ABP signs for complete ppi Media system for English and Bengali

ppi Media’s Content-X, AdSelf and production workflow for ABP


In another breakthrough for ppi Media in India, the Kolkata-headquartered ABP group and publishers of the largest Bengali daily Ananda Bazar Patrika has signed up for a complete editorial system and ad production system. ABP publishes The Telegraph daily in English and several magazines in Bengali. The group is also active in television. ABP is the first publisher in Eastern India to opt for a ppi Media system, which means that its newspaper systems will have presence in all parts of the country.

The deal for ppi’s software will include the Content-X editorial system for English and Bengali. The Content-X editorial system stores content in the digital asset management system in a media-neutral XML format, which can be played out in digital and print, covering the full range of publishing channels. Essentially, the ppi Context-X system at the ABP group will sit on top of Digital Collection’s digital asset management system, which can store and retrieve assets such as text, images, audio and video.

The multi-channel functionality of Content-X helps users to automate and update across media channels. The group plans to create variants and updates on the fly for channels including RSS feeds, social media such as Twitter, blogs, web as well as its print pages. The idea is that with the requisite set of preferences, structures, guidelines and workflow in place, updates in several channels can take place automatically and simultaneously. For instance, an update to a print story can also automatically broadcast a new tweet announcing the update in an appropriate way.

ppi Media’s page planning and production software is also part of the ABP deal. ABP has gone in for ppi Media’s AdSelf system for online booking of classified ads in which the advertisers can themselves design their ads.

Commenting on the agreement, Hauke Berndt, chief executive officer of ppi Media states, “In the past 20 years we have developed to be the leading technology provider for media companies in India. We are proud that the ABP group will be another strategic partner for us in this growing market.”

AdSelf is key innovation

Ads booked and designed on the AdSelf system, which is friendly to remote bureaus and kiosks, will be linked to the SAP system for transactions and billing purposes. The AdSelf facility and portal for classified advertising allows back office and ad booking staff to independently design and manage the ads even at remote sites. Using HTML 5, it allows the design and booking of ads to be done on all mobile devices as well.

Hemant Kumar of ppi Media India adds, “While this is a comprehensive signing with one of the country’s leading dailies, it is a challenging project. The ABP Group is very particular about its Bengali fonts. The process so far has entailed very thorough and extensive testing for the entire editorial system, including the remote booking of advertisements on the AdSelf system.”

ABP earlier used ATEX systems for its English daily and this system will be gradually phased out. The ppi Media Content-X, AdSelf and backend for page flow and production will now be used for all products in both English and Bengali. The ppi Media installation is expected to take place in the July quarter of this year.

This article was revised on 14 June 2019. 

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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