckerberg. "The progress we're making on our AI discovery engine and Reels are major drivers of this. Beyond this, our management theme for 2023 is the 'Year of Efficiency' and we're focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organization."

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Dentsu-e4m Digital Advertising Report 2023 to be unveiled today

Industry leaders to discuss opportunities and future of digital domain under the theme ‘Creating Value In The Web3 Digital Economy’

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 2, 2023 8:49 AM   |   3 min read


The rapid data penetration coupled with various technological advancements has revolutionised the digital landscape, helping companies to become more sustainable and resilient. As the domain continues to evolve, it creates ample opportunities to tap into the uncharted arena of digital space in newer ways. To highlight the current trends in digital sector, Dentsu and the exchange4media group will jointly unveil the 7th edition of the dentsu-e4m Digital Advertising Report 2023 today, February 2, in Mumbai. The event is co-powered by Criteo, Bobble AI is the Co-gold partner while Lemma is the lanyard partner.

Dentsu, one of the leading global media conglomerates in India, specialises in media, digital and creative offerings. After the unveiling of the report, industry leaders will come together to discuss the opportunities and future of digital under the Theme ‘Creating Value In The Web3 Digital Economy’.

The event will kickstart with a welcome address by Dr Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld and Founder, exchange4media, and Nawal Ahuja, Co-Founder, exchange4media, after which the much-awaited dentsu-e4m Digital Advertising Report 2023 will be unveiled. Divya Karani, Media Chief Executive Officer, dentsu South Asia; Vinod Thadani, Chief Digital Growth Officer, dentsu Media & CEO iProspect; Abheek Biswas, AVP Consumer Insights, Dentsu Creative India, will share key insights of the report and highlight the significant trends of 2022-23 and real time facts and figures pertaining to the entire digital domain.

The conference has a stellar line-up of insightful sessions by industry heads throughout the day. Rob Gilby, CEO, dentsu APAC, will deliver a keynote address on the topic- ‘Creating value in the Web3 digital Economy’. Following this will be the first panel discussion on the topic ‘India digital stack for technology and creativity in the new digital economy’. The panellists are Gagan Singla, MD, blinkX by JM Financial, Prasad Pimple, Executive Vice President & Head of Digital Business Unit, Kotak Life, Medhavi Singh, Head of Enterprise - India, Criteo, Abhijit Shah, Head Marketing, Digital & Customer Experience, ICICI Prudential AMC. The session will be moderated by Rashmi Sethi, Chief Strategy Officer, Fractal Ink, a Merkle Company.

The next panel discussion will be on the topic ‘Customer expectations in new digital economy’ where panellists including Amit Deshmukh, Business Head, NMIMS Global, Sachin Shukla, Head, Brand and Digital Media, ICICI Bank, Shoorveer Shekhawat, Head of Marketing, Video Banking & TFx Initiatives, AU Small Finance Bank will throw light on the expectations of the Web3 consumer and the ways brands can meet them to create value in the new digital economy. The panel will be moderated by Anita Kotwani, CEO, Carat India.

A keynote address will be delivered by Gulbahar Taurani, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, ISC, Philips Domestic Appliances, on the topic ‘Unlocking the potential of Web3 decentralized economy for consumer marketing and commerce’. The day-long conference will conclude with the last panel discussion on the topic ‘Experiential creativity for the modern consumer’ where panellists including Manasi Narasimhan, VP and Head, Marketing & Communications, South Asia, Mastercard, Adrian Terron, Head of Corporate Brand and Marketing Strategy, Tata Group, Sunil Nat, Head - Ecommerce & Digital Marketing, Galderma. The session will be moderated by Heeru Dingra, Chief Business Officer, DENTSU CREATIVE India.


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AI, TDS, Devices & Data: Why gaming industry is loving Budget 2023

Even though the Budget didn’t specifically bring out the matters of concern related to the gaming and esports sector, there were some decisions which are sure to impact the burgeoning industry

By Shantanu David | Feb 2, 2023 8:27 AM   |   6 min read


The Narendra Modi government’s last full Budget before the 2024 general elections tried to cater to as many segments of the population as possible, and even though it didn’t specifically bring out the matters of concern related to AVGC sector, specifically the gaming and esports segments, there were some decisions which are sure to impact the burgeoning industry.

Suhas Khullar, CFO, Loco, believes the Union Budget for 2023–2024 is “commendable for setting the bold vision of making India a tech superpower. Two initiatives focusing on capability building for the tech ecosystem stand out. First, the intention to set up 100 labs for developing applications using 5G services has the potential to open up a wide range of prospects for the ecosystem, including esports. Second, setting up of centers of excellence for AI under the ‘Make AI in India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’ vision, along with the introduction of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0, will help young people in developing the necessary expertise in coding, artificial intelligence and other technologies.”

Skill Tree

These enhanced digital skills will now support the sector's capacity to grow into a significant employer. Manvendra Shukul, CEO, Lakshya Digital was also heartened to see the Finance Minister’s continued focus on the most crucial building block for every sector - skilling India.

“A wide range of sectors, including the gaming industry, are facing a shortfall of skilled workers. India has a huge opportunity to be a leader in the global gaming market. However, for us to compete with entrenched players like China, it is essential to develop a strong pipeline of skilled workforce,” he said, adding, “We look forward to an effective implementation of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 that will allow our youth to upskill and be job-ready for the global gaming industry.”

Gaurav Kapoor, Chief Finance Officer, Baazi Games, also welcomes the “Amrit Kaal” Union Budget 2023 with an optimistic perspective.

The new income tax regime will result in stimulating local demand and consumption in the economy. The rise of India’s position from an importer to an exporter of mobile phones in India augurs well for the online gaming sector. Moreover, the announcement of setting up 100 labs for developing 5G services apps for smart classrooms, healthcare, and others will open up a new range of opportunities and potential employment. Simplifying the KYC system process will further help in realizing ‘Digital India’ and will enable a seamless experience for consumers. Lastly, the ‘Make in India’ vision will further get a boost with a focus on ‘Make AI in India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’, and online gaming companies can develop new AI-based advancements that can provide a first-of-its-kind experience to users.

Sunil Yadav - CEO, PlayerzPot, says the Budget announced a welcome move in defining the future of the online gaming industry by removing the minimum threshold of Rs. 10,000 for TDS to clarify taxability. “The action will result in transparency, a clear legal identity, and standardized taxation for online gaming. We hope that the government will unquestionably support the sector's growth and development in the right direction, which will benefit the economy and its stakeholders,” he says.

Rohit N Jagasia, Founder and CEO of Revenant Esports, agreed that the announcement of removing minimum threshold of Rs 10,000 for TDS on online gaming and providing clarity on taxability is a big step forward, adding, “However most esports games, like ours, don't have any money withdrawing system so these are applicable for the online gaming sectors which are into real money gaming.”

Mobile Market

Rishabh Bhansali, Co-Founder of FanClash, says the enormous upsurge in mobile phone production has been the impetus for the boom of the esports industry in India. “Pocket-friendly smartphones have taken gaming and fantasy esports to every corner of the country and a further decrease in its prices, as the government proposes to reduce customs duty on import of certain inputs for mobile phone manufacturing, will boost the sector's growth like never before,” he says.

Indeed, the expansion of India's gaming business mirrors and contributes to the growth of the mobile phone industry. The number of mobile gamers in India is projected to increase to 650 million by 2025, according to the most recent report from the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

Animesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, 8bit Creative, notes that the previous seven to eight years have been instrumental to the relationship between mobiles and gaming in India, with numerous mobile gaming titles being released and gaining popularity among the Indian gaming community.

“Developer dedication to expanding mobile gaming in India and the advent of different employment opportunities through mobile gaming have all contributed to an increase in the number of Indians adopting mobile gaming. This has also contributed to the growth of the mobile device sector, as professional gamers frequently seek to upgrade their devices as they progress in their career. Even casual gamers seek better devices in their gaming journey,” he says.

This interdependence of the industries is also reflected in the commitment of the mobile device companies towards strengthening their presence in the gaming community through dedicated efforts and investments. From launching gaming-specific devices such as One Plus Nord, ASUS ROG gaming phones, etc., to hosting multiple events and tournaments for the community, to working with gamers to build a community of mobile gamers, etc., mobile device giants are also investing heavily in the gaming industry in India.

Rohit Agarwal, Founder and Director, Alpha Zegus, points out that the increase in smartphone production in our country will bring down smartphone costs drastically - which will be a big win for the gaming industry. “More advanced smartphone tech will be available at accessible pricing, which means gaming will eventually no longer be restricted by hardware capabilities.”

Experts say that Indian gaming has the potential to provide a significant boost to the electronics industry as a whole, including consoles, PCs, VR gadgets, mobile devices, wearables, IT accessories, and so on. 

Lokesh Suji, Director, eSports Federation of India and Vice President of the Asian eSports Federation (AESF), concludes, “With the numbers of devices as well as gamers further upscaling and 5G acting as a catalyst that fuels the industry's growth, we are going to witness monumental growth within the esports sector in the coming years. As we are still awaiting clarity on the taxability for esports, we are hopeful that the decisions will be in favour of the community and impact it positively.”



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Connected TVs take centre stage as HD falls behind

Native Content: The shift towards CTV is indicative of a broader trend towards digital-native content

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 31, 2023 4:46 PM   |   7 min read


The digital revolution in the country is driving a significant change in content consumption patterns. The popularity of streaming services and on-demand content has led to a decline in interest for traditional High-Definition (HD) channels. In its place, Connected Television (CTV) has emerged as the new norm for television viewing, particularly in the realm of sports.

The shift towards CTV is indicative of a broader trend towards digital-native content. The convenience and flexibility offered by this technology has made it a preferred choice among audiences, leading to its rapid adoption. With the continued growth of CTV, it is clear that the way people consume and engage with television content is undergoing a significant transformation.

As India continues its transition towards digital-native content, the switch from High-Definition (HD) to Connected Television (CTV) is projected to accelerate in the coming year. With the launch of JioCinema's offering of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for free on CTV, the trend towards this technology is expected to rise.

HD TV, once considered a symbol of prosperity, is witnessing a decline in subscription numbers in recent years, while CTV viewership continues to grow. A recent report by Kantar-GroupM states that the number of connected TVs reached 22 million in the last year, and is projected to reach 30 million this year. Although these figures are based on household numbers, CTV is known to be a co-viewing experience, with an estimated 80-90 million individuals expected to watch content on CTVs. According to a recent Google data, in May 2022 alone, over 60 million people in India streamed YouTube on their TVs, and in 30% of instances, they watched together with other people. The availability of a popular property like IPL for free on CTV is likely to further increase its popularity among viewers.

The trend towards Connected Television (CTV) in India is particularly evident in the case of cricket tournaments. The number of households tuning in to watch cricket on High-Definition (HD) channels has seen a significant decrease in recent years. In 2022, 4.3 mn indian urban households watched IPL’22 ,whereas only 3.6 mn households watched ICC T20 World Cup’22 on HD TV and 1.5 million households in mega cities viewed the tournament on HD channels.

The change in viewership can be attributed to the growing accessibility of IPL content on CTV platforms. This shift is expected to accelerate with the upcoming availability of IPL on CTV platforms for free streaming, as opposed to the traditional linear TV where viewers must pay to access the content. The convenience and affordability of CTV is driving its widespread adoption among audiences and represents a major transformation in the way sports content is consumed.

The rise of Connected Television (CTV) as a platform for sports viewing is a result of its superior features and user experience. With the ability to stream live matches and access a diverse range of on-demand content, an increasing number of people are opting for CTV as their preferred method for watching sports.

The engaging nature of CTV makes it an ideal platform for high-intensity sports viewing, such as the Indian Premier League (IPL). The upcoming season of IPL is expected to follow this trend, as more viewers turn towards CTV for their sports consumption needs. The combination of live streaming capabilities and a wide variety of on-demand content sets CTV apart from traditional television and makes it a leading choice for sports fans.

Overall, the rise of streaming services and the advancement of technology have led to a shift in the way people consume and view media, making HD TVs less relevant. Additionally, the growth of broadband connections in India has played a significant role in this trend. As of 2022, the number of broadband connections in India has risen to 32 million, making it easier for people to access streaming content on their CTVs. With access to high speed internet on their phones, a lot of consumers are also seen streaming content on CTV through their mobile hotspots.

Krishnarao Buddha, Sr. Category Head - Marketing at Parle Products Pvt. Ltd said that the pandemic has affected the pattern of content consumption by audiences all across the world. Staying at home, online streaming of television, movies, and videos became the key source of knowledge, entertainment, and getaway. The ability to see content on any device, at any time, became nearly compulsive for consumers, speeding viewers' transition from linear TV to connected TV.

“The market for connected TVs (CTVs) is one of the fastest growing in India right now. The rise in popularity of these internet-enabled devices that are displacing the good old linear televisions throughout cities is mostly due to the low cost of smart televisions, introduction of 5G network, rising broadband penetration, and the accessibility of international content,” said Buddha.

He added that the number of connected televisions in India is expected to double in the next two years, from the current 20-22 million connected television homes (about 10% of TV homes). According to the 'Spotlight23' research by GroupM-owned marketing firm Wavemaker India, urban cities would see the most growth until 2025.

Samir Sethi, VP& Head of Brand Marketing was also optimistic about the growing numbers of CTV consumers. “Connected TV is on a growth path and I see this growing constantly. I see it growing on two accords--the prices of the connected TV devices are coming down drastically and it will become very affordable for people not only in the metro cities but even in smaller towns to switch to smart TV and the other reason is that the DTH players are introducing a lot of combo plans along with fibre internet which also give free access to live TV. These two aspects will be key drivers of growth of connected TV,”said Sethi.

The trend of "cord cutting" is gaining momentum globally, not just in India. The growth in popularity of connected TVs (CTVs) is due to the convenience, flexibility, and superior viewing experience that it offers. With the increasing affluence levels of CTV audiences, it has become a highly sought-after cohort for advertisers looking to reach consumers with a high spending potential. The shift from traditional linear televisions to connected TVs is happening across the world, as viewers prioritize the benefits that come with CTVs.

Quoting from the Changing Landscape of Indian Television- GroupM Finecast and Kantar survey, Bhairav Shanth, Co-Founder- ITW Universe said that although it is still possible that more affluent viewers are on linear TV, but they form a much smaller proportion of the total linear TV viewership and on the flip side, 2 in 3 affluent households prefer CTV. The way that ads can be targeted on CTV (as opposed to the same ad across all linear TV viewers) means that it will be more efficient and impactful for those looking to reach out to affluent viewers to advertise digitally.

“Recent research has suggested after conducting a survey amongst NCCS A and B residents of 16 cities to understand their preferences.It showed that the Household Income for CTV Viewers was 1.2 times higher than those that watched only Linear TV. Moreover CTV viewers are 2x times more likely to own smartphones that cost more than 40K. The more important point is that most of the respondents in the study around 78% said they intend to switch to CTV in the near future and every 2 in 3 preferred CTV as the primary mode to access TV,”added Shanth. 

This year’s IPL may prove to be a game-changer in the way people consume content on their large screens. Especially, sports. With high-quality streaming and the biggest variety of language options available, the CTV sports watching experience is bound to become a massive phenomenon this summer.



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Meta’s AR Playbook to help brands connect with customers

Marketing Initiative: Over 81% of Indian consumers believe that AR can help bridge the gap between online and offline

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 31, 2023 1:59 PM   |   2 min read


The digital advertising landscape continues to undergo a transformation especially as technology becomes more and more accessible to consumers. With growing data penetration, Augmented Reality (AR), with its immersive and engaging nature, has emerged as an innovative way for brands to connect with their audience. On Meta apps, AR usage has surged considerably with a staggering 750+ million users opting for Meta Spark AR across Meta technologies globally, every month.

At a time when consumers are redefining their digital experience by using AR to connect with brands, Meta has unveiled its AR Playbook that provides deep insights to advertisers about AR adoption on Meta. This gives advertisers the much-needed push and helps them plan their own AR campaigns and drive engagement. Meta’s AR Playbook aims to help advertisers gain insights into AR adoption on Meta, get a brief understanding of how some of the best AR campaigns have delivered great results to brands and plan their own AR campaigns with greater efficiency, and explore the AR ecosystem.

Reels are the best medium by which brands can directly connect and engage with customers. Over 40% of reels that have been created globally use AR effects to create a long-lasting impact in the minds of the viewers. As per recent studies, advertisers believe that AR can be widely used in their marketing strategies with about 75% of businesses planning to use AR/VR by 2023 for better brand engagement. Consumers are more receptive towards AR as a way to engage with brands with over 81% of Indian consumers believing that AR can help bridge the gap between online and offline.

AR is fundamentally shifting the way advertisers approach consumers. Recently, Meta rolled out Instagram AR ads to help advertisers reach their target audience and foster brand engagement. With this, advertisers will now be able to leverage Facebook & Instagram to promote their AR effects and reach the right audiences at the right time to drive the business.

Download the AR playbook now:

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