Karan Abhishek Singh is CEO, Languages at Network18. He leads all the regionals news channels for the network. In the past he has worked with brands like Pepsico India, Nokia India, Godrej and most recently with Star India.
In this Leaderspeak he opened up about the plans for the upcoming election result day and a lot more.
How has the journey been so far with Elections 2019 for Regional Channels at Network18
It’s been an exciting journey so far. These elections are fought hard and that has brought unforeseen interest from viewers and advertisers in the coverage by the news channels. We expect this to build into a crescendo as we enter the last phases of the elections leading to the counting day and the government formation.
What special do you have in store for the Judgment Day and how are you planning to be different from others?
We at News18 are deploying a magic wall. It is an AI driven proprietary technology of News18
A new-age technological tool that will analyze the real-time data from counting centers, throw up numbers about the leads and trail much ahead of our competitors, taking the channel to a different level in terms of reportage. The Magic Wall is a product for the evolved viewer.
Network18’s election data team has amassed details of each and every factor that impacts voting across seats, regions and states. These include demographics like age, income, gender and classifications like caste dominance, social sector schemes, agrarian distress and industrial growth. This unique database has been created by on-ground data collected by News18’s regional channels network.
What are the methodologies and technicalities involved in the Magic Wall deployed by News18 Channel and how will it add to a differentiated experience for the viewers?
The unique database accumulation allow the News18 network to break-down and explain the result and its impact to the viewers. Senior talent of each regional channel will add their editorial depth and experience to the Magic Wall.
Magic Wall, an exclusive proprietary technology of News 18 is a story telling tool that will be handled by the news anchors coordinating the elections results. Once the numbers start pouring in from counting centers, it will be visible on the Magic Wall. The tool will produce accurate data with an almost bang-on precision. Do a quick comparative analysis of the trends vis-a-vis the previous 2014 poll results, winning and losing candidates; their margins, emerging giant-killers and percentages.
The Magic Wall will help elevate the consumer experience, who will be able to see the counting day results in an infographic pattern, rather than just trails and leads. It will also help the viewer understand how each constituency has voted, by gender, by caste, by demographics to understand the larger pattern. Each anchor is being trained and equipped with the Magic Wall software to bring in a wholesome experience to the viewer.
How are brands reacting to towards your channels and which are the segments that contributed majorly during this seasons?
We have seen huge traction from advertisers across all regional markets. As the country’s largest news network, the advertisers place a lot of trust in our ability to provide the most extensive, reliable and scientific coverage for the elections. This has been proven over the last many elections. And yes, more advertisers’ interest translates to better revenues. We are in line to deliver record high revenues across our businesses.
What has been the impact of the NTO on the reach of News18 Regional Channels?Are the numbers encouraging?
On the basis of our brand strength and our business objectives, we took a call to have our channels as pay channels in each of the markets. We are happy with the response that we have got from our viewers. On the back of some fantastic election programming, our viewership numbers are looking strong. We are doing well and are confident of enhancing our strength further in each of the markets.