'Our entry into the South market will ensure sustainable growth for ABP Network'
Avinash Pandey, CEO, ABP Network, discusses plans for the newly-launched digital platform ABP Nadu and what sets it apart from the rest of the offerings in the market
ABP Network has recently announced their debut in the southern India market with their new digital platform, ‘ABP Nadu’. With this launch, the network plans to make major headway in the ultra-competitive Tamil digital news space. Avinash Pandey, CEO, ABP Network talks to E4M about plans for the platform and what sets it apart from the rest of the offerings in the market.
Tell us a little about ABP Nadu. Why now? Is it just another expansion or is it driven by strong growth that has been coming from regional markets?
I would say both. Firstly, the Tamil content market is well-primed for disruption right now, which makes it an opportune time for our entry. The state has an extremely high internet adoption rate and the Tamil audience is also greatly engaged in accessing news content online.
Secondly, if we go by consumer insight, the growth opportunity in the regional market is immense. The past few years have witnessed a huge surge in regional launches, as the viewers’ preference for native languages is now discernible. In the same vein, ABP Network too has emerged as a pioneer within the regional news & content sphere. Our regional brands have successfully created strong brand equity in their respective markets by completely entrenching themselves into the culture and ethos of every region they serve. Plus, they contribute significantly to our network’s growth.
Therefore, our entry into the southern market will ensure sustainable growth for ABP Network in the medium and the long term.
ABP Nadu is expected to emphasize on youth-oriented topics. Help us understand the expanse of content coverage on the platform.
From our overall look and feel to our content considerations, ABP Nadu will cater to the strong, educated, and progressive youth of the state. These are the people who are keen on staying updated 24x7 and are consuming content every single minute. We want to empower them, give them a platform to express themselves uninhibitedly, and encourage them to debate& put forth their opinions on important issues concerning the state.
By and large, ABP Nadu will offer a wide range of content choices to all kinds of users such as unique pieces on the burning issues of Tamil Nadu, in various content formats such as expert opinion pieces, data stories, and videos. The platform will provide 360-degree coverage by showing political analyses, breaking news, news dissection, and in-depth stories across various beats such as entertainment, education, finance, gaming, technology, and auto.
A lot of popular news networks already have offerings in the south. How do you think ABP Nadu cuts through the clutter?
Tamil Nadu has always been a land of rich culture, and it evokes a strong sense of pride amongst its people. In mainstream media, this cultural affluence is often linked to the past – temples, monuments, dynasties, etc. However, in reality, Tamil culture is seeing an evolution, a renaissance that is bringing a brand-new dimension. ABP Nadu, therefore, highlights this shift in dynamics of the Tamil culture, brought forth by the ‘New Tamilian’. I'm confident that this fresh take will meaningfully reflect in all our offerings and allow us to shine and truly differentiate ourselves in the highly competitive market of Tamil Nadu.
Moreover, ABP Network has hired the best talent from the industry to work on this platform who will, together, strive to provide the Tamil users and news consumers exactly what they are looking for. We have a dynamic blend of creativity, innovation, and personalization within our extensive content portfolio.
We have aggressively invested in cutting-edge technology and sophisticated multimedia engineering in order to provide our users with a seamless website/app experience. Our progressive narrative coalesced with an avant-garde approach to content will ensure ABP Nadu cuts through the clutter.
What prompted you to start with digital-only offerings? Any plans of starting a TV news channel for the same in the near future?
According to a recent report by Google, 90% of internet users in India prefer to consume content in their local language. Plus, there was a 42% increase in daily heavy internet usage last year. So, surely, the business of digital content is going vernacular, making Tamil Nadu – a tremendous offering for audiences and advertisers alike.
Keeping this in mind, we are currently focusing on expanding our digital footprint in Tamil Nadu as the market offers immense growth potential. And this remains our priority for the time being. If we have any plans with regards to a news channel in future, we will reveal them as soon as they are concrete.
Talking of digital offerings, ABP has been very successful with their digital ventures financially. Tell us a little about your goals on that front? What is the role of digital revenues in your topline?
Over the years, as the user base on digital witnessed massive growth, ABP Network strengthened its digital presence and clocked over four billion views on YouTube, more than ten million followers on Twitter, around 21 million on Facebook, and over 10 million downloads on the ABP Live app.
In fact, according to Comscore MMX’s ‘Year On Year Review’ for January 2020 to January 2021, our digital platforms witnessed threefold growth.
So as we move forward, our goal is to constantly elevate the quality and variety of our digital offerings, in order to become an undisputed leader on this ever-growing medium.
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