Dainik Bhaskar’s IPL initiative gains traction, sees online traffic of 17 mn

Dainik Bhaskar Group has been paving the way in using digital to gain greater traction in the regional media space. The Group recently partnered with Lotame to maximise ad opportunities through use of smart data. Lotame is not only the world’s largest independent DMP, it also offers the world’s largest third-party data exchange. 

Using Lotame’s DMP, Dainik Bhaskar claims to have seen an over 200 per cent increase in CTR and even more successful targeted campaign results. 

In January this year, DainikBhaskar.com bagged three awards for the use of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data at the Biggie Asia-Pacific Awards, which honour the most innovative media companies for implementing data and artificial intelligence initiatives from the region. 

Speaking on the occasion, Gyan Gupta, CEO, DB Digital, had said, “With the next wave of 200 million Internet users all set to hook up on Internet and most of them being Indian language users, DB Digital is all set to sweep them as well and the regulars users off their feet.” 

DB Digital is heavily invested in the development of recommendations algorithms. These algorithms form the bedrock for predicting the interest of an individual based on interest and preferences of similar users. It is this Collaborative Filtering that has led to the development of an AI based App, which enables the content delivery by capturing user click stream data and identifying the reading patterns of the user to process and eventually serve the user what’s relevant and specific to him or her. Keyword-tagging, Story-stitch, and Association-Mining are just some of the many elements that the team is working to get the App to deliver likable and relevant content and videos individually. 

Unofficial umpire this IPL season 

Meanwhile, DainikBhaskar.com and DivyaBhaskar.com have lined up an extensive digital coverage of IPL 2018. The real time IPL coverage on DainikBhaskar.com reaches out to millions of participants over every single day of IPL on its digital portal alone, with its first-in-class TV style scorecard, Live Contests, Video series and audience reactions as well as every hit and miss, records broken and unheard and hidden moments of the previous day. 

Spearheading this initiative is Gyan Gupta, CEO, Dainik Bhaskar Digital. Ever since joining the Dainik Bhaskar Group in November 2008, Gupta has been pushing ahead with the group’s digital presence. In a span of just two and a half years, he made DainikBhaskar.com one the largest Hindi portals in the country. 

Speaking about the new initiative, Gupta said that with IPL being a big season in India, the Group thought about doing something different around it in the digital space. 

In conversation with Adgully, Gyan Gupta sheds more light on the online cricket property, the marketing strategy, plans to tap into other sports events and more. Excerpts: 

What was the strategy behind this initiative?
We were first trying to figure out how do we cover cricket in an innovative manner, and most of the time the conversation was around how people react because as a nation we have always been reacting to how a cricketer is batting, bowling or fielding. Then our focus turned to who would be the right person to comment on the performance and, therefore, could serve as an unofficial umpire. He would be delivering his verdict because he is an umpire, but at the same time he would be unofficial because umpires don’t really comment, but just take decisions. It would be interesting for an umpire to give a verdict the way people want to hear and hence, this concept of an unofficial umpire. 

We are already mid-way through IPL 2018. What kind of traffic has your website seen in this season?
We have been seeing a great response on this property and also a huge number of people interacting. There are a couple of engagement points as well and there we have built up a video property called Silly Point, which is like a 3-minute bulletin in a numeric and funny manner on the previous day’s match and hence, the name Silly Point. 

So far, the traffic on the site is around 17 million. 

There is also an engagement point where people can participate and win, and such activities are seeing a lot of traction, with very high engagement levels. 

Going forward, are you also planning to have similar kind of coverage for other sports events like FIFA, ICC?
Yes absolutely. The whole idea here is that this is not just for IPL but for sports as a category on the whole. What we are looking here is how we can engage people to create conversations that happen off the field, and people really want to comment around that. We will be covering a lot of other cricket seasons and other sports as well. 

Who are the advertisers on board for this initiative?
We are largely bringing in our own advertisements and running it as an editorial property, though a few brands have come on board, including Macho, who are the Co-sponsors. The initiative is powered by Ghadi Detergent, while Shudh Plus is the Associate Sponsor. 

Could you elaborate on the marketing strategy for this activity?
We are using a lot of native rounds, because that is something that we are trying to establish. The best form to engage a user is to be native and so we are leveraging a lot of creators, influencers and networks, we also have this huge network and we are leveraging it. We are also leveraging our own medium of Print, Radio and Website. The larger thrust is around using the creator network that we have built. So, it is largely native supported by the media property that we have. 

How much of a spill over of eyeballs are you expecting from IPL to other stories?
As of now, we are expecting a spill over of about 25-30 per cent, and as and when it will grow and people will get used to the platform, I think the spill over will increase. 

How will you retain the audience once the IPL season is over?
Cricket is a forever season in India and so the property remains. We will be extending to other sports and once we establish this property, we will look at the other tours that India will have and will do some more exciting stuff online.


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