Mumbai OOH owners not happy with Western Railway’s licence fee relief proposal

As per the proposal put forth recently, Western Railway has offered to collect only 10% licence fee for June 2020, 15% for July, 30% for August and 50% for September

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Updated: Oct 27, 2020 8:48 AM
Mumbai Railways

OOH media owners in Mumbai have expressed disappointment over the relief in licence fee recently offered by Western Railway to mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19. They have written a letter to the authorities sharing their concerns. Now, a final plan is expected by next week.

As per the relief proposal put forth recently, Western Railway, on the basis of footfalls, offered to collect only 10% licence fee for June 2020. In the proceeding months, 15% licence fee would be levied for the month of July, 30% for August and 50% for the month of September.

The proposal has not gone down very well with the media owners who had been demanding a one-year waiver in the licence owing to the suspension of the services during the lockdown.

An OOH media owner, who did not want to come on record, shared that the economic relief offered by the proposal is not justified.

“Though Western and Central Railways have decided to let women passengers avail train services from last week regardless of them being essential workers or not, railway services will open for all travellers by November 15, 2020 only. The footfalls will be fully back only then. And we have been shut for a long period of time. So this economic relief is not justified,” he shared.

OOH media owners in Mumbai, who have invested in railway media, point out that even though operations began in June and July, there was lack of branding activities at these sites due to the restrictions imposed by the government. The percentage set for the licence fees do not take into account the relationship between the branded media sites and audience impact, they say.

With the festive season underway, commercial advertising on railway sites is expected to be amplified as Ooh media owners say they are seeing a rise in the inquires. If the licence fees are reduced, most of the deals will be actioned, they say.

If the licence fee exemption demand of OOH media owners is considered, railway media will be profitable for them as Western Railway has created several exciting new inventories, including sanitiser dispenser booths and kiosks at stations.

The appeal by railway OOH media owners for relief in licence fee was first made in May 2020. A one-year relief in licence fee was demanded due to the suspension of railway services during the lockdown induced by Covid-19. In June, however, railway services were allowed for essential workers with a permit.

A similar demand for relief in licence fee was made by OOH media owners from the airport authorities across India. Mumbai airport authorities are the only ones who have so far offered an exemption till December 2020. A case over relief in licence fee from BMC is being heard in court.

For more updates, be socially connected with us on
WhatsApp, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube