At the launch of the India Today Groups MobileTak.in and 7 Digital Channels Ms. Kalli Purie Vice Chairman, India Today Group in conversation with tvnews4u.com speaks on the idea and inspiration behind the launch of their Digital Venture.
On launch of MobileTak..!
In the past 6 months we have seen a huge shift and that has given us the impetus to do it and do it quickly. This would’nt have been possible on Television and we have always wanted to create niche channels and as studies showed the extent of Mobile consumption in India on the increase we decided it was the right platform for us to Launch MobileTak.
Would you be charging a subscription fees ?
Not right now as there is a lot of Advertising Opportunities on the Digital format right now and we would like to explore those options and able to monetise them than to charge a fee. There are opportunities to do a Pre roll/post roll/mid roll. Brand placements, native ads and skinning of the player. There are lot of opportunities and once you have achieved a certain threshold and the brand has learnt and established, as there is a machine learning process and then you decide whether we want to charge the channels for the data or for the revenue, Not right now, now our focus is to grow it and get the necessary eyeballs
In the News front do you have an advantage over the other Digital Players as you have the Network resources ?
We normally aren’t into comparisons but what I feel is that most times the original content is lost because the channels as soon as they put out a Breaking news they get into a debate mode, which is not what is interesting as I want to form my own opinion on the issue and this allows us to do it quickly. This also allows us to do bulletins every hour and the viewer can pick it up where ever they are. Plus it allows us to grow from the lineage and learning of AajTak but not restricted to the AajTak framework. In that sense I think we have an advantage
Is this purely an App MOBILETAK.IN or are they available on other platforms also?
All are available on Youtube, Facebook, Social and WAPP and what we are finding is that some of the brands/genre are doing better in one platform than other. Sports for example is doing very very well on YouTube within less than a month of its launch and we have about 80,000 subscribers without any advertising as revenue will start only after the Marketing Plan kicks in. LifeTak is doing very well on Social, so its just platform to platform and genre to genre. We are still learning as to why some are working better than the other.
Will monetization also impact from platform to platform and genre to genre?
Yes it surely will differ from platform to platform and that would be our challenge or our opportunity for us to look as to if LifeTak is getting revenues from Social and Sports from YouTube how do we make sure that both the genres get revenues from both the platforms by how to maximise the views from one to the other platforms.
In the GEC arena, earlier content was available on YouTube but later you had to get on to their websites to watch a programme and now to OTT platforms like Hotstar, Voot so that they could montize it better than YouTube, are you planning to do the same ?
These are our channels whether be it on FB or YouTube. The difference in GEC is that they earlier did not create original content for their OTT platform and they didn’t want other platforms to monetize their content, and didn’t want to give their content free to another brand. We are creating original
content for mobile and that is a big difference and we want it to be on all platforms. The idea is we should be on all platforms and be able to monetize all those platforms because of the advantage of being in these platforms due to our broadcast brands and print brands we have a certain relationship with all these platforms and allows us to monetize our new brands from day one. We didn’t have to set up a relationship with these platforms r achieve a certain minimum threshold and then start the monetizing process.
We also keep a check on our costs as most of the times we are shooting with our mobile phones, people are multitasking and we are using a lot of inhouse talent as we have 4 TV channels and there is a lot of contingencies available to us. For example during electon result day, all our reporters are on ground and only 2 anchors are on air, Rajdeep on India Today and Prassun on AajTak. We have Anjana and Rahul Kanwal now we have the advantage of taking them Live on FB and You Tube Channeland get new audiences and monetize this. I don’t have to hire new anchors and incur costs. We have also kept costs in check because we are running it as Digital first and not as a Broadcaster. We cannot act as a broadcaster and get revenues as a digital player.
Do you have a first mover advantage in being interactive with the viewers ?
Yes and now most of our journalists want to have their own app.
A little about MOJO, is it a catch 22 situation by going MOJO it will take over from the reports and anchors in Broadcast ?
Right now the mobiles are not equipped so well, there is only so much you can do and store but in some ways it does change the way you tell a story as you know the limitations. I don’t think it will take over but will co exist.