Can mobile advertising reach the Rs 430-cr mark in 2014?

Every year-end survey has pegged mobile ad spends to outgrow all other media through 2014 and beyond. exchange4media speaks to some advertisers to know what the potential of this medium actually is

e4m by Abhinna Shreshtha
Published: Feb 5, 2014 7:55 AM  | 5 min read
Can mobile advertising reach the Rs 430-cr mark in 2014?

According to Gartner, global mobile ad spend is forecast to reach $18 billion in 2014, up from the estimated $13.1 billion in 2013 – a 40 per cent YoY surge. A similar study by Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), in partnership with exchange4media, forecast the mobile ad market in India to reach Rs 430 crore by 2014, up from an estimated Rs 300 crore in 2013. Other studies have also been similarly optimistic. Though no one doubts that the mobile is the platform of the future, we thought of asking the people who actually plan advertising and marketing spends – the marketing heads of brands – what they think mobile advertising can achieve in 2014.

Samsung has always been a heavy spender on the mobile platform. Perhaps, being a technology company itself, it understands the medium better than others. Speaking about Samsung’s plans for mobile in 2014, Aman Malhotra, Head, Digital Marketing (Mobile Business), Samsung India Electronics said, “We expect our mobile ad spends to be about 20 per cent of our digital budget this year. This is almost a doubling over last year’s budget.” When asked what he felt about the predicted mobile ad spends for 2014 in India, Malhotra replied that it is quite possible to achieve that figure given the rate of adoption in the country.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Jaimit Doshi, SVP (Marketing), Kotak Securities, who also expects his mobile budget to be 20 per cent of the total digital budget. Though he would not be drawn into speculating about numbers, he said, “The mobile is without doubt the future. I can’t talk about figures (for ad spends), but it will be huge.”

Amit Tiwari, Director, Country Head (Media), Philips India also felt that in the future, mobile will be the medium to invest in. “2014 will be a crucial year because we will see new technologies getting embedded in the mobile. From 2014 onwards, this will be biggest and most engaging medium for people,” he added.

Proponents of the mobile single out the high accountability of the medium as a chief benefit as compared to other media. As Vinod Thadani, CEO, Madhouse put it, “The thing with mobile is that there are too many metrics. You can literally measure anything you want on the mobile.” However, some advertisers, though they agree on the potential of the medium, still feel there is a bit of work left to be done.

For example, Amit Ghatak, GM (Marketing), CavinKare thought that there is still room for improvement on the measurability aspect. “It’s a very upcoming and interesting platform. The benefit of the mobile is that it provides undisturbed viewership. As long as we (brands) can measure something, it is scalable. When more and more people start investing the medium, there will be more measurement tools that will come up, measurability will become more scientific and more generally acceptable and this will only lead to growth,” he opined.

In a similar vein, Sandeep Tarkas, President (Customer Strategy), Future Group and CEO (Future Media & T24) felt that the industry still needs to crack the medium. He referred to the learning process involved with traditional media such as TV and radio, commenting that brands would take some time to work out what best suits the mobile. However, he added, “Hopefully, we will see some movement on the mobile side this year. I do believe that it will be one of the most important platforms in the coming years.”

HDFC Life is another company that has strong investments in the digital medium. In fact, in an earlier interview with exchange4media, Sanjay Tripathy, Senior Executive VP (Marketing, Product & Direct Channels), HDFC Life had admitted that the insurance major is looking to become a digitally focussed organisation. When asked about his thoughts on mobile marketing in 2014, Tripathy commented that with internet users in India expected to reach 243 million in 2014, it represents a significant opportunity both from a branding and a direct response perspective. “As an organisation, we have already made considerable investments in fortifying our digital assets to cater to the surge in mobile traffic and will continue to invest in this direction. We are seeing a steady increase in mobile traffic with a 20 per cent increase in hits to the website QoQ,” he added.

So, does he think the figure of Rs 430 crore is achievable? Tripathy wouldn’t be drawn into conjecture. However, he pointed out that Internet in India took over a decade to move from 10 million to reach the 100-million mark, but only three years to add another 100 million. “As advertisers seek a metrics-driven alternative for television, mobile has emerged as the answer in the form of a second-screen for video advertising. ‘Narrow-casting’ presents the opportunity to relay targeted video advertising to the intended demographic,” he added.

So, it seems that even advertisers are very optimistic about the mobile medium in 2014, with two having outright admitted that they are increasing their mobile expenditure. Will the figure of Rs 430 crore be achievable? We will have to wait and see, but with the general sentiment in the industry right now, it just might be.

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US sues Google, new lawsuit aims to break up tech giant's ad unit

Google contended that the lawsuit by the US DoJ would reverse years of innovation and harm the broader ad sector

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 25, 2023 7:57 AM   |   1 min read

google

Big Tech major Google has been sued by the United States Department of Justice for the second time over anti-competitive practices. This is the US DoJ's second antitrust lawsuit against the tech giant.

Google has been accused of dominating the digital ad market, according to people privy to the matter. The lawsuit will aim to dismantle the tech giant's ad-tech department over its monopoly in the digital ad space.

Reports say that the case will be filed in the federal court before the end of the week.

DoJ chief Jonathan Kanter reportedly said in a press conference that the lawsuit aims to hold Google to account for its "longstanding monopolies in digital advertising technologies that content creators use to sell ads and advertisers use to buy ads."

Google retorted by saying that the lawsuit by DoJ " attempts to pick winners and losers in the highly competitive advertising technology sector."

The tech giant doubled down by stating that the lawsuit is an attempt to "rewrite history at the expense of publishers, advertisers and internet users."

Google also highlighted the ad businesses and practices of its competitors Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, TikTok, Comcast and Disney but the government chose not to go after them.

The tech company is also accused of antitrust practices in India where the Competition Commission of India has slapped heavy penalties against it for abusing its dominance in the Android ecosystem.

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JetSynthesys acquires majority stake in Fanory

Onboards former Twitter India Head Manish Maheshwari in leadership role

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 24, 2023 6:29 PM   |   3 min read

jet

Digital entertainment and technology company, JetSynthesys, has acquired majority stake in Fanory, a start-up that helps creators monetize on social media platforms. As part of this transaction, JetSynthesys has onboarded exTwitter India Head and Fanory’s co-founder, Manish Maheshwari, as President at the Corporate level, JetSynthesys. Shareholders of JetSynthesys include the family offices of Infosys CoFounder Kris Gopalakrishnan, Serum Institute's Adar Poonawalla, and cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, amongst others.

Co-founded by Maheshwari along with two of his former colleagues, Fanory enables creators to monetize their craft on their terms through their community of fans, thereby turning them into micro-entrepreneurs. The platform connects creators with their superfans through a personalized app, a model similar to how in the eCommerce space, Shopify helps small offline businesses set up personalized digital stores. Maheshwari will now focus on the global expansion of Fanory.

Regarding the transaction and new appointment, Rajan Navani, Founder and CEO, JetSynthesys, says, "Last year has seen high growth for us at JetSynthesys, and we are happy to begin 2023 with this transaction. We are looking forward to expanding our horizons in the digital entertainment space. The social media creators market has grown exponentially, and we see this continuing for the foreseeable future. Fanory's model is beneficial for creators. It compensates them for their hard work and creativity. With Manish by our side, we look forward to exploring this new avenue and entrenching ourselves deeper into the digital entertainment realm."

Fanory as a platform will work closely with the digital entertainment pillar of JetSynthesys.

Fanory will assist creators in locating their superfans, i.e., those who are both ready and willing to pay for exclusive opportunities to interact with their favorite artists. It will then enable creators to upsell premium experiences on a personalized app through a frictionless, coin-based payment mechanism.

Manish Maheshwari, Co-founder of Fanory and now President, Corporate Level, JetSynthesys, said, "Social media platforms prioritize follower acquisition and engagement so that they can sell adverts to brands. Direct monetization for creators is an afterthought. Fanory is different because its core and only focus is creator monetization. This deal will exponentially grow the possibilities for creators and their superfans as they now have access to the broader platform and ecosystem relationships of JetSynthesys."

Before joining Twitter, Maheshwari was CEO of Network18 Digital. He has previously held leadership positions at Intuit and McKinsey in San Francisco and New York respectively.

Manish's career has seen a sharp focus on social media, digital content, and technology platforms. In his previous position at Twitter, he oversaw its business in India and subsequently in new markets worldwide based out of Twitter's headquarters in San Francisco. He advocates for greater involvement of women to make social media and digital technology platforms more diverse and inclusive. Manish has previously served on the Governing Council of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), India's leading policy body for internet companies.

Manish is an MBA from the Wharton Business School.

 

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Netcore announces partnership with Truecaller

The collaboration is expected to save valuable developer hours for the company, apart from the overall improvement in user experience

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 24, 2023 5:16 PM   |   2 min read

netcore

SaaS company Netcore Cloud has been onboarded by Caller ID and Spam blocking service, Truecaller. Netcore Cloud’s Contextual Nudges & Walkthroughs are expected to largely enhance the app experience of users.

Netcore Cloud’s Contextual Nudges & Walkthroughs are the customized navigators that ensure your user is not lost in the mobile app. It offers positive reinforcement and direct/indirect suggestions toward the next step by the user. This enables the brand to guide the user to the most suitable experience at the right time without any delay. Truecaller serves a heterogenous global market and this collaboration will help improve their app’s user experience.

Ramesh Srinivasan, CEO - India Business, Netcore Cloud, “Our Contextual Nudge & Walkthroughs have been gaining immense popularity among brands as they look to provide hassle-free experience to customers in their buying journey. We are confident that Truecaller users will witness further value in their app experience as a result. Furthermore, our No-Code Product Experience platform will help them save valuable developer hours.”

Raj Mukherjee, Head of Global CRM, Truecaller, “We are excited to partner with Netcore Cloud to strengthen our customer engagement. Communication with consumers needs to happen at the right frequency, right time, with the right message, and in the right context. We believe our collaboration with Netcore Cloud will help us achieve this by providing customers a seamless in-app experience that will be easy and context-aware; we are expecting lift in usage and retention through this.”

Netcore's Contextual Nudges & Walkthroughs have been seeing growing popularity among leading brands in the last few years. Major brands including Wakefit.co, Gradeup, redBus and Mobile Premier League have been actively using this platform and benefiting from it.

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‘Creating a bridge among digital, TV and print is the real challenge’

At e4m-DNPA Future of Digital Media Conference, experts discussed the opportunities and challenges of digital publishing in India

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 24, 2023 4:42 PM   |   4 min read

dnpa panel

At the e4m-DNPA Future of Digital Media conference, leaders from different media houses came together to participate in a panel discussion on ‘digital publishing in India: Challenges & opportunities’.

Jaideep Karnik, Head of Content and Editor, Amar Ujala Web Services Private Limited; Prasad Sanyal, Chief Content Officer, HT Digital;  Sanghamitra Majumdar, Editor, ABP Live, English (Digital); and Nandagopal Rajan, Editor, New Media, Indian  Express, were on the panel. The session was chaired by Deepak Ajwani, Editor, ET Online.

Ajwani opened the discussion asking panellists about the difficulties and opportunities in the era of integrated newsrooms.  Karnik shared, “Currently at Amar Ujala, what we are doing is creating bridges. We have a newspaper legacy which is 75 years old and then we have digital, where we were early movers and have adapted to the new-age technology very fast. But then we always have to create bridges. All the experiments that have happened across the world suggest that you cannot just collapse all the walls and create an integrated newsroom. There is no miracle that can make it happen because the output demands of newspaper, television and the digital homepage and the entire website are very different. So, you will have to train journalists to get accustomed to these needs. It is going to be very challenging where you have to take the legacy of a 75-year-old news brand which is already into print, where there is appointment reading, along with digital where there is less of appointment reading and more of discovery and accidental finding of your content. Creating a bridge between these two is the real challenge.”

Rajan too shared how at the Indian Express, they sat together, and how they owned the responsibility to build an integrated newsroom and actually broke the wall.

Majumdar shared her experience saying, “It is very difficult to have a synergy between digital and TV because storytelling format is different and the information is coming in a different way, so we all have that challenge of making text stories out of videos. But it is helpful in the case of breaking news, live vlogs, videos, and audios.” 

Sanyal feels that a level of integration is necessary in digital operations in any case. He said, “News is format agnostic, it needs to be packaged right for different platforms’’.

On asking about the challenges chatgpt can give to the newsrooms, Sanyal replied, “How do you use AI is a challenge. To my mind, you should use chatgpt as a tool, much like you use a word editor or a spell check. You do have human intervention.”

Ajwani then asked if because of using chatgpt, all newsrooms may end up having the same content.

Said Rajan, “I think chatgpt is a huge opportunity, at least for traditional media houses like us. There can be a logo saying that there is absolutely no AI involved in the creation of this content and that can be a differentiator for us because there will be a lot of people who will have to fall back on AI to create the content. At least we, who have invested in people, will have this opportunity that our content will be different as it will created by humans. The way to use AI would be, where we are really struggling, to bring in personalisation. Content delivery is a huge challenge for us. How do you show the right content to the right person at the right location at the right time? I think that is where AI should really help us.”

Talking about the transitions in news mediums, Sanyal said, “Brevity has always been a key weapon in any journalist’s arsenal.”

Jaideep said that people choose the format of the news content according to their needs and interests, be it a 40- word story or a 300-word story. Same is in the case of audio and video news consumption, he mentioned.

 

 

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Microsoft to invest $10 billion in OpenAI

As per reports, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has termed the partnership with OpenAI a 'shared ambition'

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 24, 2023 8:29 AM   |   1 min read

openAI

Microsoft has decided to invest $10 billion in Open AI, which has been in news for its Artificial Intelligence tool ChatGPT, say media reports.

This will be Microsoft's third investment in OpenAI - after 2019 and 2021.

According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the partnership with OpenAI is a "shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research".

Nadella recently announced that ChatGPT will soon be coming to MS Azure’s Open AI Service.

Businesses will now be allowed to incorporate the ChatGPT into their programmes and applications as per their needs.

The announcement was viewed as Microsoft’s first step toward making ChatGPT available on its bouquet of platforms, including Bing.

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Proposed amendment to IT Rules 2021 will muzzle the fourth pillar of democracy: NBDA

The association has requested the government to withdraw the amendment

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 23, 2023 6:48 PM   |   3 min read

NBDA

The News Broadcasters and Digital Association (NBDA) has expressed concerns over a an amendment proposed by The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITY) to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules, 2021), saying it will result in muzzling the fourth pillar of democracy.

“The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITY) on January 17, 2023 issued revised Draft Amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules, 2021) seeking to amend Rule 3(1)(b)(v) to state “or is identified as fake or false by the fact check unit at the Press Information Bureau of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting or other agency authorised by the Central Government for fact checking or, in respect of any business of the Central Government, by its department in which such business is transacted under the rules of business made under clause (3) of article 77 of the Constitution”.

“News Broadcasters & Digital Association (NBDA) notes with concern that the proposed amendment stifles the freedom of speech and expression of the Media under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution,” the NBDA said in a release.

NBDA further stated, “It is observed that conferring such powers to Government without any checks and balances will result in muzzling the fourth pillar of democracy and also have a chilling effect on the media. This amendment gives the Government unbridled and unfettered right to interfere with the free speech rights of the media without any oversight.”

The Association maintained that this provision will directly affect the news media as the intermediaries “may be coerced or directed by PIB or any other agency to take down alleged ‘fake news’ content without following the principles of natural justice. This will also result in preventing any comment or criticism of the Government”.

NBDA is also deeply anxious about the words “in respect of any business of the Central Government, by its department in which such business is transacted under the rules of business made under clause (3) of article 77 of the Constitution”, which will result in suppression of any legitimate criticism or analysis of the Government and its policies by the news media.

NBDA pointed out that there are sufficient legislations, regulations and statutory bodies which regulate the news media. “Therefore, introducing the aforementioned amendment would lead to excessive regulation by the Government which is neither desirable nor acceptable. This kind of censorship is not envisaged by the Constitution,” it stressed.

The Association has requested the MEITY to withdraw the aforesaid amendment in view of the apprehensions it has expressed.

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Why advertising-supported OTT is the future

Guest Column: Tejinder Gill, General Manager of The Trade Desk in India, inquires if an OTT model that is fully or partly supported by advertising gives consumers what they want

By Tejinder Gill | Jan 24, 2023 8:30 AM   |   3 min read

The Trade Desk in India

This time next year, we may well be watching advertisements on Netflix. The company’s announcement to offer a lower-priced, advertising-supported tier on its streaming platform came as no surprise to me. In 2018, it was predicted that the platform would eventually offer advertisements. And the reason for this is quite simple: the market for new subscribers is too competitive, and the race for great content is too expensive. The market for premium content on over-the-top (OTT) streaming platforms is expanding rapidly and consumers now have lots of options. They can choose between watching advertisements to access free content or paying more to watch advertising-free content. While subscription-based OTT streaming grew significantly during the pandemic, it seems like advertising-supported OTT streaming is the way forward.

In a subscription-based model, the effort to attract more users by producing more high-quality, original content entails high costs, which are directly passed on to the users through a hike in the subscription fees. This can lead to an erosion of subscribers, as witnessed in several developed markets.

Meanwhile, consumers around the world are demanding a premium library of binge-worthy shows without a hefty price tag. As subscription fatigue kicks in and purse strings tighten, it begs the question – will a subscription-based monetisation model survive in the long run? Alternatively, will an OTT model that is fully or partly supported by advertising give consumers what they want, while providing OTT platforms with a new avenue for generating revenues to continue creating great content?

We are seeing in price-sensitive regions like Southeast Asia that OTT platforms that are faring better than others are the ones that offer consumers both subscription-based and advertising-supported options. A recent study estimates there are approximately 200 million Southeast Asian users who stream 9.7 billion hours of OTT content every month. Southeast Asian consumers also have a healthy appetite for advertising-supported OTT content, with almost 89 per cent of users willing to watch two or more advertisements in exchange for an hour of free content. India, too, is an advertising dominant market. Elara Capital estimates that almost 63 per cent of India’s $1.7 billion OTT market is accounted for by advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) revenues.

Both in India and abroad, Gen Z and young millennials (ages 16 through 34) are the top audience segments for OTT platforms. These young audiences are often heavy users, consuming several hours of content per day. They are also trendsetters, and their tastes dictate the top trending OTT genres and content. To build long-term brand loyalties, both OTT players and advertisers will need to design and deliver campaigns in ways that resonate with these cohorts.

Considering that India has a fragmented OTT market, marketers need to leverage data-driven media buying tools to give consumers fewer, yet more relevant ads. The fact that Netflix and Disney are moving towards an advertising-supported model is proof that OTT has established itself as a credible advertising channel. With more advertising-supported OTT models, we can expect a notable shift in advertising trends, where brands will prioritize advertising in premium content platforms over user-generated channels.

Meanwhile, the core value exchange of the internet, where users can watch free content in exchange for relevant advertising, will still remain. This is no different from how content has been monetized for decades.

As viewers binge-watch their favourite series on smart TVs or mobile devices, a large percentage of them will likely pay for it by watching advertising. The more relevant the advertising is to the viewer, the more valuable it is to the advertiser and the OTT platform, and the more it can be used to fund great new content. For brands, advertisers, and streaming service providers, the game will be all about how quickly they can pivot to where the eyeballs are moving.

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