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Big TV to monetise video on demand and interactive services

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | December 23, 2009
The Reliance ADA Group owned DTH firm has appointed Networkplay.in as a strategic partner, which will rope in advertisers for video on demand and interactive services

Big TV, the DTH (direct to home) arm of the Reliance ADA Group, has entered into a strategic partnership with the ad network start-up, Networkplay.in, to monetise its video on demand (pay per view) and interactive offerings.

"Advertisers will be roped in for video on demand, electronic program guide (EPG) and interactive offerings of Big TV," says Rammohan Sundaram, founder, chief executive officer and managing director, Networkplay, in a conversation with afaqs!. Big TV has more than 20 interactive channels such as iStock, iCooking, iCricket and iCare.

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He explains, "Video on demand service could be monetised through TV commercials. Similar to movie broadcast on a TV channel, the video on demand content such as a movie will also have commercial breaks in between."

For the interactive services, there are plans to offer advertising solutions including static and dynamic banner ads, branded skins and sponsorships of entire interactive sections or channels. The ads will be interactive in nature and Networkplay will also create landing pages for the ads. This implies that if a user clicks on a banner ad by pressing a red button available on the Big TV remote control, it will redirect users to a landing page, where more information about the advertised brand will be offered.

Ad slots will be sold on a fixed price basis. "It is a revenue-sharing deal," clarifies Sundaram, who refused to divulge details of the revenue sharing arrangement with Big TV.

According to an industry estimate, 60 per cent of the revenue earned through the monetisation of interactive offerings goes to the DTH firm, while the rest gets routed to the ad sales partner.

In an official communiqué, Sanjay Behl, group head, brand and marketing, Reliance Communications and chief executive officer, Big TV, says, "With the robust technological back end of the Reliance ADA Group and measurable digital TV viewing experience in more than two million homes, Reliance Big TV now has a platform for advertisers to latch on to, especially when they are looking for their brand communication to reach the right audience in the most cost effective manner."

For the record, Networkplay.in is also responsible for monetisation of the interactive offerings of Airtel digital, the DTH service of Bharti Airtel. The ad network company is funded by Goosefish Media Ventures and Capital18, the private equity arm of Network18.