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Newsmakers of 2014: Events In The News

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | January 19, 2015
A round up of the hottest events of 2014.

Newsmakers of 2014: Events In The News

RELIANCE

The Big Deal: In one of the major events that rocked the Indian media industry, the country's largest company, Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries (RIL), took over one of one of the largest media companies - Network 18 Media and Investments.

Network18 owns TV channels (CNBC TV18, CNN-IBN, CNBC Awaaz), websites (firstpost.com, moneycontrol.com), magazines (including the licence for Forbes India) and entertainment channels (Colors, MTV and Homeshop Entertainment), among other businesses.

Reliance

RIL's board approved a funding of Rs 4,000 crore ($730 million) to Independent Media Trust (IMT), set up by RIL for the Network 18 deal. Network18's CEO, CFO and COO quit in the days preceding this announcement. The company's founder and managing director, Raghav Bahl and his wife, Ritu Kapur, a director, announced their exits as well.

The takeover is a strategic move for RIL, which is expected to launch its 4G network in 2015. It can now use the wide range of content produced by Network18 to feed its telecom play.

In its press release RIL said: "The acquisition will differentiate Reliance's 4G business by providing a unique amalgamation at the intersection of telecom, web and digital commerce via a suite of premier digital properties. "

Critics of the deal have also raised concerns about how this will impact the media's coverage of India's newly elected government.

FLIPKART-MYNTRA

Joining Hands: Flipkart, India's largest e-commerce firm, was in the news again for buying rival Myntra.com in the largest-ever internet deal. With this, Flipkart sought to extend its lead over rivals and boost its valuation ahead of a potential initial public offering.

According to co-founder and CEO Mukesh Bansal, Myntra has set a goal of generating Rs 20,000 crore in gross sales by 2020.

L-R: Sachin Bansal, Mukesh Bansal, Binny Bansal

Bansal heads the fashion business of both Myntra and Flipkart, and Myntra will operate as an independent entity and retain its website, while Flipkart will continue selling apparel on its site.

Flipkart's buyout of Myntra will help the company compete better with Amazon India, Snapdeal and others, as well as provide Myntra access to a significantly larger pool of funds.

The Flipkart-Myntra deal comes amid strong interest in India's e-commerce business, which witnessed transactions of $3.1 billion - excluding travel services and tickets, according to CLSA's (Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia) November 2013 report. Flipkart, which has received $560 million in funding since starting out in 2007, is also in discussions to raise another round of funds, according to news reports. The company had raised $360 million in two tranches less than a year ago. Flipkart's valuation jumped to nearly $2.5 billion following the Myntra deal, claimed various media reports.

BARC

Hitting the Road: The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) was on its toes as it geared up to launch the new television ratings system in India. The Council conducted road-shows to create awareness about the method and process it is adopting for its ratings system. The idea was also to build a transparent system and keep the stakeholders informed.

Since September 2013, BARC has hosted road-shows in six to eight cities. In September this year, it hosted four more in Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai.

BARC

Going forward, the council intends to keep the dialogue going with stakeholders and will connect with them with every such opportunity. It is planning to host another round of road-shows soon.

People from media, brand, marketing, research, programming, technical and business teams across broadcasters, media agencies and advertisers pre-register and attend these road-shows.

The process of getting people is simple. BARC announces its road-show on its website and through its on-line media partners. It then calls for registrations through e-mail promotions. Automated replies and confirmations thereafter ensure attendance.

BARC India's technical committee, CEO, CBO, marketing and research executives together with some of its key associates from IBF, ISA (Indian Society of Advertisers) and AAAI (Advertising Agencies Association of India) attend and address the audience.

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