NEWSNEXT 2021 Conference: Industry watchers discuss brand building on news TV

The panel addressed aspects like contextual understanding of users leveraging technology, subscription models, vernacular and more

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Apr 5, 2021 8:35 AM  | 5 min read
newsnext 2021

Brands have traditionally relied on GECs to build recall. However, this pandemic has shown that News TV is underleveraged as it can build brand recall faster and at a lower budget. But what should brands do to maximize their recall on NewsTV? What are the best practices? Keeping the relevance of this issue in mind, at exchange4media’s NEWSNEXT 2021 Conference, Political scientist, journalist and author Nalin Mehta; Group CMO, India Today Vivek Malhotra; Digital Business Leader, Co-founder Rezilient Digital and former CEO VICE India Chanpreet Arora; and Vani Gupta (Moderator)--Founder, CherryPeachPlum, Ventures came together to lead the conversation on building brands on news TV.

Malhotra spoke about the tussle between the amount of ad break time and the time given to editorial. He also discussed new models for advertisers or media agencies on the possible duration of ads, on ad placement and new ways of monetizing this added viewership. He said that reach should be the key criteria.

“The buying should move from CPRP to a cost per reach sort of thing because reach directly reflects the role that a platform plays in your life. You go to at least visit that platform once in one day. The advertisers and the agencies, and the broadcasters need to come together and say, 'Hey, why are we putting so much pressure and diluting the content and making these guys fight for that extra minute of time spent. We'd rather start compensating these people for the number of people they're reaching because finally what matters to me is the reach of my ad spot',” Malhotra contended.

Meanwhile, Mehta spoke about subscription models and possible rewiring of areas geared for a reboot. “The way we knew news so far is simply not going to work. All media companies are discovering that we have been used to commodifying news. Much of what we do is more like a digest. If you look at newspapers or magazines, people already have those on Google. So what is that special thing that you bring that people will pay for?

"And for that, the content quality becomes very different; it means a complete rewiring of the way news is currently brought about. It’s already happened on television in ages without digital that you are operating in echo chambers," he remarked. Malhotra also noted that language plays a huge role in television consumption.

He spoke about how Covid changed the game for the news genre. "COVID brought us back to the news genre again,” he said. Malhotra asserted that another big change here for the industry has been fuelled by technology.

“Technology, which was an accessory to what most of us do, is actually now central. So we try to develop a research cell where I get what's happening on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. And what's happening on magazine download and on TV. So by the time the TV ratings come, we are actually on a day by day, minute by minute basis, changing our opinion because we're getting information well in advance,” he shared.

Arora too observed that from a news publishers point of view, whether it was TV or print, the industry earlier didn’t know the profile of their users and how with that access, companies have the advantage to reach their viewers better. “With digital economy, the consumer is giving you a lot of information just by reading from a certain section or listening to a podcast or a video. They're telling you what they want, they're telling you what their intent is, you just need to start listening differently. And I'm not talking about whether you have logged-in user data or not,“ she hinted.

She added the biggest work that her company is doing in the space is looking at the ad tech stack of publishers, traditional publishers who moved to digital or who did not necessarily invest in understanding and listening to the data and what to do with it. “We have an opportunity where we not only can listen to data real-time but if we can really observe it over a period of time with the right amount of filters, we can create homogeneous sets of people who like scuba diving, who like train travel or just like buying makeup, whatever the category is and provide better solutions to advertisers and better solutions to their consumers,” she said.

According to Arora, contextual understanding of the user is clearly the future. “It will help us in cross-device marketing as well,” she opined.

Addressing the question of whether news as a genre has seen perpetual transformation after Covid, Mehta explained the change of context in which news is consumed. “The platforms when it comes to the genre are shifting. Media companies thought they had three to five years to shift from the old world to the new world. A while back, they thought they had that much time but COVID has compressed that into three months,” he remarked. Emphasizing how digital technology has changed the game, Mehta said,

“I think technology is now at the centre of the newsroom. The consumer is far more important to the media newsroom. Now your consumer is in your head constantly because you can track them in real-time all the time. You don't have to wait for the ratings.” 

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