Credibility & relevance of content key to growth of a news organisation: Aroon Purie

In the company's annual report, TV Today Network Chairman Aroon Purie and Vice-Chairperson Kalli Purie talked about a host of issues, including their foray into original content space

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Aug 19, 2022 8:32 AM  | 4 min read
aroon purie

While the increase in the consumption of news across diverse platforms is an encouraging sign, the growth and survival of a news organisation are dependent on the credibility and relevance of the content that it delivers to the audience.

"The key to the survival and growth of a news organisation remains the credibility and relevance of the content it delivers to end-users," TV Today Network Chairman Aroon Purie said in the company's annual report for the year 2021-22.

He asserted that TV Today has never compromised on the primary objective of journalism, which is to take the truth to the masses. Recalling the challenges posed by the pandemic, Purie said that the news network "did not miss a single newsworthy moment, be it on TV, print or our digital platforms".

"The commitment to the gold standard of journalism is non-negotiable, come what may. This was in full display in our relentless reporting of the Ukraine war by the team of our intrepid journalists. The coverage is being appreciated by many," he added.

Purie also highlighted that the company's flagship Hindi news channel Aaj Tak reached 50 million subscribers on YouTube. According to Purie, this makes Aaj Tak the world’s first and only news channel to achieve this feat and win the coveted Custom Play Button.

He also touched upon the rationale behind launching Good News Today. "At a time when personal views, social media trolling, and high-decibel hectoring have been packaged as news, Good News Today broadcasts optimistic and inspirational stories. It has already created a stir across a broad spectrum of news networks and has been received well by our audience," he stated.

Purie also pointed out that the company ventured into the digital audio vertical and launched its first podcast channel, Aaj Tak Radio. "We have also launched India Today Podcasts, with two brand new weekly shows in response to the growing need for both enrichment and entertainment."

In her message to the shareholders, TV Today Network Vice-Chairperson Kalli Purie spoke about the movement of viewers from TV to digital and how the company capitalised on this phenomenon. She referred to the company's ‘Masterbrand Strategy’, wherein Masterbrand Tak has interest-based sub-brands.

"When viewership moved from the TV monitor to the privacy of the mobile phone screen, we launched a series of digital-first initiatives, in the form of digital mobile channels and now popular as Taks. The new version of Tak App hit the market in December last year with a foundation of more than 55 million fan base and 8.3 billion views annually on social media platforms," she said.

The TV Today Vice-Chairperson said that the Tak App has a pool of 19 video channels offering content in 11 genres across four languages - Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, and Gurumukhi, covering national, regional, and special-interest segments.

She also disclosed the company's foray into the original content space through the launch of a new vertical called India Today Originals. The vertical will see two true crime- documentary series, 'Indian Predator- Diary of a Serial Killer' streaming on Netflix and 'Dancing on the Grave' on Amazon Prime Video.

"And this year, we will debut on two of the biggest OTT platforms - Amazon Prime Video and Netflix - with our originals. This is just the beginning. With a new format for narrative, supported by creative freedom and backed by deep research, the India Today Originals is set to produce many more originals which are bound to take the OTT world by storm," she noted.

The company said India Today Originals is a content hub that produces original series and features in the non-fiction and fiction space for streaming & audio platforms. It added that the vertical is backed up by an expansive content pool generated by a battery of experienced correspondents, content writers & directors handpicked by the company. As a result of its foray into the original content space, TV Today has also become a member of the Producers Guild Of India.

In FY22, TV Today's income from advertisement and other related operations grew 20% to Rs 852.54 crore from Rs 710.35 crore in FY21 due to improved yield rate as well as increased ad volume from different television news channels, YouTube channels, websites, mobile applications, and other media platforms. Subscription income remained flat at Rs 62.30 crore against Rs 61.99 crore. Total income rose 18.79% to Rs 930.10 crore from Rs 782.98 crore.

Total costs were up 17% to Rs 727.65 crore from Rs 624.17 crore. Advertising, distribution, and sales promotion expenses increased 25% to Rs 213.35 crore from Rs 170.34 crore. Profit for the year surged by 39% to Rs 181.72 crore against Rs 131.17 crore. EBITDA jumped by 23% to Rs 244.78 crore from Rs 198.94 crore.


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