Mergers like Zee-Sony unite assets across mediums, improving reach for advertisers:

There will be more of experimentation & differentiated offerings in the television broadcast with the Zee-Sony merger, said Sejal Shah, MD, APX, PMX & Publicis-In-Motion

e4m by Sejal Shah
Updated: Oct 27, 2021 9:16 AM
Sejal Shah

Sejal Shah, Managing Director, APX, PMX and Publicis-In-Motion, shares her reactions on the merger deal between Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) and Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI). She also discussed the possible implications on the industry with this merger deal and how the combined entity will benefit from greater market share and reach, as Sony possesses a number of sports channels and properties and Zee is known for its vernacular entertainment. Apart from this, a merger such as this leads to better solutions and greater reach for advertisers.

Edited Excerpts:

This is the first time two big players are merging to create a behemoth. Will Zee-Sony merger give too much power to the merged entity when it comes to negotiating?

We will have to see how the merger plays out. The combined entity will benefit from greater market share and reach and will make the business more competitive and fast-paced.

We are invested in bringing in strong business outcomes for our clients and work with various broadcast partners, platforms, and publishers. Advertisers have many viable options today; in fact, the landscape is very fragmented and the dependency on any one particular broadcast group or publisher no longer holds. What remains to be seen post-merger is how the revenue function will be structured. Advertisers are facing recessionary pressures because of the pandemic and there are limitations to what you can get from the market. Full recovery for advertisers is still some time away.

With this consolidation, there will be two large players in the market - Star-Disney and Zee-Sony. Will the concentration of a large market share with the two big players change the dynamics of the TV ad business?

While Sony has a number of sports channels and properties, Zee is known for its vernacular entertainment.

With the merger, there will be more of experimentation and differentiated offerings in the television broadcast. The broadcast landscape is not what it was a few years ago; people are consuming entertainment like never before across a multitude of devices and platforms. It will be interesting to see how various entertainment conglomerates strategise, compete, innovate, and bring in top-notch content across multiple screens for audiences that are always hungry for more. Ultimately, it’s a win-win for the consumer who gets to watch the best of entertainment.

Is consolidation on the platform side good or bad for media agencies and advertisers, and why?

Consolidation is a natural outcome in a competitive landscape. A merger such as this brings together assets from across mediums, in turn, leading to better solutions and greater reach for advertisers. Advertisers get bang for the buck with stronger, more integrated play.

However, if the consolidation leads to an inflation of rates, it may have a counter-effect, and advertisers may simply reduce volumes or move on to other, more viable options - platforms. It’s been a rough 2020/21 for many brands; many categories are yet to recover completely from the impact of the pandemic.

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