We already work with top 200 advertisers, now expanding base to next 2,000: Udit Sharma

In an exclusive chat with e4m, ShareChat CRO Udit Sharma shares a glimpse of the platform’s business strategy, revenue growth and expansion plans

e4m by Kanchan Srivastava
Published: May 3, 2023 9:14 AM  | 9 min read

ShareChat is India’s largest homegrown social media company boasting of 400+ million MAUs across all its platforms. The Bengaluru-based company was founded in 2015 by Ankush Sachdeva, Bhanu Pratap Singh and Farid Ahsan. It  is valued at US$5 billion and has social media brands such as ShareChat App and Moj under its portfolio. The company also acquired MX Takatak in 2021 and raised $1.2 billion over the last two years.  

e4m spoke to company’s chief revenue officer Udit Sharma to understand his business strategy, challenges, achievements and expansion plans.


ShareChat always remains in the news for the right or wrong reasons. How does it feel to be at the helm of India’s largest homegrown social media platform?

Actually, anything that's worth the news will always remain in news for right or wrong reasons. But just to answer your question, it's really super exciting times for a platform like Sharechat and Moj. 

We are witnessing two underlying currents in our society right now. One is the emergence of new internet users in tier-2 and tier-3 towns of this country. These are people who are coming into the internet for the very first time and not so hell-bent on using English as their preferred language. They are more comfortable using their own mother tongue but they definitely want to take full advantage of what the internet has to offer. Thankfully, sharechat is rightly placed to tap into that behavior and take advantage of that and be able to offer a platform that actually speaks the language that people are comfortable in. And this is the reason 160 million people are coming on to the platform month after month and engaging with it. 

The second undercurrent is the emergence of short-form video. So, so many reports these days talk about how the attention span of the younger population of this country has actually gone down significantly. Depending on which report you're reading, it's running into 10 to 12 seconds. People actually have a higher propensity to spend time on platforms which can give them very engaging authentic short-form video content and that's something that Moj is really at the forefront of. From both Sharechat and Moj perspective, I feel totally privileged to be actually part of an ecosystem which is tapping into those two emerging consumer behaviors in the country. 

You are going to complete one year soon. What have been your major challenges and achievements so far? 

Prior to this, I was in the OTT world, which was a lot more organized and well-established. Short-form video is still an emerging narrative in our country. That is one of the things that got me excited  about joining Sharechat and Moj. So far, I think one of the biggest challenges has been to actually go out in the market and talk to marketeers, brand managers, category managers, industry leaders and and help them understand the power of short-form video in our country today. This has been a big challenge and that has been the most exciting part as well. 

A big chunk of our audiences are coming from tier 2 tier 3 markets, so talking to advertisers and telling them that you need to work with us and you need to be understanding the nuances of what kind of content those people are watching, what gets them excited, what are they interested in, bring about the contextual nature… those have been the more interesting challenges that I have seen in terms of achievements. 

We actually just clocked our largest ever revenue month in the history of ShareChat, something that any revenue leader will take a lot of pride in. Just moving beyond numbers, establishing a well-oiled sales machinery has been something that I've worked on for the last nine months or so that I've been here. So, now we have a very seasoned group of sales folks who are basically taking the Sharechat and Moj narrative out in the market. So, I would consider that as one of the big achievements. 

We would like you to share what was the highest revenue and for which month? Moreover, you mentioned the growth in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, so are you also going to focus on metro cities in your next phase of growth?

March was actually that month. Just to put in the context, in March, we actually did 2x of what we actually did in June of 2022. So you can imagine the growth that we have seen right now. 

On your other question about metros, actually I call this out a lot of times because we have done a pretty good job of establishing ShareChat as the market leader in tier 2 and tier 3 markets. 

People actually tend to forget that tier-1 in India itself is sort of subdivided into several categories. Talking about traffic in tier-1, we get a good 40-45 million people every month. 

That’s what we tell a lot of advertisers. If you are thinking of vernaculars, if you're thinking of talking to people in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bhojpuri Rajasthani, Punjabi, don't just think of tier-2 and tier 3 markets. You have to think of this as a tier-1 play as well because there's a sizable population in tier-1 one and in metros that are actually more comfortable using their native language, and in order for you to reach out to them, ShareChat is a tremendous platform for doing so. 

Moj is a totally different story. It is a more genZ platform which even today gets 45 per cent of the overall traffic from tier 1. 

The short-video market segment has a lot many players and the fight could be tough, especially after the entry of global players. How challenging is it to sustain in this competitive market? 

I'm personally a strong believer of the fact that the more the competition is, the better it is, in general, for the overall ecosystem. Today, some of our peers are taking short videos a little more seriously. Ultimately, we want advertisers to realize that they need to figure out a way of communicating their story in a shorter span if audiences in this country are actually consuming content that's 15 to 20 seconds long. It's going to be very tough for a brand to be able to engage with the same audience by showing them a 60-second ad. I assume the same applies for our peers who are trying to push the short- form narrative in the market. 

We are trying to make brands understand that you can actually tell your story within a shorter time frame. Consumers want the ads to be crisp and more contextual. We are bringing in the finer nuances of a particular region, language or culture to it and that's something that we do quite well. 

So, while competition is good, we have also created our own niche. We know what our strengths are. Even the creator ecosystem that we have built for Sharechat and Moj are different from what some of the other players have. Creator ecosystem can actually add a lot of value to any brand. 

How many advertisers are you currently working with? 

In the second half of last year, that is, July to December 2022, we had close to 200-plus advertisers working with us. With Moj, that number will go upwards of 350. These are not just one-off associations. Quite a few of our advertisers are actually doing repeat business with us. Advertisers like Pepsi, Coke and Amazon work very closely with us. We work with advertisers from across industry and verticals. 

The strength of the platform also lies in the fact that we don't offer just vanilla video display sort of options. Given that we are an India-based organization, we can actually do a lot more innovation around our ad units and that's why we are able to offer a whole wide range of options to advertisers. 

How has been the ad market for you over the past year in terms of revenue and what are your expectations for the current fiscal? 

There have definitely been headwinds across the board due to macro factors. Advertisers have been re-evaluating their budgets and trying to figure what is the best ROI that they can generate from their ad dollars. Good thing about platforms like ours is that we are actually able to make a material difference and we are actually able to deliver better. Hence, we continue to be present in the marketing plans of almost all the advertisers that we work with. That's exactly the reason why we have managed to grow our revenues almost 2x over a period of six months. That's a testament to how the platform is actually able to deliver for advertisers across categories. 

We have done long-term deals with quite a few advertisers that sort of gives us the confidence that we would be able to go further higher up. 

Can you name those advertisers?

I'm not at liberty to actually talk about the names.

What has been the response after Moj and Max Takatak merger?

That merger was the largest in the history of the social media space. It actually consolidated the viewer base that was going after short-form video platforms. It was a pretty positive move to be able to become the undisputed leader in the short form video space right. That's exactly what that merger delivered for us. 

Do you have any plans to expand your staff strength or maybe new acquisitions?

I would leave it to our CFO to answer the acquisition part, but I can talk about how we are looking at expansion in general from a revenue perspective. While we continue to work with the larger advertisers in this country and continue to scale business on that side, we are also very serious about expanding our footprint in terms of the number of advertisers that we want to bring on board. 

We do believe that given the wide range of options that are available on the platform and given our ability to deliver for the smallest of budgets to the largest of budgets, we don't want any advertiser to be left out of our ecosystem. 

One of the big focus areas for us this year is to essentially expand our footprint in what we call the mid-market segment. So, essentially we are going after SMBs as well as these would be the mid-tier of advertisers. 

There are top 200 advertisers that we work very closely with. Now, we are actually expanding that base to the next 2000 advertisers. This means a lot of small advertisers, proprietorships and other organizations. 

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‘Made for Ad’ sites gobbling up big chunk of digital ad spends: Is there a way out?

These sites generate a whopping 21 percent of ad impressions and take away 15 percent ($13 billion) of digital ad spend of the Open Web Programmatic, which is a $88 billion global market

By Kanchan Srivastava | Sep 29, 2023 8:42 AM   |   3 min read


Ad industry’s most influential trade organizations have come together to spell out new definitions for ‘made for advertising’ websites, which are designed solely to attract an influx of ad dollars and gobble up a significant portion of digital ad spends. 

The consortium, which includes the Association of National Advertisers (ANA, US), the World Federation of Advertisers and the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers, this week released a detailed definition of “Made for Advertising” websites which lack organic audience and are instead highly dependent on visits sourced from clickbait ads that run on social networks and websites of reputable publishers. 

These sites generate a whopping 21 percent of ad impressions and gobble up 15 percent ($13 billion) of digital ad spend of the Open Web Programmatic which is a $88 billion global market, the ANA said in a report released early this year. The report blamed data gaps, lack of ad viewability and a huge number of publishers (44,000 websites, mostly created for ads) for the massive ad-waste. 

The move has come at a time when marketers are increasingly facing pressure to justify their ad spending, reduce wastage and deliver ROI. 

“Advertisers are often not in control of their media placement decisions as much as they should be,” says an Indian CMO, adding that programmatic players should weed out such publishers. 

While Google commands a significant portion of programmatic advertising, marketers are increasingly allocating more budgets for Open Web programmatic advertising to reduce their dependence on Google. 

According to a densu report, programmatic contributes 42% of digital ad spends in India which corresponds to Rs 12,000 Cr.


MFA sites impact ad rates: Indian Publishers 

Indian marketers expressed concerns over the extent to which MFA sites have grown and impacting their ad dollars. 

Such websites affect genuine publishers as well, industry players say. “Excess supply of inventory created through such websites impacts ad rates. In India digital ad rates have either remained static or have declined since 1995. The same is not true for US and other markets,” says Pradeep Gairola, Digital Head of The Hindu. 

Abhishek Karnani, Vice President of International Advertising Association (India chapter) and Director, The Free Press Journal Group of Newspapers, echoes the sentiments. “It is surely a cause of concern as it eats into the genuine publishers’ share in ad revenue. I am glad that the issue is coming to the forefront and being discussed,” says Karnani. 

He added that Google is making its robot and crawlers smarter to wean these types of websites by regularly posting updates on the algorithm. 


How to spot MFAs

As per trade organizations, MFA sites usually exhibit a combination of the following five characteristics:


  1. High ad-to-content ratio (Up to 30%)

  1. Rapidly auto-refreshing banner ads, autoplay video ads, slide shows forcing visitors to click through multiple ads to access content

  1. High percentage of paid traffic sourcing


  1. Generic low-quality content, often syndicated, dated and non-unique


  1. Poorly designed sites






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TRAI releases consultation paper on rating framework for digital connectivity in buildings

Comments from stakeholders invited by November10, 2023

By e4m Staff | Sep 28, 2023 6:34 PM   |   2 min read


The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper on ‘Regulation on Rating Framework for Digital Connectivity in Buildings or Areas’. The comments on the issues raised in the consultation paper are invited from the stakeholders by November10, 2023 and counter-comments, if any by November 24, 2023.

According to the authority, digital connectivity has become an integral part of personal, professional, and social life. The exponential growth in digitalization of services and manufacturing sectors has revolutionized the world, impacting everything, from economy, innovation, science, and education, to health, sustainability, governance, and lifestyle. 

“The demand for digital connectivity has increased many folds in the recent years. The crucial role of digital connectivity has been acknowledged pandemic, witnessing a surge in the demand across all segments of users, irrespective of their locations,” stated TRAI. 

The authority further stated that the TRAI has been monitoring the quality of service of telecom services across the country by conducting detailed studies and issuing suitable directions to the stakeholders, to improve the quality of service. While there have been significant improvements in coverage of telecom services on the street, there are still gaps observed in meeting the perceived quality of service demands of the users, especially inside the buildings, residential or commercial areas.

In an official release, TRAI said, “The quality of telecommunication services inside the buildings is an integral part of protection of the consumer interest. TRAI has already taken various policy initiatives including the Recommendation dated  February20,  2023 on "Rating of Buildings or Areas for Digital Connectivity". These recommendations provide for introduction of Rating of Buildings framework to ensure good digital connectivity experience to the consumers through a collaborative and self-sustainable approach.”

The Consultation Paper on "Regulation on Rating Framework for Digital Connectivity in Buildings or Areas" is released to deliberate on regulation for implementation of rating framework for buildings and areas for digital connectivity to improve QoS inside buildings and for seamless consumer experience.

TRAI said that the paper highlights the need for Rating of Buildings or Areas for Digital Connectivity that meets not only the current expectations of the consumers but is also ready for future expansion or upgradation with the advancement of technologies or change in users' demand. This CP also discusses the benefits of the rating framework to the end-users, service providers and to the ecosystem.

“The consultation paper describes overview of the 'Rating framework for Digital Connectivity' based on the practices being followed internationally and rating frameworks like GRIHAor Credit Rating in India,” reads the official statement. 



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Tech giants, ed tech cos face 18% IGST

These companies will be taxed for their services in the Online Information Database Access and Retrieval category

By e4m Staff | Sep 28, 2023 10:43 AM   |   1 min read


Google, Facebook and several ed tech firms may have to pay nearly 18% GST on services provided to the government and individuals, as the exemption is likely to end starting October, media networks have reported.

These companies will be taxed for their services in the Online Information Database Access and Retrieval category.

The integrated goods and services tax will be applicable to overseas companies providing advertising, cloud services, online education and some other services, media reports said quoting government officials.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has already decided to amend central and state laws from October 1 to implement a 28% tax on online gaming, casinos and horse racing.

The tax will be applied not to each value of the bets placed but to the entry amount that users pay.

There will be an income tax on winning as per the law. The GST Council also has decided to amend the integrated GST Act related to importing goods and services. Offshore money gaming platforms that do not comply with the requirement will also be blocked.

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Generative AI: Top e-comm players have a new ‘salesman’ for the festivals

From personalizing shopping experience to predicting product demand and automating recommendations, brands are working hard to enhance consumer experience this year

By Kanchan Srivastava | Sep 28, 2023 8:42 AM   |   5 min read


Leading e-commerce players are utilizing the potential of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) to gain deep insights into consumer expectations and preferences, enhance the shopping experience of buyers and predict demands based on past sales. 

Walmart-backed Flipkart, for instance, is set to introduce a range of advanced technology integrations to elevate the shopping experience of customers. 

“This involves the implementation of virtual assistants and generation of product descriptions, high-quality images, creative materials, and augmented reality visualizations, all aimed at enriching the user experience,” Mayur Datar, Chief Data Scientist at Flipkart, tells e4m. 

Datar explains, “With deeper integration of Generative AI, we are reimagining product recommendations based on customers' preferences and behaviours. Flipkart has also developed chat-driven interactions for both customers and sellers, enhanced search capabilities using semantic search technology, and created internal tools to boost productivity and efficiency.”

Ajio, an online fashion and lifestyle store from Reliance Group, has introduced a dreamlike sequence that transports influencers into an AI-Verse generated by artificial intelligence. 

“Within this virtual realm, influencers seamlessly transition between various outfits sourced from Ajio, before returning to their normal selves. This innovative approach to brand promotion is unparalleled,” says Rashi Agarwal, Founder, Megalodon, an AI firm that is working with Ajio to develop its generative AI capabilities. 

Ajio has also appointed influencer Aiyyo Shraddha as “Chief of Small Talk” to add humour into their branding proposition. Besides, the company’s prowess in the ‘moment marketing’ game would also be on display in the festive season. 

Amazon too has rolled out a new set of generative AI capabilities early this month at their premier annual seller conference-Accelerate 2023. 

“The generative AI tools will simplify how sellers create more thorough and captivating product descriptions, titles, and listing details. These new capabilities will make it faster and easier for sellers to list new products as well as enrich existing listings, helping customers more confidently make purchase decisions. The new tools can recognize, summarize, translate, predict, and generate text and other content, to build more comprehensive product descriptions,” the company announced at the conference.  

Top D2C brands too are enthusiastic about presenting engaging content that instantly connects with their target audience, utilizing methods ranging from computer-generated videos to AI creativity, Agarwal says. 


AI-Powered Designs

Traditionally, fashion designers have relied on their intuition and creativity to envision new collections. Now, they are increasingly collaborating with AI systems to generate unique patterns, colour combinations, and even entire garment designs. 

AI is also revolutionizing the supply chain, enabling fashion brands to streamline their operations and minimize waste. This data-driven approach ensures that brands produce the right amount of inventory, reducing excess stock and the need for heavy markdowns. 


Demand predictions 

Brands typically focus on the festive season due to the significant surge in traffic, translating into increased sales. They often overlook some critical aspects of user experience. 

Shashank Rathore, Vice President, E-commerce, Interactive Avenues (the digital arm of IPG Mediabrands India), explains, “As consumers, we've all encountered out-of-stock products during festive seasons, leaving us wondering why brands miss out on potential sales opportunities. However, this time around, brands are harnessing the power of generative AI to analyze historical data and accurately predict product demand.”

These initiatives extend far beyond the festive season as AI has evolved into a long-term sustainable strategy for growth in this digital marketplace, says Shubham Srivastava- AVP, D2CPro Powered by Team Pumpkin. 

He noted, “AI tools may assist in streamlining tasks like data analysis, strategic planning, trend forecasting, and improving customer buying experiences. Amazon, Google, and Shopify are already at the forefront of Gen AI and are utilizing its capability to understand and help with customer needs.”


“E-comm sales to touch Rs 90,000 Cr during fests”

A Redseer report predicts that the Gross Merchandise Value for the entire festive month of India’s eTailing in 2023 will reach approximately INR 90,000 crores, marking an impressive 18-20% growth compared to the previous year’s festive month sales. This growth is expected to be fuelled by a significant user base of around 140 million shoppers who are projected to make online transactions during this festive month. 

“We expect increasing GMV contributions from non-electronics categories like Fashion, BPC, Home & General Merchandise and more this festive period,” says Mrigank Gutgutia, Partner at Redseer Strategy Consultants. 


Separate budget 

Expecting a great festive season, Brands are not hesitant to allocate significant resources for AI. 

Rathore says, “Brands with large budgets are investing in AI by creating in-house AI research and development teams. Mid-sized e-commerce players are choosing to invest in third-party AI tools and platforms that offer ready-made solutions for personalization, recommendation systems, chatbots, and more. However, most of the ecommerce related companies are motivating current teams to learn AI by investing in training programs and educational resources for their employees to build AI knowledge and skills.”

They also allocate separate budgets for hiring data scientists, machine learning engineers, and AI experts who can develop, implement, and maintain AI solutions in future, Rathore noted. 


Will AI help lift consumption?

As per Gutgutia, generative AI will lead to better and novel consumer experiences and drive stronger growth momentum. Some experts are not very hopeful though. 

Rathore opines, “While AI is poised to have a notable impact on driving consumption this year, it's still just a single component in a multifaceted environment, and its effects must be evaluated within the larger framework of consumer behaviour and market dynamics. Furthermore, consumer actions during festive seasons can be shaped by a variety of factors, encompassing economic circumstances, cultural customs, and external occurrences.”

Attributing a direct influence on consumption can be challenging for brands at present, but as we move into the next year, we can anticipate more precise measurements of its impact, he added. 

Moreover, consistency remains a major hurdle in AI, with many AI video tools still in their beta stages yielding unprofessional results, experts point out. 


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Connected TV has emerged as the fastest growing screen for YouTube in 5 yrs: Google India

At Brandcast 2023, the internet giant also shared that YouTube Shorts’ average daily views have grown by over 120% year-on-year

By e4m Staff | Sep 27, 2023 4:02 PM   |   5 min read

Amidst the surge in digital video services, online Indians are curating personal video universes consisting of an average of 5 content platforms with YouTube emerging as their foremost choice for watching videos, according to Google.
“As the number of Internet enabled households equals TV households, viewers are bringing YouTube onto the large screens in their living spaces. With millions of viewers watching YouTube on their Connected TVs, it has emerged as the fastest growing screen for YouTube over the past five years. With creators using Shorts as another tool in their arsenal to express themselves, YouTube Shorts’ average daily views grew by over 120% year-on-year. Giving further definition to their content curation, 33% of Connected TV consumers in urban India do not watch linear TV at all[1], with logged-in viewers averaging 2.5 hours of YouTube watchtime per day,” stated a press release shared by the internet giant at Brandcast 2023.
Satya Raghavan, Director, Marketing Partners, Google India, said, “In the fifteen years since we launched YouTube in India, there has been an extraordinary all-round digital transformation, in connectivity and in content, and today, people have created a boundaryless viewer experience for themselves that straddles across their smartphones and their connected TVs.  We’re delighted that, in this rapidly evolving landscape, YouTube is the platform of choice for four out of every five people online[2]. This is a testament to the unflagging contribution and inventiveness of India’s vast and growing creator economy. Marketers have responded to this heterogeneity by tapping into YouTube’s unique environment to reach their consumers at the right time, in their preferred language, in the right need state, on the right device, with the right creative, and with their most appropriate products. Our AI-powered ads solutions that span the spectrum of creation, customization, and deployment will position businesses at the most rewarding intersection of mMedia, creative, technology and content that only YouTube offers, and help brands achieve their business objectives with the advantage of incrementality.”
YouTube Shorts grow in popularity
With an average of 70 billion daily views globally, YouTube Shorts continues to grow in popularity amongst viewers in India with 96% aged 18 to 44 using YouTube Shorts[3]. Shorts watchtime now also transcends devices with 88% of online 18-44-year-olds watching short-form video content on a TV over the past 12 months[4]. Viewers in India are also splitting their viewing time across many different video formats, spending no more than 21% of their viewing time watching one format[5].
Gen Z gravitates to YouTube
YouTube is Gen Z’s choice as the #1 place they would spend their entire viewing session, significantly more than social media platforms[6]. Driving this preference is that YouTube allows them to easily choose what they watch, offers access to a wide array of content types, and has the best music videos including clips and previews. Moreover, in purchase decisions too, Gen Z relies on YouTube for ads that are personally relevant to them and 88% agree it introduces them to new brands or products[7].
YouTube content uploads grow 40%
Together with the total hours of content uploaded to YouTube by channels in India growing by over 40% in June 2023 vs June 2022, 35+ adults averaged over 70 minutes of YouTube per day in this month. Watch times of videos on the "grwm" or "get ready with me" trend grew more than 500% in the last quarter of  2022, compared to the same period last year, and with "episode highlights" or "season recap" in the title by 120%. As creators begin to tap gen AI for new ideas and audiences, the year has seen over 1.7 Billion views of videos related to or using generative AI tools globally.70% of 18-44 year-old viewers online agree that they are open to watching content from creators that use AI to generate their content.
New AI-powered solutions to enhance ad creativity
Building on the commitment to integrate AI into the full spectrum of phases spanning ads creation, customisation and deployment to help marketers unlock YouTube’s unique multi-screen, multi-format viewer experience, and reach audiences with relevant context, engagement and results, YouTube today announced the launch of a suite of tools in its Ads Creative Studio. With these, marketers will now be able to easily create multiple versions of a single display or video ad customized for different audiences, locations, languages or contexts. Providing this never-before flexibility will be the AI-powered Flip Video, that will enable advertisers to build vertical assets, even when they were not planned for, and the Trim, which leverages machine learning to create 6-seconds bumper ads to help drive efficiencies in campaigns.
New ways to reach CTV viewers

With several significant shifts now well underway, and businesses navigating a rapidly evolving media landscape marked by “cord cutting”, YouTube has been investing in helping advertisers unlock overall media value through increasingly effective cross media campaign measurement. As part of these longstanding efforts, YouTube revealed that the Nielsen CPG meta analysis has shown that YouTube drives nearly 2.3X better ROI than Linear TV[13] with over 65% of 18+ audience reached on YouTube being incremental to TV[14].
With the goal of engaging this growing cohort of Connected TV viewers, over 50% of who watch content that is 21 min or longer on the large screen[15], marketers in India will now also have the ability to leverage two new advertising solutions specific to this audience. 
30-Second YouTube Select Non-Skips, only on Connected TV - Advertisers will soon be able to put a 30s non-skip ad in front of YouTube’s most popular content – from top creators to the biggest content moments iYouTube Connected TV Pause Experience: To help brands drive awareness and action during a user-initiated break in a viewer’s streaming session, YouTube will begin piloting new Pause experiences on Connected TV in 2024. This is seamless for viewers and allows them to learn more about a brand - while creating further opportunity to drive saliency with relevant audiences.

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The Marcom Avenue bags Performance mandate for Priya Gold

The agency will work on enhancing PriyaGold's brand visibility and market reach

By e4m Staff | Sep 27, 2023 2:55 PM   |   2 min read


The Marcom Avenue has announced that it has secured the performance marketing mandate for biscuit brand PriyaGold. The collaboration aims to amplify PriyaGold's digital presence and engagement with its diverse customer base.

“As part of this partnership, The Marcom Avenue will leverage its expertise in data-driven insights, creative content, and cutting-edge digital strategies to enhance PriyaGold's brand visibility and market reach. The agency will focus on driving measurable results, optimising customer acquisition, and increasing overall brand performance,” stated a press release.

"The Marcom Avenue is thrilled to have been entrusted with the performance marketing mandate for Priya Gold. We are excited to work with a brand that is synonymous with quality and innovation in the food industry," said Ms Divanshi Gupta, Director at The Marcom Avenue. "Our team is committed to delivering exceptional results, and we look forward to helping PriyaGold achieve new heights in the digital landscape."

Manas Agarwal, Director, Priya Gold, expressed satisfaction with the collaboration, stating, "Partnering with The Marcom Avenue would prove to be instrumental in leveraging our strengths, amplifying Priya Gold's narrative, and expanding our market reach to a remarkable audience. Their team has consistently demonstrated their expertise in the marketing field and has gone above and beyond to understand our unique requirements. Their efforts have played a significant role in positioning Priya Gold as a preferred choice for snacks and confectionery products. We are excited to continue this partnership and achieve new milestones together."



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Ditch the acronyms to focus on what CTV can really deliver

When did TV stop being TV? Prabhvir Sahmey, Senior Director Samsung Ads, writes how industry’s obsession with jargons is holding everyone, including brands, back

By Prabhvir Sahmey | Sep 27, 2023 8:33 AM   |   4 min read

samsung ads

The online viewing revolution means the word ‘TV’ no longer just describes purely linear TV. Increasing numbers are watching streamed content via Smart TVs and according to IDC over 4.5 million Smart televisions were shipped to India in 1H23, an increase of 8% year-over-year (YoY).

Samsung has been the leading TV manufacturer worldwide for the last 17 years, and this means the data we collate at glass level is representatively robust. In the first half of 2023, this data showed that Indian viewers on Samsung TVs spent almost 88% of their total TV time in streaming environments.

This sea change in viewing behaviour is important for advertisers as the data-driven insights we gather from connected TV (CTV) provide opportunities to deliver more relevant advertising, refine reach to find new audiences and reduce wastage.



Jargon is clouding our understanding of CTV

We are all guilty of over-complicating the TV landscape and reinforcing the fragmentation within the medium with an over-use of jargon. This is detrimental to agencies’ full understanding of how CTV can be utilised as part of an integrated media plan.

Streaming brings the data collation and targeting ability of digital to the world of TV but the disjointed way we talk about the ecosystem can be confusing. We have created an alphabet soup of categorisation. One that viewers do not care about and which muddies the waters in our own commercial conversations.

The original labels that initially accompanied the streaming revolution– Advertising Video on Demand (AVOD) and Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) – can be useful in identifying these two different streaming environments.

Viewers certainly understand if they are watching TV for free or paying for the experience - and we know most streamers in India are happy to watch advertisements in return for access to free content. Research we carried out with Verve shows 80% of people in India are happy with this trade off. On the other hand, subscription numbers are churning as people face increased economic pressures.

But we have since added to a growing list of acronyms FAST (Free Advertiser Supported Streaming TV), a descriptor to explain the proposition of a scheduled streaming channel, and we’re grappling with an acronym for Subscription with Advertising Tiers as the SVOD platforms look to new monetisation models.

Will HVOD (Hybrid Video on Demand) win out or SAVOD (Subscription Advertising Video on Demand) win out? This is exactly the kind of meaningless debate around terminology all involved in the TV industry need to put aside.

Step out of siloed thinking

Planners can find these acronyms useful but the lines between these different viewing environments are blurring so much that as an industry we risk creating a convoluted landscape for ourselves that will hold back overall CTV growth. Acronyms become out of date and can inhibit fresh thinking – the most creative solutions and TV buys come from stepping out of siloed thinking.

Agency buyers and planners who may be anxious about their streaming knowledge should be confident in the digital abilities they have honed across a range of media. If you understand how digital media is traded and the capabilities of programmatic then the fundamentals of how to plan and buy CTV will not be difficult to grasp.


Audience first approach

Instead, the focus should be on gaining a deeper knowledge of the viewer and how to reach them. Understanding what they watch, their preferences and how to deliver a positive, privacy compliant experience in which advertisements are welcomed as an integral part of the whole should be the goal. The data-driven insights surfaced by CTV are what is truly important, not the label categories.

This will come by breaking down the silos including the ones that might exist in agencies between audio-visual and digital teams – alignment across teams to focus on CTV’s strengths will deliver the best results for advertisers. These strengths include knowledge at the glass level of watch time,  awareness of favourite genres and the ability to identify audiences that have not been reached by a brand’s linear TV campaign.

These insights mean brands can devise complementary campaigns for advertisers that can reach fractured audiences, whether they are linear TV viewers or streaming enthusiasts. Planning against deterministic data rather than siloed viewing formats badged by acronyms  will lead to the media mix best optimised to meet marketing objectives.



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