Turner to increase investments in digital

Turner International is set to experiment some more with digital. The media corporate has decided to increase its digital spends. Turner officials also informed that digital media would work as an alternate source of revenue for the group.

e4m by Khushboo Tanna
Updated: Oct 22, 2010 12:22 PM
Turner to increase investments in digital

Turner has adopted the ‘anytime anywhere’ strategy and following that the company has embarked on a journey of leveraging newer mediums of content distribution such as mobile, wireless, internet, etc. Since the consumption patterns are changing, the group did not want to limit themselves to remain on the traditional pattern and hence they repurposed their content to reach out to every kind of technology that is available.

Siddharth Jain, Vice President and Deputy General Manager, Distribution and Business Operations, South Asia, Turner International India, said that today if a viewer moves out from one domain to the other domain, he will find them there. “We don’t want to lose the viewer; we want to provide 360 degree availability irrespective of the platform,” he said.

Similarly, Troy Lobo, Director of Wireless, Interactive Content Development and Distribution for South Asia, Turner International India, added to that and said that they have been actively working in this space and looking at the audience consumption patterns and then developing content for these multiple platforms. He gave an example and said that the mobile game for Ben 10 has got 1.5 million game plays and Chhota Bheem that was just launched got 700,000 game plays. He also added that they have tied up with different strategic partners for different platforms; for example they work with Jump Games for mobile games, Nazara for comics, Indiatimes for IVR related content and Hungama for personalized content.

He shared some statistics from their games platform and said that kids are playing games on their parent’s mobile phone and 63 per cent kids use mobile phones once a week and out of that 70 to 80 percent actually play games. Hence, this becomes an important space for them to be present in. “This shows that there is an audience over there and they are willing to consume content on platforms besides the traditional television,” stated Lobo.

Over the last few years, they saw that rural India is where the growth is coming from and it is largely because of a less amount of entertainment present in those regions unlike in the case of a viewer in a metro. And if a device is capable of giving you an additional screen of entertainment, it will be consumed. “We are finding a lot of new demand coming from the rural towns and it is increasing because of the growth of telecom. The good thing is that most of the content on mobile phones is monetized unlike the web which is ad sales based and free to consumer,” said Lobo.

Talking about the distribution between the revenue streams, Jain pointed out that the traditional business comprised of analog cable and digital cable and DTH. These revenue streams are also ad sales supported. Put together analog cable, digital cable and DTH contribute 95 per cent of revenues to the Turner topline. All new initiatives like broadband, games, ringtones, wallpapers, caller tunes contribute 5 per cent.

One of the more recent innovations that the group has done is around their show MAD. This show has been taken from television to the publishing medium and then it was added on Tata Sky under a learn application called ‘MAD Step by Step’. After that the OOH media was tapped as 150 buses in Mumbai showed one minute videos of MAD Step by Step at an interval of 30 minutes.

Just last week, Cartoon Network had a tie up with Tata Sky where one can get a Cartoon Network branded channel under the active wiz kids section and they plan to tie up with more DTH operators as well.

Some of the things that the group intends to tap into the near future include the launch of Boomerang on Mobile TV by early 2011 in partnership with 5 -7 telecom operators, a new cricket game of Chhota Bheem, Cartoon Network gaming channels to be launched on DTH and Cartoon Network’s HD format launch.

Obviously, this means that the group is investing heavily in the digital media and while Jain did not want to share numbers, he said that the investment in digital has increased over the past few years and it is bound to increase over the next year as well.

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