From revolution to evolution - Digital monetisation & metrics: Ankoor Dasgupta, SHEROES

Guest Column: Dasgupta, VP - Brands, Marketing & Special Projects, SHEROES talks about the need to build trust & spend less time pushing products & experiences via content enabling engagement

Ankoor Dasgupta

A decade back did anyone of us think that Airbnb’s valuation will be greater than Hyatt and Starwood/Marriott combined? The competitors of Mercedes Benz were BMW & Lexus. Now it is Tesla, Uber and Google as well!  The competitors of Walmart were Target & Costco. Now it is Amazon and Alibaba as well. For Comcast, it was Time Warner & Verizon. Now it is Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon Vs Netflix & YouTube. 

Even threat of entry is now enough. Just few years back, if we recall public company executives talking Amazon on earnings calls where Amazon was rumoured to enter the pharmacy business and in two days the Walgreens stock from $76.95 to $70.87.

Now, before arriving at three key questions that we would want to ask ourselves as stakeholders of this ecosystem, let me set some context by rewinding a bit to 2007-2010. 

I was with Yahoo! that time. Yes, Yahoo with an exclamation mark and purple meant Yahoo. Also, I did a stint with a WPP group agency. Bombarded with learnings of jargons which at times was overwhelming.  That time, media planning was quite a manual task, mostly on excel sheets and if there was ever an advertising & media black book, maybe we would have lookup function on the front page. Booking inventory as Class I and Class II, segmented as premium and remnant inventory respectively, automated media buying, Real Time Bidding (RTB) and ad exchanges were that time what may be 3D printing is to now. And those days these 3 publishers were by-default a part of every media plan – MSN, Yahoo & Rediff (I can see head nodding). And of course, no questions on why they were. At that time, I was positive about one thing in this space – mobile being the screen of choice and evolving to be the most measurable medium for the sheer ability to target precise audiences to become a game changer.
Essentially CPM (cost per mille), CPC (cost per click), CPA (cost per acquisition) and CPS (cost per search or cost per sale) were the key models of planning the inventory where CPM essentially means ‘Brand’ and rest all ‘performance’.  I recall, my then boss and I were having a discussion over some media plan and he suddenly posed ‘Why don’t we just back-calculate and arrive at the desired outcome’. I was like – ‘back calculate?’ Lest did I know that even ‘back-calculate’ had become a jargon. Almost everything started to be back calculated! While I write this, I do ask you to ponder on the answer to the question – do clicks inherently shed the required light on brand building and impact? 

CPI (cost pet install) was a newer trend that time in ‘performance’ driven marketing. It was slightly easy then, combating the media planning game and probably the two technologies that were riding very high were the Ad Serving platforms and the pioneers of the new rock music in town - digital marketplace – Right Media Exchange and Double Click Ad Exchange which revolutionised the way we do digital business. Then a big bang of such marketplaces mushroomed globally. Daily manual optimisations at frequency capping level and creative level make it easier to manage way of Ad Server and Mediation business.

Imagine the Ad Exchange like a stock exchange. Only the largest brokerage houses actually plug into, say, the NYSE. In the Ad Exchange world, those are the large online publishers (sellers) — websites like portals, entertainment sites and news sites. Ad networks and agency holding companies that operated networks (buyers)—companies that connected web sites with advertisers. 

And then, the evolution to screen getting smaller, subscription-based model, Mobile-first approach, Programmatic media buying and selling. According to Criteo, users browse 286 per cent more products in apps than the mobile web. It should also be noted that according to eMarketer, app usage has increased to 86 per cent compared to 14 per cent of time spent on mobile web. 

Additionally, the diversity of the types of apps emerging is a tell-tale sign that apps are becoming just as versatile as the mobile web. One of the key learnings is – if the user has your mobile app installed, always utilise deep links to send them to the app as deep links allow brands to send users to the exact content they clicked on, say in the marketing email. Brands like GOAT, use a Deepview on Twitter to deep link their users out of the Twitter app into their GOAT app where users are logged in, leading to increase in revenue. Today, the scope itself within Earned, Owned & Paid Media has significantly widened. With the growing importance of video in business, quite recently, in later part of 2018, inbound marketing and sales platform HubSpot introduced a native video function to its platform, through integration with business video platform Vidyard. This is a good example of deeper collaborations with user experience at the code.

And just last week, Twitter announced that it would stop reporting Monthly Active Users (MAUs) and switching to a new metric called Monetizable Daily Active Users (mDAUs) so as to reflect its audience going forward. Monetizable DAU are the users who log in and access the platform via web or app on any given day that are able to show ads to. I would call it a big step towards ‘recognising the need’ in terms of focussed user engagement as a foothold.

All this made possible primarily by two things - faster adoption of technology and relooking at the way we look at data across industries and in India the transformational growth is visible. 

What is good – revealing of new markets due to faster innovations and the start-up wave. 

What is required — constant whiteboarding of competitive lines and looking at the Blue Ocean vs Read Ocean element.

What is ‘the Kaizen’ — Decision making which is a combination of empirical insights, instinct and structured look at a data point. Like someone well said ‘In God we trust, all others must bring in data’

Our intent - Targeting consumers better and what I always keep talking about - work towards creating the need and making experiences better. And the ‘better’ part will only be possible via ‘how’ we measure rather. 

Today, the Indian ad industry stands at INR 55,960 Crores (~USD 8.6Bn) and is estimated to grow with a CAGR of 11 per cent (2016 – 2020). Digital advertising, which currently stands at INR 8,202 Crores (~USD 1.3 Bn), could jump 2.3 times to INR 18,986 Crores (~USD 2.9) by 2020, increasing at a compound annual rate of 32 per cent. With social media taking the lion’s share of digital ad spends with 28 per cent of all digital media spends made on social media (INR 2,309 Cr), followed by Search at 26 per cent (INR 2,128 CR) and Display at 21 per cent (INR 1,714 CR). Spends on video stands at 19 per cent (INR 1,598 CR) while that on classifieds stand at 6 per cent (INR 452 CR). These numbers are exciting and proves that we are still in business, big time! However, with this excitement, comes deeper responsibility for us. Responsibility to ask the right questions, figure out the method to find the most appropriate answer with MVPs.

Now, coming to three burgeoning questions that we would want to ask ourselves, which I believe is also important for the digital ecosystem to keep at it consistently —

(a) How do we plan to close the chasm of attribution across channels in terms of ‘what it is to the market’ and ‘what it should be to the market’?

My sense – given the increasing fragmentation of platforms and the types of available media, marketers do face the ongoing challenge of being able to baste all the various touch points available to their customers together for a grand view of attribution. Should industries, product line wise look at a Special Task Force that belts out MVPs (Minimum Viable Product) with a focus on ‘Custom Attribution’ – creating your own attribution models using own set of applicable rules for assigning credit to touch points on the ‘conversion path’ and make it a part of one’s GTM strategy? It is not a very long journey if this is tested across all verticals as an Ecosystem Project with stakeholders from key vertical involved. Say BFSI, FMCG, TELECOM, AIRLINES, CONSUMER DURABLES, ECOMMERCE, AUTOMOBILES, MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT. The need for a Unified Metric System.

(b) Do we need to simply discover (not reinvent) a newer monetization model on Brand monies perspective in the scope of businesses?

My sense — As it is there are several revenue models, the CPM being in the vintage scheme of things. Cost-Per Engagement does not yet seem to be taken that seriously, however, I see this becoming a top trend by 2020 as a metric that is customised to businesses and becomes a non-negotiable as it takes a micro view of how many users engaged with a conversation or messaging. Why the need for CPE? Advertisements that value engagement often translate to valuable placements and interactions, which can emphasise brand lift in ways that CPC and CPM models don’t, and the essence of this deal is – Rich experiences with deeper resonance with users, for advertisers. For instance, all-inclusive view counts include ads seen by that fail to load, ads seen by bots, ads that are not viewable and ads that miss target audiences. These all account for wasted Advertising revenue which is an estimated waste of $16.4 Billion in 2017. (Refer Handley, Lucy. “Businesses Could Lose $16.4 Billion to Online Advertising Fraud in 2017: Report.” CNBC. CNBC, 13 Apr. 2017. Web. 06 Feb. 2018.) A Chartbeat study reviewed 100,000 webpages over a one-week period and determined the more time a user engaged with branded material, the more likely a user was to return. So, we need to devise a way to the method we use to find the answers to some of the existing areas of revenue models and how to better it equally from consumer and brand standpoint.

(c) Building a niche with Trust as the new currency 

My sense  — recognising Brand Safety as a concern. For example, we have SEBI for mutual funds, IRDA for insurance. Brands need to keep working consistently towards protecting brand reputation by avoiding inappropriate content, especially with augment in user generated content being monetized for digital ads. Hence, building Trust as the new currency for marketing is going to be imperative. This means that businesses may need to spend far more time building trust and lesser time just pushing products, services and experiences and higher value via content enabling engagement. Data Science and machine learning will keep playing a pivotal role in understanding user psychographics.
We at SHEROES have built and are strengthening such an empathy and trust led space. SHEROES is a women-only network where you can have conversations with your peers, get support and interact directly with experts via the website and the SHEROES App. A safe space that is shaping up the New Internet for Women. Users comprise a mix of working professionals, homemakers, freelancers and students where SHEROES has engineered a digital version of the friend-circle of our youth which is a completely non - judgemental, supportive space. The app also hosts a dedicated helpline where members can talk to our certified counsellors for in-depth support on crisis situations and general questions around their own journey towards empowerment by identifying the need and bridging the gaps between value and a narrative-rich, diverse opinionated audience of women. To bring in more depth and a User-First approach, SHEREOS has made two acquisitions – Babygogo in the parenting category and Maya in women’s health category. 

(The author is the Vice President -Brands, Marketing & Special Projects, SHEROES)

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of

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MyTeam11 launches campaign on 25 TV channels targeting T20 & World Cup Cricket season

Regional channels have also collaborated so as to maximise the reach and offer a familiar feel to the audience by offering them information in their native languages


Fantasy sports website MyTeam11, announced a collaboration with 25 television channels across the music, news, sports and knowledge sharing genres among others, in a massive campaign targeting the upcoming T20 and World Cup cricket season.

MyTeam11, who have popular former India cricketer Virender Sehwag as their brand ambassador, has a user base of around 10 million+ active users and offers fantasy cricket, fantasy football, fantasy volleyball, and fantasy kabaddi in two formats, namely the “Safe Play” & the “Regular Play,” being the only platform to offer multiple playing options to its users.

A significant number of regional channels have also been collaborated with under the aegis of this association, so as to maximise the reach and offer a familiar feel to the audience by offering them information in their native languages.

Commenting on the development, Vinit Godara, CEO and Co-founder, MyTeam11 said, “We are planning to become the leading brand in the world of fantasy sports, and the upcoming cricket season involving T20 leagues and the ICC cricket world cup seems to be the right fit for our plans. With this collaboration we want to reach out to people in every nook-and-corner of the country and encourage them to use their talent, skills & knowledge of the game to earn while enjoying their favourite sport.”

Prior to this collaboration, Myteam11 had signed some noteworthy deals with various sporting properties like the RuPay Pro Volleyball League, Karnataka Premier League and others as their ‘Official Fantasy Partner’.

These associations become pertinent in their attempt to outgrow as an organisation and target people who are not much familiar with the concept of fantasy sports. In the words of the company leaders, they are presently targeting on reaching the remote locations of India, spreading the word regarding fantasy sports.

MyTeam11 had also previously partnered with DSport, a premium sports channel of Discovery Communications, as ‘Official Broadcasting Partner’ for the India-Australia series and as ‘Broadcast Co-presenting Partners’ of the Bangladesh Premier League. They had also inked a deal with DD Sports for the India-New Zealand T20 series held recently.

Inshorts launches Digital Magazine

Digital Magazine aims at getting the customers to engage with the advertiser’s brand story allowing the readers to not just flip through the pages but to intrigue them enough to do so


Inshorts, the English news app, has launched its new advertisement format - the Digital Magazine. Launched in 2013, Inshorts has more than 200 advertisers who use the platform to reach out to relevant customers. By innovating Ad formats like Fact Cards, HTML Ads, Inshorts has aimed to create a unique and non-intrusive format of advertising. Keeping in line with Inshorts’ constant vision of coming up with more of such relevant and creative ad formats for new age brands who want to connect with netizens, Inshorts has released yet another engaging format of advertising coined ‘Digital Magazine’.

Strongly advocating that creative content in today’s time cannot be restricted to only text and allowing brands the opportunity to connect with their audience in different and distinct ways; Digital Magazines are designed to include GIFs, videos and polls to keep the audience interested. Similarly, since millennials like to share interesting and relatable content among their peers on social media, they can now share the entire magazine on their social media or via WhatsApp. 

Digital Magazine aims at getting the customers themselves to engage with the advertiser’s brand story allowing the readers to not just flip through the pages on the go but to intrigue them enough to do so. 

Speaking about the launch of Digital Magazine, Azhar Iqubal, Co-founder and CEO, Inshorts said, “Today native advertising is on the rise and brands today need new and creative ways to get their message to their millennial audience and get them to actually listen. With the launch of digital magazine ad format by Inshorts, brands can now engage their audience with content which can be entertaining and insightful, and connect through a non-intrusive medium.”

Due to interactive content, low cost production and distribution as compared to traditional magazines, digital magazines are progressively catching the eyes of the marketing and advertiser community. Inshorts digital magazine has already helped some global brands like Netflix to get 3x more engagement as compared to text ads for its new series - ‘The Umbrella Academy’ within just 2 weeks of its release. Apart from this, Inshorts had also partnered with Netflix for its original series - Narcos and Cadbury for its Valentines’ Week campaign. 

Further commenting on the launch, Piyush Thakur, National Sales Head at Inshorts said, “We are a company which is known for innovation and industry first. We are known for interesting and engaging products both from user and advertiser prospective. Digital Magazine takes our commitment a step ahead in that direction where it not only serves advertisers prospect of engaging with the user but also enrich user with right kind of information in interesting and crisp manner. We strongly believe, with our commitment, hardwork and farsightedness we will continue to challenge traditional media with our unique and interesting offerings.”

Vodafone Idea & Zee Entertainment add a new dimension to content partnership

The partnership provides customers easy access to ZEE5 content; the portfolio includes original shows and films, premium movies, digital movie premieres of upcoming blockbuster films, and more

ZEEL Vodafone idea

Telecom operator Vodafone Idea Limited and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) announced a strategic partnership for OTT platform ZEE5. Under the strategic partnership, aimed at driving the growth of digital ecosystem in India, the content portfolio of ZEE5 will be available to Vodafone Idea customers on Vodafone Play as well as Idea Movies & TV app.

Customers of Vodafone Idea can now enjoy the entire content catalogue of ZEE5 thereby providing a seamless viewing experience via multiple devices. The association between the two industry leaders will help create a beneficial ecosystem for viewers that will drive the growth of video viewing in smaller cities and towns in times to come. The content of ZEE5 can be accessed by customers through Vodafone Play or idea Movies & TV app. The ZEE5 content is available across 12 languages like English, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Oriya, Bhojpuri, Gujarati & Punjabi across genres like Kids content, Cineplays, Live TV and Health and Lifestyle content.

Commenting on the partnership, Avneesh Khosla, Operations Director - Marketing, Vodafone Idea Limited said, “Our customers are constantly seeking rich and diverse content options and we aim to provide enriched entertainment to our customers by offering high quality content on Vodafone Play and Idea Movies & TV. We are happy to partner with ZEE5 and bring their library of content to our customers. Our insights on customer preferences, salience and relevance along with ZEE’s deep understanding of the Indian content viewership habits are being brought together through this partnership. We are happy to offer the entire catalogue of ZEE5 along with 2 exclusive channels to our customers as an introductory offer.”

Speaking about the association, Tarun Katial, CEO, ZEE5 India said, “ZEE5 and Vodafone Idea lend themselves to a complementary partnership. Having established ourselves as the fastest growing OTT platform in India with the largest repertoire of content, we have attracted subscribers across geographies and demographics. We have an ambitious growth plan charted out for us and through this partnership with Vodafone Idea, India’s largest telecom company, we will leverage synergies between the brands and further bolster our presence across the country.”

Through this alliance, Vodafone Idea subscribers will be able to access the content repertoire of ZEE5:

  • LIVE TV offering of ZEE’s Network content on Vodafone Play and Idea Movies & TV through ZEE5 app
  • Real-time broadcast of shows that are being telecast on any of the ZEE channels including Hindi and regional channels – ZEE TV, & TV, ZEE Anmol, Zing, ZEE Marathi, ZEE Tamil, ZEE Bangla, ZEE Yuva, Sarthak TV, ZEE Kannada, ZEE Cinema, ZEE Action, & Pictures, ZEE Café, & flix, ZEE ETC and so on
  • Unrestricted catch up of ZEE Network content through ZEE5 app. Customers will be able to access the ZEE5 content library including TV shows, movies and Before TV content 
  • Vodafone Idea customers will get access to ZEE5 premium subscription which includes Original shows and films, premium movies, digital movie premieres of upcoming blockbuster films, etc. as an introductory offer
  • Vodafone Idea subscribers will have access to the complete content portfolio of ZEE5 that includes the original web-series in Hindi and regional languages (including dubbed versions). ZEE5 offers original content in six languages – Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam
  • Customers will also get unrestricted access to the entire movie library on the platform including digital premieres, acquired content, original films and so on.
  • The highlight is 2 exclusive linear digital channels including Zee Theatre - premium theatre content to be available on Vodafone Play and Idea Movies & TV app

ZEE5 is India’s fastest growing entertainment OTT destination that has invested heavily in acquiring and producing content that will resonate with a cross-section of viewers across the country. As of December 2018, ZEE5 has 56.3 million monthly active users, who spend an average of 31 minutes on the platform per day. ZEE5 has consistently been amongst the top-5 free and grossing entertainment apps in India as per the Google Play store rankings. In a first of its kind initiative, in the past quarter, ZEE5 launched regional subscription packs for Tamil, Telugu and Kannada users. These tiered SVOD packs enable consumers to watch premium content in a language of their choice at half the price. Subscribers of these packs are also able to watch their favourite TV shows hours before they are aired on television later in the day. This offering has helped ZEE5 gather subscription momentum in the south Indian market.

The Vodafone Play app is a one-stop entertainment destination to enjoy live TV Shows, latest movies and original content. Downloaded by more than 10 Million+ Vodafone Subscribers it gives access to over 9500+ movies,in16 different languages, 300+ live TV channels along with a huge catalogue of original web series and International TV Shows across all genres.

Idea Movies & TV app is an ultimate gateway to popular movies and video watching experience. The robust library comprises of 8500+movies, 400+Live TV Channels, TV Shows and Original Content across various genres. With over 10 million+ downloads Idea Movies & TV app has been growing in popularity and rating of 4.4 on Play store. 

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Is 'Roar Of The Lion' Hotstar’s way of creating more content around IPL 2019?

Nikhil Madhok of Hotstar Original Content and Deepak Dhar of Banijay Asia, reveal whether or not MS Dhoni’s docu-drama is a move to provide more content to the consumers during IPL


Hotstar recently announced the launch of Hotstar Specials, which will feature shows from India’s most acclaimed storytellers. The first to arrive from this bouquet is ‘Roar Of The Lion’. It charts the journey of Chennai Super Kings’ comeback to IPL through Mahendra Singh Dhoni after a two year ban and lifting the trophy last year. Hotstar claims it’s a story he didn’t even narrate to his own friends. The show hits the streamer on March 20 which couldn’t have been a more apt time because Indian Premiere League begins from March 23. In fact, the first match of the tournament is between CSK and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Could it be a move to get more time spend on the app apart from match viewing? Nikhil Madhok, EVP & Head Hotstar Original Content, insists it’s by default and not by design. 

Speaking to exchange4media, Madhok explains, “The way this story panned out, we would have wanted it regardless of whether or not IPL had happened. The stars have aligned in such a way that it is launching a couple of days before IPL. It does have a significant advantage. In the course of next eight to six weeks when the IPL is on, the traffic and the numbers are really mind-boggling. Frankly, it provides this particular show a massive opportunity for people to watch it. In that sense yes, it happened more by default than design which is beneficial. For us, we couldn’t have asked for a more original story for our first Hotstar Special is concerned.”

‘Roar of The Lion’ is a collaboration with Deepak Dhar’s Banijay Asia and MS Dhoni’s Dhoni Entertainment with Hotstar being the OTT platform on which it is mounted. When asked what made Dhar go for Hotstar, the Founder & CEO revealed, “The whole content boom that is happening. Now you want content to be made available on every device possible. This has really become the closest screens and the big screen is quite far off.” He also added how unlike ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ which was in the docu-drama space like ‘Roar Of the Lion’, he never really thought about taking it to the theatres.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni already has a film to his name which speaks about his journey from a TC with the railways to being the World Cup winning captain. The film made Rs 120 crore or more at the box office. So why a show on him makes sense for Hotstar’s consumers? Madhok explains, “We announced our initiative for Hotstar Special a few months ago. Around that point of time, Deepak has come up with the idea of ‘Roar of The Lion’. We found a couple of things exciting. As the home of cricket in the country, Hotstar is the credible platform to tell such a story. In the kind of specials that we are doing, we are trying to be innovative. A story like his which is a mixture of drama and documentary…people are not really exposed to in this country. Given the size and scale Hotstar has we are going to make it available in multiple languages, the entire country can watch it.”

The future of online retailing in India: Rohit Dhingra, TAGG

Guest Column: Rohit Dhingra, Co-Founder & CEO of TAGG believes that the current business environment in India has the potential to enhance the growth of the online retail sector

Rohit Dhingra TAGG

Owing to the rapid technological advancements, the online retailing industry in India has emerged to become one of the most dynamic and fast-growing industries. Factors such as deeper penetration of the internet, increase in smartphone usage and online payments are contributing well towards the growth of the online retail. According to a report by e-Marketer, the e-commerce industry in India has grown more than 3 times since 2015, and by 2022, the same will be worth 71.94 billion dollars.

The current business environment in India has the potential to enhance the growth of the online retail sector. One of the key factors that can fuel its growth is the increase in the number of Internet and smartphone users. According to a recent report of IAMAI, India will have 500 million users internet users by the end of this year. Also, India is one of the booming markets which is observing the rapid growth of smartphone customers. The convenient availability of affordable smartphones will further enhance the e-retailing opportunities in India in the near future.

The rise in transactions through net banking, debit cards, and credit cards is another factor which is augmenting the growth of online retailing. With net-banking and credit/debit cards simplifying the transaction process and the emergence of secure transaction methods like One Time Passwords (OTPs) and secure payment gateways, consumers are preferring to shop online.

Even though the Indian online retailing market has enormous growth prospects, there are a lot of hurdles for e-retailers in the country. Effective logistics play a crucial role in defining the working success of e-retailers as on-time delivery and other priority services are the biggest challenges for online retailers. Also, the cost of logistics in India is high due to the lack of adequate infrastructure along with another significant disadvantage that is the limited technology reserves and developments in the Indian logistics sector. If we observe the other developed countries, there are significantly huge investments carried out in such technologies as Global Positioning System (GPS) to improve the tracking of delivery and shipment of customer orders. Another big difficulty that the sector is facing today is the slow speed internet connectivity which again can have a huge effect on the evolving prospects of online retail in the long run.

Overall, the future of the Indian online retail sector looks bright. The pace at which online retail is growing, it can make a significant contribution to the consolidated retail industry and the economy of our country. The growth of this sector can be boosted enormously, provided we overcome the challenges related to the infrastructure, policy framework and operational environment of our country.

(The author Rohit Dhingra is the Co-Founder & CEO of TAGG, a consumer electronics brand)


Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of

Tripoto and Morris Garages partner for 7-season web series to be shot across 7 countries

The non-fiction travel web series, ‘World of MG: An Indian Abroad’, will be shot in 6 different countries before concluding in India


Global travel community Tripoto is partnering with British automaker Morris Garages (MG) India for immersive video solutions, offering to boost awareness and sustain interest about the brand ahead of its India launch this year. Tripoto is creating a non-fiction travel web series, ‘World of MG: An Indian Abroad’, which will be shot in 6 different countries before concluding in India. 

Tripoto has collaborated with actor and model, Amol Parashar, for the 7-season web series, 1 season each for seven countries. Amol will be travelling to all 7 countries, promoting and sustaining Morris Garages as the world’s foremost luxury car brand.  The series will have Amol bring to life how Morris Garages has been a part of these countries through their culture, food, revelry and cars. 

Talking about ‘World of MG: An Indian Abroad’, Michael Pargal Lyngdoh, Co-founder, Tripoto, said, “The digital renaissance in our country has triggered the youth to turn to the internet for alternative and shareable content. Web Series have become an impactful way to present a brand and create lasting conversations. Through World of MG: An Indian Abroad, we aim to build a connection for Morris Garages (MG) India amongst our strong and active community of more than 25 Mn+ travelers.”

Speaking on their association woth Tripoto, Pallavi Singh, Marketing Head, Morris Garages (MG) India India, said, “Since the inception of the brand in 1924, storytelling has been an integral part of MG. In India, we have been following in the footsteps by focussing on powerful, emotive video content using new-age digital tools and formats. We’ve had a great association with Tripoto in the past with #RoadToMGLive! Through World of MG: An Indian Abroad series, we hope to take this association further ahead by giving a peek into MG’s global presence across the world and thereby, letting communities experience the local cultural flavour.”

The first of season of the series, shot in Thailand will go live on Tripoto’s social media channels and its website ( from March 14 onwards. The four episodes will be shown back to back each day from March 14 to March 17. 

Apart from Thailand,  ‘World of MG: An Indian Abroad’ has been shot in China and other countries in his travel map are Egypt, Australia, United Arab Emirates, South Africa and then culminating in India. 

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Momspresso launches support groups, an anonymous social network for women

Momspresso’s new product offers women dedicated groups wherein they can discuss specific topics like single motherhood, intimacy and depression without revealing their identities

Momspresso for moms

Topics such as financial independence, post-pregnancy weight loss and child care tips are commonly talked about across parenting groups and platforms. However, mothers seldom speak up about issues that truly affect their physical and mental well-being through public domains such as social media platforms. Identifying the need for women to discuss lesser spoken topics, without divulging their identities, Momspresso, a platform of expression for Moms, has launched Support Groups. Momspresso’s new product is aimed at offering women dedicated groups wherein they can discuss specific topics like single motherhood, intimacy and depression without revealing their identities.  

Internationally, there are several groups for moms where they can bond with like-minded women, share their problems and offer solutions, all the while remaining anonymous. Through such groups, mothers can create a sisterhood of sorts, a safe space for them to open up about issues important to them. In India, unfortunately, such groups that facilitate anonymous solidarity do not exist. While numerous moms are a part of various groups on social media that discuss common topics related to motherhood, many mothers do not feel comfortable participating due to the fear of being identified and judged by friends or relatives. Through this feature mothers can remain anonymous while discussing intimate issues affecting their lives, Momspresso is ensuring that mother can use the community to seek or share advice without fear of being judged or misunderstood. 

Since the launch of support groups in October 2018, in both English and Hindi, the product has witnessed strong traction, with audio comments being a popular feature with users. The Hindi group “Kahein man ki har baat”, has seen the highest engagement with mothers finding the comfort of anonymity to discuss a wide variety of topics. ‘Depression and Anxiety’ is another group that has seen good engagement with mothers discussing pertinent issues such as postpartum depression, healing from anxiety and how to deal with negative emotions. Similarly, the group for ‘divorced and single mums’ allows mothers to open up about the financial, emotional and physical implications of solo parenting. 

Currently, Momspresso is eyeing rapid expansion by adding several new products. To oversee its product function, Momspresso has also announced the appointment of Anirudh Agrawal as its Product Head. Anirudh moves to Momspresso from PopXo, where he spearheaded the product. He will play a key in driving Momspresso’s product strategy to achieve its vision of having 70 per cent of all urban Indian mothers use the platform. 

Speaking on the launch of Support Groups, Vishal Gupta, Co-founder & CEO of Momspresso said, “Motherhood can be a lonely journey and through this product, we will enable mothers to seek and provide support on a wide range of issues that affect them deeply. With every Support Group, we want mothers to reassure mothers that they are not alone”. 

Speaking on the unique concept of anonymous support groups, Shimona Shahi Rana, Chief Content Officer, Momspresso, said, “We have started 23 Groups across English and Hindi, including Divorce and Single Moms, Adoption, Sex & Intimacy, Raising Children with Disabilities, In-laws Stories and New Moms, amongst others. More groups will be added throughout the year. By joining a group, mothers will have easy access to other mothers who are going through the same experiences as them. They can share their experiences, ask and answer questions posed by other moms, create polls on topics which they always wondered about and, most importantly, support each other. The best part is that they can do so anonymously, so more moms will be able to partake in difficult yet important conversations through our platform,” she added. 

Since its inception, Momspresso has inspired moms to become the best and happiest versions of themselves. Its rich community of 10,000 mommy bloggers have created more than 80,000 blogs in 8 different languages, covering topics as diverse as pregnancy and baby care, teenage and adolescent issues, beauty, fashion, relationships, healthcare and more. With the launch of Momspresso Groups, the platform is cementing its position as a safe space that connects and supports moms through the journey of motherhood and womanhood. With the collective strength of its 18 million mom community, Momspresso wants moms to know that #YouAreNotAlone.

India Today Group launches So Sorry Gully Cricket Game App

The game consists So Sorry Politoons, which were unveiled by Sunil Gavaskar at the FICCI FRAMES event

India Today Group

The India Today Group unveiled a gaming app called So Sorry Gully Cricket, featuring its award-winning politoons in the line-up of players.

A perfect fusion of sports and news ahead of general elections and the Cricket World Cup, So Sorry Gully Cricket was launched at FICCI FRAMES event in Mumbai by Indian cricketing legend Sunil Gavaskar alongside Sam Balasara, Founder Chairman, Madison Worldwide and Shashi Sinha, Chief Executive Officer, IPG Mediabrands.

Kalli Purie, Vice-Chairperson, India Today Group said, “We are really excited to announce the launch of the new game ‘So Sorry Gully Cricket’ at FRAMES in presence of such a distinguished audience. ‘So Sorry Gully Cricket’ is a unique game that portrays life and politics in a way that is interactive, real and interesting.  With India heading for Parliamentary elections the timing could not be more perfect. It's a super example of an integrated use of technology and content.”

The app uses animated cartoon videos in a game set in trademark Indian ‘gullies’, or streets, something that every Indian consumer has experienced while growing up and playing cricket.

Teams in this fun game make up of top politicians contesting Lok Sabha elections, cricket-loving avatars of famous politoons from the blockbuster So Sorry series. So Sorry Gully Cricket is jazzed up with artwork that every Indian would relate to.

A visual delight, the game is enriched with fun elements, such as a milkman and a ‘machhiwali’, or a fish vendor, typically seen in Mumbai. The game comprises 85 matches and follows unique rules of gully cricket, under-arm bowling and one bounce catch-outs included.

"Cricket is potentially a religion. We had a perfect ingredient in So Sorry characters and the fusion of the two will work for sure. You will recognise all the characters and sounds. It's a treat to the ears as well," said Alok Kejriwal, Founder and CEO of Games2win India Private Limited, who devised the app.

‘Vernacular content is the future of OTT’

Amogh Dusad, Head Content, Partnerships and New Initiatives, Digital, Sony Pictures Networks India, and Sameer Saxena, Chief Content Officer and Head, TVF Originals say OTT is exploding at the moment

Sony TVF

The OTT space is expanding rapidly and there is scope for all players to grow together, said Amogh Dusad, Head Content, Partnerships and New Initiatives, Digital, Sony Pictures Networks India, and Sameer Saxena, Chief Content Officer and Head of TVF Originals at The Viral Fever. 

They spoke to exchange4media at the launch of ‘Tripling Season 2’, the celebrated web series by The Viral Fever - TVF originals. 

Asked about the growth of vernacular content on OTT, both Saxena and Dusad said that there will be growth on that front.

Saxena said vernacular is indeed a huge market, though TVF is yet to tap that area. It is the future where immense success and opportunities could be seen for content creators, he said. 

Saxena further said that content is extremely important for the digital platform. “It is exploding. Earlier, there were limited opportunities with only just films and television. But, now the avenues have been thrown open with OTT platforms coming in and gradually ruling the market,” he added.

Saxena, the man behind TVF, said: “TVF is all set to introduce many more distinguished genres for their audiences. We, being leaders, are only going to grow.”

Meanwhile, Dusad spoke about the innovation and experimentation in OTT.

Edited excerpts of interview with Dusad: 

How fierce is the competition among OTT platforms in terms of staying on top?
There is a lot of activity happening in the category. According to a FICCI report, about 1,200 to 1,400 hours of original content are being created for OTT today. I really don’t think it’s competition as the market is expanding at such a fast pace. There are 350 million people who are on online videos. That number is growing by almost 30 to 35 per cent. 
There is a space for everyone to grow. A lot of experiment and innovation is happening in terms of people presenting their stories, subjects they are choosing and the format they want to show the stories in, 40 or 50 minutes content. That’s the exciting part. By far, we see it as actually not the competition but more as an opportunity to get on board more creative and good content. 

While the English content seems to have been selling, will the Hindi content too create a stir  globally in terms of presenting short stories or web series.

Presenting or focusing on English-driven content is not the direction where the online video market is focusing. What I see is a reverse trend rather. We have observed that more than English language content, it is the Hindi generated one which is happening. There is in fact more regional content on OTT now. The trend is moving towards Hindi or vernacular than English. 

What are the growth or success prospects when it comes to generating women-centric content? Would it help garner more women viewership on the OTT platforms?
With regards to women viewership, the content on Sony Liv has seen a lot of growth in viewership. In terms of content, we had done a couple of series in the past called ‘Married Women Diaries’. The series was a fun take on marriage issues and a peek into the lives of married women. I think we will continue to evaluate concepts which cater to both men and women. Nonetheless, it’s a growing need gap. Probably two to three years ago, it wasn’t there but now we can see a considerable change. 

How true are the rumours that cable operators may collaborate with OTT platforms in order to get viewership?
It’s not true as per my knowledge. I haven’t heard anything about such collaborations. However, what is happening in the market right now is the implementation of the MRP regime. It’s a big change which is affecting the users as well as the entire chain. 

In terms of marketing and further cementing Sony Liv’s position in the market, what can viewers expect?
We have big ambitions this year and are looking at more creative content, offering lot of different genres to our consumers, collaborating with various creative heads and most importantly foraging into sports. Also, a lot of partnership can be seen in the future with companies like TVF and series like ‘Tripling’. There is lot in the pipeline for the viewers.”

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Our growth rate in India is higher than the market growth rate: Morden Chen, UC Ads

On the sidelines of a tech summit in the capital, Chen, General Manager of Alibaba's UC Ads spoke to us about the trends shaping the mobile advertising landscape in the country

Morden Chen

Mobile advertising in India is witnessing phenomenal growth, especially with rising smartphone users and low data costs. On the back of this trend, a lot of global players have entered the Indian market to tap the big opportunity that it holds.

Alibaba’s UC Ads, which reaches 600 million mobile users per day, is one such platform that offers mobile advertising solutions to brands across the world and its India story has been a big success so far.

On the sidelines of a tech summit in the capital, we spoke to Morden Chen, General Manager of Alibaba's UC Ads, about the trends shaping the mobile advertising landscape in the country.

Speaking about the changing contours of mobile advertising solutions in India, Chen said, “For the last one year, the biggest things that we have been doing are--focusing on influencer marketing, because we have a lot of influencers on our platform, and pushing our video based advertisement solution to make video ads more mobile friendly, by saying that I mean making them more short form.”

“In India people are still in favour of long form video advertising content of 30 seconds or 60 seconds, they are still taking the TV commercial to mobile, while in many other markets the trends have become different. The video ad content has been modified and created for mobile environment, here (india) we have not seen that trend yet,” he added.

Chen also stated that India is offering big growth opportunity for platforms like UC Ads which believes in providing effective and innovative solutions to brands. “Our growth rate in India is higher than the average digital advertising market growth rate. The market growth rate is around 32 or 33 per cent, from 2017-18, and our growth rate as UC advertisers is a lot higher than that.”

While India may be growing as a market for mobile advertisers, according to Chen the mobile ad platforms are still facing challenges when it comes to geo targeting, demographic based targeting and behaviour based targeting.

Chen also spoke about the rising use of ad blockers and how UC Ads has found a way to deal with it.

“There are some advertising formats and placements which lead to a lower CTR average, like pop up ads, and most ad blockers work on such formats which are not very user friendly.  On the other hand we are into native ad business, which means ads blend into articles, they blend into the environment. The average CTR for a native banner ad is around one per cent to two per cent, it is higher than the banner ads. So if you design your placement in an adaptive way, people won’t need that many ad blockers and this is what we do at UC ads,” said Chen.



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