Advertising in news channels can double if they attract quality eyeballs: Ashish Bhasin

Bhasin, CEO, APAC & Chairman India Dentsu Aegis Network, was speaking to Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now, during the 16th episode of Visionary Talk Series

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 8:02 AM
ashish bhasin

Ashish Bhasin, CEO, APAC & Chairman India Dentsu Aegis Network, has said that India is a news-hungry nation with huge news consumption, more so in smaller cities, and that the industry needs to tap and capitalize its huge potential.

Bhasin was speaking in a live webinar with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now, during the 16th episode of Visionary Talk Series organized by the public policy and governance platform.

Bhasin said though there are many news channels, due to the type of content generated, the viewer is unable to ascertain if they are watching a GEC or a news channel. He added that news channels need to capitalize on what the viewers want to watch and give it semblance.

While emphasizing on quality content and enhancing advertising in news channels, Bhasin said , “Advertisers would like their brand to be in a safe, reliable and trustworthy environment, and not want to put their ads in an area of negativity. News channels should be mindful of that. Advertising follows eyeballs. If news is going to continue to be able to attract quality eyeballs, advertising will flow otherwise it won’t. I think where they are probably going wrong is that they are fighting for eyeballs and not quality which is in the eyeballs. They need to get that balance right. If they get it right, advertising in news channels in India can easily double and jump 100 per cent from its current levels.”

Bhasin also said news channels must come together to promote themselves to provide news as an alternative and need to refrain from bickering and fighting with each other. He pointed out that it is embarrassing to see 20 news channels claiming No. 1 position in the weekly BARC data.

“When required, news channels must develop an attitude of fierce competition, but must cooperate and collaborate to lift the entire genre. If news channels came together and said that news needs to be independent and collectively worked to find solutions, it would do the genre more good. Rather than building the medium they are denigrating each other, which will eventually impact everyone as they are part of the same ecosystem,” said Bhasin.

"It is good to have boundaries and understanding for each other. Taking potshots at each other sometimes gets you market share, but beyond a certain point, it sinks the entire genre in the eyes of consumers,” he observed.

“By and large, I am not of the belief that it is the advertiser's problem to try to direct or control news channels; for which there are enough government and regulatory bodies. if the government is pushed beyond a point, it will not allow self regulation and step in, which nobody is going to like. It’s about how far you can push the boundary,” said Bhasin.

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