Week at a glance: Q&A-ZEE’s Ashish Sehgal; Digitas drops LBi; IPL brands...

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) will no longer acquire music broadcaster 9X Media due to non-completion of certain material conditions precedent. On October 6, 2017, ZEEL had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 9X Media and INX Music from New Silk Route and other shareholders for an all cash consideration of Rs 160 crore. The deal would have provided an exit to private equity firm New Silk Route (NSR), which owns close to 80 per cent stake in 9X Media. 

ZEEL has been forging ahead on various fronts – be it strengthening its digital offering with the launch of ZEE5, or focussing its attention on regional markets. The network has been introducing a content mix that straddles both rural and urban markets. In conversation with Adgully, Ashish Sehgal, COO, Zee Unimedia Ltd, speaks at length about the various strategies of ZEEL and how it plans to achieve them. 

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In a massive top-tier overhaul, the reins of Pulp Strategy have been taken over by its Founder and Managing Director, Ambika Sharma. Sharma, the majority stakeholder, acquired the balance equity stake of 22 per cent for an undisclosed amount from the brand’s exiting minority shareholder and Director CFO Raj Vikram Singh, to become the sole equity owner of the multi-award winning full-service marketing agency. 

Five years after the merger between Digitas and LBi, DigitasLBi announces today it will drop the LBi from its name, returning to the name Digitas. Since 2013, the two leading digital agencies have integrated seamlessly to form a global network focused in mission, purpose, and culture. Simplifying the name to “Digitas” symbolises this complete unification and reflects the agency’s role as The Connected Marketing Agency, relentlessly committed to creating better connections and realising ambitious outcomes. 

Isobar, part of Dentsu Aegis Network, has announced the launch of a Commerce Practice in India, following the launch of Isobar’s Global Commerce Practice. The expansion of the Commerce Practice in India will see it become a commerce centre of excellence, delivering end to end commerce experiences for clients, through integrated platforms and solutions that are informed by local insight. 

As many as 34 leading brands have come on board with the Star Network for Vivo IPL 2018. Brands like Jio, AMFI, Asian Paints, Berger Paints, Blue Star, Ceat Tyres, Crompton, Dollar, Domino’s, Ford, Haier, Luminous, Pidilite, Sleep Well, Vanessa, Vimal Pan Masala and Voltas have joined Vivo, Colgate, Amul, Coca-Cola, Dream 11, Elica, Kent, MakeMyTrip, Parle Agro, Parle Products, Polycab and Vu TV, among others, to take the roster of brands on Vivo IPL 2018 on the Star Network to 34. 

Future Group, one of India’s largest retail brands, has come on board as an associate sponsor with Star India for the upcoming Vivo IPL 2018, which is poised to kick off on April 7 and is expected to deliver a never-before audience of 700 million across TV and digital. Future Group will be an Associate Sponsor, joining brands like AMFI, Asian Paints, Dream 11, MakeMyTrip, Parle Products, Polycab and Vimal Pan Masala in the category, taking the tally to 8 brands. The co-Presenting Sponsors are Vivo, Coca-Cola, and Jio. 

‘Offbeat’ seeks to give a glimpse of the lesser known facets of our very well-known industry leaders. This week, we feature chief storyteller and serial entrepreneur, Harjiv Singh, who is the Founder and CEO of Gutenberg, a digital integrated marketing communications firm with offices in the US, UK, and India. Singh works extensively with clients across a diverse range of industries and organisations like technology, real estate, government, investment management, academic, and the non-profit sectors. 

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Branded content is seeing new frontiers, while creating immense value for consumers in terms of information and entertainment. However, who is best positioned to create content for brands? Is it the in-house content studios of brands, creative ad agencies or third party specialised content creators? 

Catalyst & pointers for the print industry - Technological and digital modernisation has left several questions that are often directed towards the future of print media. The print side of things has declined in recent years where the decline is simply caused by technological advancement. The Internet has been one of the major reasons print media has declined in readership in the past decade. Even large magazines and daily newspapers aren’t able to keep up with latest news that can be found on television, tablets, computer and mobile screens. 

While AVOD remains the primary source of monetisation for the OTT players in the country, the SVOD and Freemium models are seeing traction, largely on the back of compelling original content. Other traditional media player have been close to successful in creating viable business models for themselves, digital hasn’t welcomed it yet. 

Radio City, a part of Music Broadcast Limited (MBL) which is a subsidiary of Jagran Prakashan Ltd, has been giving a fresh boost to the Indie revolution in the country with its Radio City Freedom Awards. Radio City Freedom Awards in its 5th edition has evolved to become a countrywide movement that promotes new sounds of the new generation with a perfect amalgamation of modern music with a traditional touch through their songs with the theme of ‘Sounds of the Soil’. 

With just a few days left for the Abby Awards 2018, held at Goafest, the highly coveted awards are all set to lay new benchmarks on scale and innovation this year. In its 50th year, the awards that recognise and reward creative excellence, for the first time has formed a Master Jury. It has now rolled out an outdoor campaign to introduce them to the ‘aam janta’ in a quirky way. 

The release of the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2017 data has given a fresh impetus to print advertising in India. Marketers are looking at print medium to increase their localised focus through regional publications. According to Sirish Chandrashekar, Head - Services Marketing, Titan Company, “The release of the IRS 2017 data indicates that print is still very relevant in our markets as the readership is growing, especially for language publications.” 

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HT Media has brought Coco-Cola’s Debabrata Mukherjee on board as Executive Director. He will report to Rajiv Verma, CEO, HT Media. He will look after the revenue and growth initiatives of the company across all publications. 

Triton Communications, one of India’s largest privately held and iconic communications agencies, has announced that they have appointed Ashutosh Sawhney as CEO of its operations across India. As part of his new role, Ashutosh will focus on strengthening Triton’s value proposition to its clients, expand the business, collaborate with new clients and oversee the Agency’s teams across offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Bangalore. 

Shekhar Banerjee, COO, Madison Media, is joining Wavemaker India as Managing Partner. He is replacing Anand Chakravarthy, Managing Director of Essence India. Banerjee will report to Wavemaker India MD, Kartik Sharma. Shekhar had joined Madison in 2004 as COO. At Madison, Banerjee handled key accounts such as Asian Paints, ITC and Marico. 

Goafest, the apex industry event that celebrates milestones in the Indian media and entertainment industry has announced an illustrious, multi-genre speakers’ panel for the 2018 edition. Opening the festival as keynote on Day 1 will be  Yoga Guru and Business Leader “Baba Ramdev”  and Founder, Managing director and CEO of Yes Bank, “Rana Kapoor’, each of who have been game-changers in the  respective areas. 

BARC ratings for Week 10 of 2018 (March 3-9) [HSM (U+R) : NCCS All : 2+ Individuals] saw Star Bharat back in its numero uno position after slipping a couple of notches last week. The top 3 places were claimed by FTA channels, while Zee TV was placed in the fourth spot. Most channels saw growth in their gross viewership numbers this week.

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