What are the monetisation strategies for online publishers?

By Anirban Roy Choudhury , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | February 20, 2018
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Where is the money, really?

Publications and over-the-top players have spent plenty developing video production teams. Their punt on video was on the premise that video would turn out to be a good avenue for revenue in India, but it is not the case, yet. In the second edition of vdonxt asia 2018, Janine Stein moderated a session to find out what are the monetisation strategies that publishers can look to; titled 'Where is the Money', the panel featured Samir Bangara co-founder and managing director Qyuki Digital Media; Karan Gupta, CEO AndBeyond Media; Abhinav Kumar, strategic business management head, India, Akamai Technologies; and Pooja Chaturvedi, Industrial lead, Adobe.

vdonxt asia 2018

"The main strategy is to have a strategy and live by it. Instead of reacting to everything happening around and changing the strategies, one must stick to the core and that will help them monetise better," were Gupta's initial remarks. "Harvesting a model where you acquire consumers through multiple platforms would help a publisher generate money. So it's a 360 model built around a core that is the way ahead," added Bangara. "Robust segmentation is what will help publishers or OTT platforms monetise better," was Chaturvedi's initial remark.

The moderator then asked the audience, a gathering of around 250 delegates if they were 'happy with the way content is monetised today' and only two delegates signalled in the affirmative while the rest were all certain that they were not happy with the way content is monetised. Kumar responded to the reaction, "This does not mean the end of the world, yes the situation is bleak, but it will get better."

Money, for smaller players, is negligible today; while the big brothers in the ecosystem enjoy over 85 per cent of the revenue, the smaller players fight for the remaining 15 per cent. "There will be a mix of both; India is an evolving market and going forward, we will be in a place where big and small both will find a space," Chaturvedi rebutted to Janine's remark. Chaturvedi also mentioned that just having quality content is not enough, one must have adequate technology infrastructure.

Bangara countered Chaturvedi and asked if a smaller player could afford the technology that an Adobe or an Akamai provide which is what the bigger players depend on. No one really had a clear answer to his question, Kumar opted to tackle the question and his answer was, "We have clients who pay us 15 thousand and we also have clients who pay us 15 crores; so it's according to what you need."

"Having a clear distribution strategy, which is not over-dependent on a third party, will help a publisher monetise better", is what Karan Gupta's concluding remark was. Overall a strong flow of content on a well-built platform, with a robust distribution strategy not dependent on one or two platforms, is what came out from the panel discussion.

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