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One and a half years and 500 contracts: LiveMedia

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In OOH News | January 16, 2008
From a quiet beginning in 2006, LiveMedia has worked its way up slowly and steadily

In the & #BANNER1 & # one and a half years since its inception in October 2006, LiveMedia seems to have done well for itself. As founder and chief executive officer Rajan Mehta tells agencyfaqs!, "At the end of approximately two years, we have 500 contracts in hand, with some well-known brands using our services."

LiveMedia has a network of LCD TVs placed at strategic locations like restaurants, hospitals, corporate offices and top-end salons and it offers specially designed content to its viewers. The firm had a quiet beginning in Delhi in 2006. McDonald's was its first client. It gradually strengthened its base in the Capital and North India, and moved on to carving itself a secure niche in the West as well. Its most recent foray has been in Kolkata in November 2007.

LiveMedia at Cafe Coffee Day, New Delhi
Besides McDonald's, some key clients who have entered into partnership with LiveMedia are Nirula's, Costa Coffee, Thank God Its Friday, Genpact, Hewitt and Tech Mahindra. LiveMedia also plans to tap the health-care sector and is considering associations with hospitals to place its screens there, but Mehta would not divulge any further details of his plans.

Mehta says he would like to position LiveMedia as a concept of "captive audience networks", and as a part of corporate policy, does not place screens in malls. He reasons, "We do not put up our screens in malls, where people are usually in transitory mode. We wish to target people who have time to sit, observe and grasp messages. Thus, effective content designing plays an important role in our scheme of things."

LiveMedia has designed branded programmes to keep viewers engaged in the targeted locations. Currently, 15 such programmes - Graffiti, Horoscope, Fashion, Trivia, and Randy Glasbergen animations, to name a few - are being shown on its screens.

Advertising has played a significant role in LiveMedia touching base with consumers. It has around 60 advertisers on board at the moment, 70 per cent of them repeat customers, reveals Mehta. These advertisers include Maruti, Unilever, ITC, Sony, GSK, LG, Tata Sky, Reliance ADAG, Dish TV, Walt Disney, Big FM, Radio Mirchi, Radio City, Zee and Mid Day.

On special advertising for the medium, he says, "Advertising for this medium hasn't evolved that much yet. TVCs designed for brands are being played on LiveMedia screens and the same is true for other OOH service providers, too."

LiveMedia uses research to identify categories of under-served viewers/consumers and demographics - groups that are difficult to reach with the help of conventional media. "Wherever we can locate such under-served audiences, we intervene with our product and programming. Once the kind of audience we wish to reach is defined, we sign contracts with clients," says Mehta.

"Currently, youth and young professionals is the set of people that we wish to reach out to with our communication," he adds. According to his company's research, this segment is not too inclined to read newspapers, spends more time outside their home, and has a low attention span. LiveMedia is looking at targeting this set of audience keeping these points in mind, and it has tied up with clients to reach out to them.

LiveMedia has around 2,100 screens in more than 1,000 sites, spread across 30 cities and towns. The average time spent in front of these screens is 20-25 minutes. The equipment partners for LiveMedia include LG and Hitachi, and its content partners are Sony BMG, Saregama, Music Today, Times Music and Randy Glasbergen.

Mehta was formerly vice-president and board member at Nortel Networks in India.

LiveMedia is funded by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, an international venture capital firm based in the US, which also funds companies such as Hotmail and Skype.

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