Media giants of South on their business goals for 2018

Most of them would be trying to focus on digital is what was largely understood

e4m by Akshata R Murthy
Updated: Jan 10, 2018 8:58 AM

While 2017 just ended with several developments both big and small in the South media industry, everyone is now all set to sail further smoothly in 2018. We spoke to a few media houses to know their plans for this year. Digital seems to be ruling on everyone's mind and the South story is no different. Also, video content, distribution and expansion to more South languages is the general sentiment this year. Here’s what some had to say about the roadmap for 2018:

Mathrubhumi- FM expansion, culture fest, and digital focus

Shreyams Kumar, Joint Managing Director of Mathrubhumi, said, “Some of our organisation’s major developments for 2018 includes launch of additional 2 Club FM radio station in Calicut and Alleppey , presently we have 5 stations across Kerala ( Kochi, TVM, Thrissur and Kannur & Dubai) in the radio division. We are coming up with one of the largest and most polyphonic cultural events in God’s own country – Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters on February 4-5, 2018 with over 100 International and Indian writers participating.”

Speaking about the other segments of this Kerala media giant, Shreyams added, “We have a strong vision to expand digitally and will be coming up with innovative digital projects. With steady growth of the print industry, we have given our newspaper a new look in its design and layout which will enrich the reading experience of our readers. Red mic, our events division will be coming up with various flagship events which include Speak for India (Kerala edition), ‘I AM Kalam’ an all Kerala science exhibition, Mojo Rising (2 days, 16 bands musical festival), Aspire (Career Guidance Expo) etc.”

Malayala Manorama- Focus on digital, interactive content

Varghese Chandy, Vice President – Marketing, Malayala Manorama, said, “We will focus on the core strengths of traditional media and we are eagerly waiting for the readership survey figures. We will focus more on our integrated offers (Junction K) through which we will bundle all our verticals to provide solutions to client problems. We will focus on our digital platforms to ensure that our well curated content gets maximum reach.”

Talking about MMTV from the Malayala Manorama group, PR Satheesh, Chief Operating Officer of MMTV, said, “We have a plan for the year that includes new genres and interactive content that reaches out to the audience across Kerala and Malayalis all over. While we recreate some past magic, we are constantly on the lookout for changing audience preferences and staying relevant, continuing to remain focused with credible news and wholesome entertainment.”

ANN- Video content and distribution to take centrestage

Amit Gupta, CEO, Asianet News Network, said, “2018 is expected to be a year of economic exuberance and optimism. On the back of this economic growth and robust capital markets performance they will lend themselves to regional media for promoting local corporates across the origin state and nationally. 2018 will see increased offering from ANN such as composite selling solutions across print media; electronic media (TV and Radio); digital media (web and mobile). Video content and its distribution will hog most of the investment, attention and spending. ANN digital, Malayalam and Kannada Digital properties will strive to achieve the No.1 position in Video News and Entertainment. Digital Sales focus will be on Adtech- to support Programmatic and Header bidding avenues of monetisation and on Native Videos.” 

Anoop N, Chief Operating Officer of Asianet News Digital, the digital wing of Asianet News Network, spoke about his plans for the digital platform ‘Newsable’ during 2018. He said, “We want to be at the top in at least two to three languages out of the five languages we are present in. A couple of acquisitions are being planned as we speak right now which will help enhance the video experience. Tamil and Telugu, which are large markets of the south, are going to be our main focus. We will be launching some good innovative products for the markets we are focusing on this year.”

Gupta added, “We would continue to build on our strong millennial focus and engagement. Indigo is at the cusp of a slew of exciting new offerings in the areas of radio as a service and digital. In 2018 Asianet News Network, while maintaining its pole position unchallenged, would try to broad base its news content by going beyond political news to diversify in areas of interest to the public, focusing on the development requirements of the state and non political initiatives in various fields. We would be focusing on millennial led content and the changing tastes in art, culture and lifestyle. 2018 will be a year of stepped up events and activations, innovative ad concepts and smart inventory management. ANN will have a strong focus on inorganic opportunities and consolidation in digital and electronic media in states that it is not present in."

Public TV- Launch of new channel

HR Ranganath, Chairman and Managing Editor of Public TV, talking about his plans for 2018, said, “We are planning to launch a new channel called Public Movies on February 12, 2018. This will be our third channel after Public TV and Public Music. We don’t believe in grand launches so this will be a soft launch at our office. We might invite a male and a female actor and that’s going to be it. Going ahead we plan to have a comedy channel called Public Comedy, maybe towards the end of this year. We want to have five channels under our brand.” 

Zee Telugu- Progressive narratives to continue

Talking on behalf of Zee Telugu, which recently underwent a re-branding, Anuradha Gudur, Business Head of Zee Telugu & Zee Cinemalu, said, “We started our journey with one step 12 years ago to emerge as channel that was progressive, young and dynamic. With many more milestones that are to come in the years ahead, we will continue to engage with our audiences and be the #ExtraOrdinaryTogether that we are in the television entertainment space. In our constant attempts to provide positive narratives through the channel, we have always had women adorning progressive characters who are ready to take those steps that lead them to greener pastures.”

The new brand identities were unveiled by Padmabhushan Megastar Dr. Chiranjeevi at the Zee Telugu Golden Awards ceremony telecast on December 31, 2017 on Zee Telugu. Embodying the new brand proposition, Samantha Akkineni has been announced as Zee Telugu’s Brand Ambassador, who features in the channel’s extensive multi-media campaign as its voice.

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