Puneet Singhvi, President – Digital & Corporate Strategy at Network18 shares his Focus points in 2020.
Evolving monetization models Subscription
Evolving monetization models is one of the big things we did successfully in 2019 was launching a subscription on moneycontrol to moneycontrol pro. So that will become a big focus area on how we are evolving the overall subscription business and how then we are able to add transactions to money control. We have a complete suite of financial services and products available for the users. The money control flow will continue to add a lot of new insights, analytics and features on an on-going basis to enrich the value and the usage for the subscriber.
One big focus area for us is growing moneycontrol laterally by including more financial services products, verticals, insights and content, etc. and then within that also look at the money control pro on the back of momentum that we will be able to generate.
Focus on Languages
One of the big growth areas for us is News18 languages. It’s a two year old initiative and it’s already done very well. It speaks volume about the kind of work, both in terms of the platform and also in terms of the kind of editorial content that we are putting out there. Commoditization product has also grown very strongly on languages.
On languages, on a standalone basis we are at top three or top four players in most of the languages that we are present in. We are launching one more language in the next three – four weeks, and then will be across 12 languages. Endeavour will be to be in the top two or top three players on a consistent basis. At an aggregate level in any case we are the biggest so I think that’s the gap we will try to open up and then there will be elements of hyper-local content that we will keep adding to the various different language websites we have.
Branded Content Studios
One of the very exciting successes that we’ve had in the last year has been the work which we have done for Firstpost Studios specifically around creating branded solutions for clients. Creating a capacity for a full end to end idea to execution chain and in addition to this, we’ve also created some very good robust IPs, both offline and online such as the Tech and Auto show etc.
There is a gravitas as a brand that has already been able to build some of these IPs. I think that’s one of the things that will be a key area of Focus for us, growing existing IPs and creating some of the best IPs across.
Growth of business in general is another key area of Focus for us in 2020. The way I see it is at that Firstpost Studio at some stage could be just be an independent unit which works not only works for Network18 but also for external clients..
We started some work already on the monetization and content side of convergence with our television operations, both of these are very well aligned in terms of the news gathering operations and the kind of reach that television gives both from a coverage perspective and also amongst our advertisers. It’s fairly complimentary.
So that’s why we’ve already kicked off an initiative to see how we can leverage cookies to generate more content for our network and also look at doing joint pitches or reaching out to new advertisers who traditionally don’t come on digital.
For example, the retail clients are very big on News18 Rajasthan or News18 Karnataka and all of those things, but they’re not necessarily come there on the digital platforms. There is an opportunity there where we trying to create a like a striking, more convergent organization in the way we aggregate and generate content and also the way we go out and monetize. Convergence is another focus area.
Focus on Money Control
Last year we did a fantastic job with the elections coverage including the analysis, we have been leaders by far in terms of being the choice of destination for viewers for the election news; all this was made possible by our integrated newsrooms.
If you see the trend, we are often the most accurate and on the ball on the coverage and the real numbers instead of relying on a third party.
Except Moneycontrol, all our brands under the News18 umbrella are just three-year-old and for us to be able to establish leadership and get to a strong number two position on an overall basis is a testament to the kind of work we have done across content and platforms.
Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. They are a core part of any sort of growth planning that we do and that has stood us in a good stead and helped us grow thus there will be continued focus on further strengthening them whether it’s as micro as hyper-local news coverage or as macro as large election coverage or analysis and interviews.