afaqs! news bureau

What are the best ways to monetise the combination of broadcast and online news?

At the first edition of The Future of News Conference & Awards, curated by afaqs!, the panellists discussed monetisation challenges around broadcasting and online news.

News consumption is increasing and media platforms have undergone a change. Today, it’s no longer the good old television, but smartphones powered by affordable Internet plans that are driving news consumption.

How should one go about monetising the broadcast-online combination? This was the question Sreekant Khandekar, co-founder and CEO, afaqs!, posed to panellists during the first edition of The Future of News Conference & Awards, curated by afaqs!.

The panellists were:

  • Mona Jain, chief revenue officer, ABP Network

  • Raktim Das, chief growth officer (digital and broadcasting), TV9 Network

  • Sidharth Newatia, national revenue head, News18

  • Gaurav Arora, chief revenue officer, Jagran New Media

Jain feels that unlike 5-6 years ago, news monetisation now resembles “commodity buying”. She revealed that it (the corporate business space) looks at everything from one lens and not from a content point of view and, accordingly, news is evaluated as a genre.

This is in contrast to categories such as “retail or government that look at news differently because they understand the value news channels bring in and, so, the pricing is different.”

“News was initially seen as a very specific category reaching out to audiences. Other genres didn’t reach out to audiences and, so, it (news) was getting exclusive audiences.”

So, how tough is the monetisation of linear TV? Newatia of News18 reveals that AdEx in 2022 dropped because of the Ukraine-Russia war.

“Advertisers are facing pressures from the bottom-line perspective and, hence, their discretionary spending has gone down.”

For Newatia, 2022 was an anomaly because the three-odd COVID years gave the news genre a big boost.

Jain says that “because of so much fragmentation and media platforms coming in, the share of news has become smaller. As a result of lack of due diligence from media planners, we (news) are losing out in a big way.”

TV9 Network’s Das says that if you look at news from a business perspective, “we are in the business of selling audiences, which gives us our bread and butter, in terms of revenue. From a broadcast perspective, the audience we deliver differs from genre to genre, in terms of the regions and languages we cater to.”  

Speaking about digital, Das says that it gives you a competitive advantage, in terms of the ability to identify what kind of audience you wish to target and, accordingly, design your design strategy.

“The core viewer (linear TV and online consumption) may be the same, but digital and technology are making inroads into the newsroom, enabling us to create different audience groups.”  

What are the best ways to monetise the combination of broadcast and online news?

To succeed, Das emphasised on the need of the hour – adopt Industry 4.0 that stands for these pillars: automation, big data, cloud computing, IoT and data management.

Jagran New Media’s Arora says video consumption is sky high and there is too much supply than demand. “The bulk of the money goes to Google and Facebook but between the two 30% of the total money is video money. ”

You can watch the panel discussion below:

News18 presents The Future of News Conference is powered by Public App. The platinum sponsor is ABP Live, knowledge partner is Nielsen, and live streaming partner is 24 Frames Digital.


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