WAN-IFRA Digital Media India 2020

The South Asian Digital Media Awards 2019

The South Asian Digital Media Awards 2019

The 9th edition of the Digital Media India 2020 Conference, organized by WAN-IFRA, was recently held in New Delhi on the 18th and 19th of February. The event which brought together publishing executives from around the world provided a valuable insight on the latest media and digital trends in journalism and successful monetization strategies in the South Asian publishing industry and dealt with a plethora of topics like digital transformation, digital journalism, video strategies, revenue from advertising and subscription models.

The first day of the conference began with a welcome address by Magdoom Mohamed, Managing Director, WAN-IFRA South Asia, India, followed by discussions on how to drive media profitability. Puneet Gupt, Chief Operating Officer, Times Internet then spoke about the various Digital Advertising trends in the South Asian journalism industry and the challenges facing news publishers and ways to maximize advertising revenue.

This was followed by a case study by Amitabh Mukherjee, National Sales Head, ABP Digital, India and Jabed Sultan, Business Head, Prothom Alo Digital, Bangladesh, on how to effectively use native advertising and sponsored content to bring in revenue. Dhaval Gupta, Executive Director, Cyber Media, India, then spoke on trends in programmatic advertising with an insight on how digital advertising agencies plan their programmatic campaigns and ways to bridge the gap between the expectation of the advertiser and the publisher.

Building a sustainable business for journalism through technology and innovation was the topic addressed by Rohan Tiwary, Head of Media, News and Entertainment Partnerships, APAC, Google Asia Pacific, Singapore. He said Google is committed to tech innovation and shared how its training tools Backlight and Flourish are transforming journalism and news business in India. He also mentioned the company’s generous grant of US$ 1 million for media literacy.

The penultimate session moderated by Pradyuman Maheshwari, of MxMIndia saw a panel discussion on alternative revenue streams by Puneet Gupt, Chief Executive Officer, Times Internet and Pradeep Gairola, Business Head – Digital, The Hindu Group discussing the power play of content, technology and innovation to drive publishing revenues. The final session of the day was by Karanjeet Kaur, Creative Editor, Arre, India who gave the audience an insight on what goes behind building a news and lifestyle app and winning the World Digital Media Award.

The South Asian Digital Media Awards 2019

This was followed by the South Asian Digital Media Awards 2019 ceremony which recognized publishers who had adopted digital media and mobile strategies as part of their total product offering to meet the major changes in how people consume news and information today.

List of Winners:

Best Data Visualization

Gold – BBC News – How many promises did the Narendra Modi government keep?

Silver – The Federal – Chandrayaan 2 mission

Bronze – Prothom Alo – Prothom Alo – Election Portal

Best Digital News Startup

Gold – Foundation for Independent Journalism – The Wire English

Silver – The Federal

Bronze – ETV Bharat

Best Digital Project to Engage Younger/Millennial Audience

Gold – NDTV Convergence – NDTV Hop

Silver – Sangbad Pratidin – Pujor Face – Augmented Reality Face Filters during Durga Puja

Bronze – BBC News – BBC’s Beyond Fake News Project

Best in Lifestyle, Sports, Entertainment Website or Mobile Services

Gold – Arre

Silver – The Hindu – Sportstar

Best in Social Media Engagement

Gold – M M Publications Limited (Vanitha) – Ivide nalla vishesham campaign

Silver – BBC Media Action (India) Limited – #FlushKeBaad: A social media initiative for public awareness on faecal Sludge Management

Bronze – The Daily Star – Bangladesh in World Cup

Best Marketing Campaign for News Brand

Gold – The Hindu – #UnderMyWatch

Gold – Sangbad Pratidin – Pujor Face – Augmented Reality Face Filters during Durga Puja

Silver – ABP Pvt Ltd – Santanan Dehi

Bronze – Sangbad Pratidin – MaaClicks

Best Native Advertising / Branded Content Campaign

Gold – ABP Pvt Ltd – Shusthyotar Jonyo

Gold – Prothom Alo – Alor Poth

Silver – Quintillion Media Pvt Ltd – The Bold Brunch

Bronze – Times Network Digital – Jan Nivesh

Best News Website or Mobile Service

Gold – Malayala Manorama Co. Ltd – Manorama Online

Silver – Malayala Manorama Co. Ltd – Manorama Mobile

Bronze – Quintillion Media Pvt Ltd – The Quint

Best Paid Content Strategy

Gold – The Hindu – The Hindu+

Silver – Quintype – BQ Blue

Bronze – Vikatan – Appappo

Best Use of Online Video

Gold – Foundation for Independent Journalism – The Wire – Sadak Se Sansad

Silver – BBC News – Ink of the Earth

Bronze – Quintillion Media Pvt Ltd – The Making of Lynchistan: Killing in the Name of the Cow

Bronze – BBC News – Hand in Hand: A story of faith and friendship at Kumbh

Bronze – Mathrubhumi Printing & Publishing Co Ltd – Mathrubhumi.com fire and flame.

The second day of the conference saw an enlightening session on Video Content Strategies by Rupa Jha, Head of Indian Languages, BBC World Service, India who spoke on how publishers can create and increase their video content online. She shared some of the successful strategies implemented by BBC World Service, India with examples.

This was followed by a session with Siddharth Varadarajan, Founding Director, The Wire, India, who spoke on the topic,  ‘Digital journalism – if the digital content bubble was waiting to burst.’ He felt this wasn’t the scenario and that readers were willing to pay for content and shared with the audience some valuable tips to sustain digital journalism.

The discussion on ‘The changing phase of video viewership and its impact on news dissemination’, by Trushar Barot, Strategic Partner Development, Facebook, brought out some of the best video practices from Facebook like Facebook Watch, Facebook Live, Live Polls, Watch Party, Facebook Premieres and IGTV with the audience. This was followed by an interesting presentation on how CNN was driving change in the newsroom by Brett McKeehan, Director-Asia, CNN Digital Worldwide, Hong Kong.

This was followed by a short presentation on ETV Bharat, by Brihati Cherukuri, Director, ETV Bharat, India who spoke on ‘How to cultivate a culture of innovation in newsroom’, drawing from her own experiences at ETV Bharat, winner of ‘Best Digital News Start up’ category in South Asian Digital Media Awards 2019. The event concluded with a panel discussion on the regional challenges and the future of digital media business in South Asia with L Navaneeth, Chief Executive Officer, The Hindu and Ritu Kapoor, Chief Executive Officer, The Quint. It was an enriching event which provided valuable insights on the digital media industry.

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.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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