#FF14 Day 2: Need to monetize big in a multi-platform era

14 Mar,2014

By A Correspondent


There’s a lot that is being said on how the advent of technology has revolutionized the M&E ecosystem. With the emergence of newer technologies and players offering these services, it becomes a challenge to find a balance in providing technology with creativity and content. The session on ‘Monetization Opportunities in the Multiscreen World’ sought to throw light on how the ecosystem was witnessing an interesting shift in revenue-sharing models and how companies could monetize effectively during these challenging times.


The panelists included Sam Balsara, Chairman & MD, Madison World; Satyan Gajwani, CEO, Times Internet Panel; Chakrapani Gollapali, General Manager, Consumer Channels Group, Microsoft India; Neeraj Roy, MD & CEO, Hungama Digital Media; Rishi Jaitly, India Market Director, Twitter; Nikhil Naik, Head – Director, Global Content and Distribution, Vuclip; Karan Bedi, Founder & CEO, Tutorific! and Ramki Sankaranarayanan, CEO, Prime Focus who moderated the session.


Presenting an insightful outlook, Sam Balsara highlighted how the television and mobile will be the only two mediums that will continue to be dominant in the future and how the interplay between the two would result in positive growth of the industry. Balsara said that while television continued to find favour with advertisers, they were gradually waking up to the medium of digital as well. “But advertisers need to be flexible about how the viewer’s see their ads; not just on television but across multiple screens.”


Cautioning the audience, Balsara expressed discontent on how the older norm of doing business was seeing a shift that was not healthy. “The older model of doing advertising was 50-50; half from subscription and half from advertisers. But that has changed of late with more revenues coming from advertisers allowing them to have a greater say in content. It is important that we move back to the old model of 50-50 so that equilibrium is maintained and focus around content remains intact.”


According to Neeraj Roy, it is not true that monetization in India is not up to the mark. “Around Rs 1500-2000 crore is still being directed towards content and that was a very positive sign. But he expressed worry as he said that the monetization exercise was being limited to certain mediums only. The way out is to have a balance in the advertising-transaction ratio, said Roy. With the shift to 4G being imminent, Roy urged content providers to focus on providing content that is high on value as consumers will be willing to pay more provided they get quality content.


Providing a synopsis of his company, Rishi Jaitly said that more than 25 million users use twitter to discover content. Jaitly said that if companies concentrated on investing in value then the monetization will actually go up. “The world today is becoming mobile-first, so content providers needs to work on providing content that is of context and relevant. As a network, our focus would continue to be on fueling public conversation across multiple platforms,” affirmed Jaitly.


Highlighting the scope and challenges faced by his company, Satyan Gajwani said that it was great to see the digital ecosystem in India thriving but the challenge is in delivering content that is high-quality because at the end the customer is going to pay for it. Talking about the issue of piracy facing his portal gaana.com, Gajwani said that the only way to overcome that was by offering such high-value and widespread offering that the user will be forced to come back for anything and everything got to do with music. This will indirectly bring down the number of users going to pirated websites to seek such services.


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