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Zee Melt 2018: Experts discuss CPT, growth of digital and measurement

Moderator Paritosh Joshi threw a slew of questions to panellists Punit Misra, Shashi Sinha and Partho Dasgupta who answered all queries in a fruitful discussion

(L-R) Punit Misra, Shashi Sinha and Partho Dasgupta

The second day of the two-day symposium Zee Melt 2018 ended with an enlightening yet interesting discussion on “The Next Seismic Shifts in Television”. The keynote to this panel discussion was presented by James Southern, Managing Partner at Front Row Advisory.

The following session was a panel discussion hosted by SureWaves, moderated by Paritosh Joshi (Principal, Provocateur Advisory) featuring Punit Misra (CEO, Domestic Broadcast Business, Zee Entertainment Enterprises), Shashi Sinha (CEO, IPG Mediabrands), Partho Dasgupta (CEO, BARC India).

As a moderator, Joshi threw the floor open with questions for each of the panellists after he mentioned a few factoids hinting towards the growth of digital as a media of content consumption. Here are a few interesting questions by Joshi and the equally interesting answers from panellists:

Joshi: Is Zee5 a defensive move against what might go spectacularly wrong with the conventional broadcast business, or is it an acknowledgement of saying that we will be ahead of this curve because we believe that somewhere down the line, this is going to be important?

Misra: Advertisers look at RoIs and effectiveness on brand building, and every single research talks about how RoI and investments on television are so significantly ahead of any other platform other than print, whether it is on brand building, brand empathy – the investments on television remain the single best source for advertisers. TV, along with digital, is where the effectiveness is the best. If you do just digital, the effectiveness and RoI dramatically falls. We have all seen how some of the advertisers were questioning this mad rush that was seen on spending on digital. They are now sitting back and relooking at it.

This is another way of how content will get consumed. We are in the business of not offering a platform, but content. The more the platforms giving avenues for content consumption, the better it is. It is like coffee consumption as increasing coffee shops in the country. I see this is a complementary offering for consumers, I see synergistic benefits of having multiple platforms that will see the flow of content too. We will also create content for the two platforms, tailor-made for that particular one. I am getting into the discussions now of how the content specially made for OTT can flow back to TV. We are seeing Netflix giving its content on TV.

Music industry is a great example. When CDs came, radio came, people kept predicting the death of music industry. It is only grown, though. It is about consumption of content and new platforms have been found. The concern is how you offer great value across screens for advertisers.

Joshi: ‘What India Watches’. What is evident now is that India watches a lot more than the linear TV. The other thing is that the screens are not discreet but actually interact with each other. We heard about your intent to measure the other screen. How long will it be when BARC can measure all the interactions happening between the screens and with the audience?

Dasgupta: It is all about how you measure content, irrespective of screens/ pipes. All the factoids point towards one thing. Unfortunately the way things are streamed or piped today, it has to be discreet. It cannot be altogether at this point of time. Although even I see things moving to a convergence, telecom operators moving towards distribution and vice-versa. You will see convergence at every level, which makes it important to measure what India watches today now more than ever.

Joshi: While agencies are always in a midway of optimising GRPs for one person, while optimising revenues for the other person, that point of mutual sense of win, one of which is using absolute numbers of measurement versus using relative measurement. BARC is focussing on Impressions, while ratings still mean everything and Impressions haven’t meant anything, but once the other screen starts getting measured and RPD becomes a reality, we will be talking individuals. When are the agencies going to wise up to this?

Sinha: If I understand this correctly, you mean ‘when are we moving to CPTs?’ I personally have attracted a lot of trouble on this from my advertiser friends. The fact is that I genuinely believe for a variety of reasons, that CPT is the way of life. A lot of advertisers in our portfolio are using CPT and so are agencies. CPT has multiple advantages, cross media comparison and when you are capturing building marketing to media in terms of funnels, it allows you that much capability. Therefore, for planning and various other purposes CPT is the best.

The metrics is independent of buying. It is clearly about supply and demand. I think as markets evolve, digital gets significant share, it is a matter of time when agencies and clients move towards gross impressions. While it is slowly happening, but whether it will be announced and out in the open that CPT is the new currency, it worries some people too much.

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