Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has invited tender bids for installation, operation and maintenance of 50 audio-visual LCD screens at five underground sections on Line 2 -- Central Sectariat, Patel Chowk, New Delhi, Chawri Bazar and Chandni Chowk -- for a period of five years. More than 2.5 lakh people commute daily on Line 2, between Central Secretariat and Delhi University.
The tender document also states, "During the license period, the number of sites in the agreement may increase, if mutually agreed; and for such increase of sites, the allottee shall be entitled to pay license fee with the proportionate increase."
Submissions will be evaluated based on experience, as well as technical, administrative and financial capability to perform the contract within the stipulated time period. Bidders, who have a poor performance record, will not be considered. This includes circumstances such as abandoning of works, not properly completing contracts, litigation history or financial failure.
The network of screens will run on a central server. Also, the licensee needs to provide DMRC with the facility of showing instant messages through website in real time. Additionally, 25 per cent of airtime would be made available to DMRC on a daily basis.
According to Sanjay Dayal, general manager, marketing, International Techno Media, grabbing eyeballs is never a problem with Delhi Metro. "The big challenge is the ability of these screens to hold the attention even for 30 seconds, as commuters are not allowed to stay at stations for long. In such a scenario, static formats tend to garner more eyeballs. Also, sound will be totally lost; and the only way left to capture the TG's attention will be to come up with a different creative for the medium, other than a TVC," he opines.
Mandeep Malhotra, senior vice-president, Primesite, shares that LCD screens with sound have not worked as an effective medium across the globe. "I do not think the screens will be a sound investment unless backed by the right content. In a highly cluttered transit mode, people will care to take a look at the screens, only when they are running content that is totally different from what is shown on the television," he says.
Currently, some LCD screens are present inside stations at Rajiv Chowk and Kashmere Gate. So far, these screens are only used by DMRC to showcase public service messages.
Apparently, DMRC had floated a tender for its entire underground stretch in December 2009. However, at that time, the tender got a lukewarm response from media concessionaries. Times OOH and Digital Signage Network (DSN) were the only two firms to have cleared the technical bid.
To encourage participation this time, the EMD has been fixed 1.25 lakh lower than the one quoted in the previous tender.
According to sources, DMRC earns approximately Rs 12.5 crore annually in the form of advertising revenue.