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.