“The enormous clout of a Bombay Times or a Delhi Times gives us an opportunity to create strong monetisable media properties that may be anchored in print but go beyond, to straddle television, radio, events and the Internet.”
The Hoot Desk
Friday, Mar 23 18:39:45, 2012
Roughly a year ago the Times of India began running this tagline beneath the masthead of its city supplements such as Delhi Times—“Advertorial, Entertainment Promotional Feature”. This followed a sting by the Sunday Times of London on the TOI, and a story on how it, and leading Hindi newspapers, carried news for a price.
The BCCL group evidently thought it could take care of paid news accusations by using the word advertorial to describe the total contents of these supplements. And so it did. But even as the urge to monetize its media properties is leading it to create more lifestyle brands, it does not hesitate to use the term editorial to describe the content that is supposed to bring in revenues.
Earlier this month, Rahul Kansal, Chief Marketing Officer of Bennett, Coleman & Company Ltd in an internal memo talked of the need to seize the opportunity and create more media properties that could be monetised.
It said, “With the steady growth of the Indian economy, urban lifestyles are undergoing a transformation. A host of new avenues in the consumption of food, fashion, leisure and entertainment represent great monetization opportunities for our Group. With our TIMS city supplement, Zoom, our magazines and our several Internet properties, we already have a significant play in the lifestyle and entertainment space. However, given its vast potential, we feel we can and should do more to strengthen our presence in this sector.
In many ways, the TIMS represent the centerpiece of our lifestyle and entertainment presence. The enormous clout of a Bombay Times or a Delhi Times gives us an opportunity to create strong monetisable media properties that may be anchored in print but go beyond, to straddle television, radio, events and the Internet. We have already created some powerful multi- media properties like Freshface, reader/ viewer polls like India’s Most Desirable, street food contests and food guides. However, we’ve probably only scratched the surface yet; our Managing Director has a wish list of several ideas for new media properties. Besides, he has many new editorial ideas for the TIMS, which would not only build reader contact but also open up over time, new opportunities for monetisation.”
The circular goes on to say, “the urgent building of such editorial and media properties will require dedicated management attention,” and names the appointment they are making to galvanise this effort.
At BCCL it seems they never give up. Encashing media brands in every which way is in their genes.