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The India Chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA) will induct advertising doyen Sam Balsara into its Hall of Fame at the sixth edition of the IAA Leadership Awards on 27th July.

Says IAA President Ramesh Narayan “the Hall of Fame is the biggest honor that the IAA bestows in India. It is reserved for someone who has not just built and run a great company, but has gone beyond the call of duty and made a significant contribution to the industry as a whole.

Sam is so much more than Madison Communications. He has been President of the Advertising Agencies Association of India, The Advertising Club and the IAA. He has also been Chairman Audit Bureau of Circulations and Advertising Standards Council of India. And he has brought great respect to every office he held.

Having had the pleasure of working closely with him at the AAAI and the IAA I am delighted with this wonderful choice.

This will definitely act as an inspiration for others in the industry”.

In its sixth year now, the others inducted into the IAA Hall of Fame are Pradeep Guha, Ramesh Narayan, I Venkat, Bharat Patel and Srinivasan Swamy.

This induction will be done at a glittering ceremony on 27th July at which the IAA Leadership Awards would also be presented.

Consumers increasingly depend on technology and say it has positively impacted their lives

The digital opportunity is becoming more evident in India with every day that passes. Indians are actively adopting digital services and technologies as part of their day-to-day lifestyles. According to the new “State of Digital Lifestyles” report from Limelight Networks (Nasdaq: LLNW), a global leader in digital content delivery, almost two-thirds of Indian consumers surveyed say they could not go a single day without their mobile phones, with Indian consumers ranking second, after Malaysia, for being the most addicted to their digital devices.

Respondents in ten countries were asked how they interact with digital media and the impact of technology in their lives. Interestingly, when asked how long they could part from their favorite digital devices, 66 percent of Indian users claimed they would not be able to stop using their mobile phone for even one day. In comparison, the global average of users unwilling to separate from their mobile phones stands at 48 percent. Laptop and desktop computers were the second most integral digital technology for Indian users, with 45 percent of respondents reporting that they could not go without them for even a day, which is highest in the survey and 12 percent more than the global average of 33 percent.

It is evident that Indian users are readily embracing this digital wave, with 93 per cent of Indian respondents acknowledging that digital technology has positively impacted their lives. On the other hand, Japanese and German respondents believed this change to be the lowest with only 11 percent and 25 percent of them reporting digital technology to have had a significant impact in their lifestyles. Indians also are the most optimistic about the impact of technology on their lives globally.

Additional insights from the report include:

Entertainment has gone digital: India has the highest level of engagement across all types of online digital content. This includes 78 percent downloading or streaming music at least once a week, the highest rate among the surveyed countries. Indian respondents also displayed higher inclination to downloading movies and watching them offline, which is 12 percent higher than the global average.

The use of digital devices for fitness is a growing trend: As the curtains drew on International Yoga Day, it was evident that Indians are highly concerned about their health. The survey reported that India had the highest adoption of health and fitness trackers, with 35 percent of Indian respondents owning trackers like Fitbit, Garmin, or Apple Watch, while 33 percent were planning to buy one within the next six months.

Security is a top concern when using internet-connected devices. Nearly half (45 percent) of global consumers are concerned about the privacy of data collected by digital assistants, and 42 percent worry about security and potential hacking into the devices. This apprehension over security, however, was one of the lowest amongst Indian respondents (36 percent).

Commenting on the survey, Gaurav Malik, Country Head, India at Limelight Networks said, “India has made remarkable progress in terms of digital adoption. One of the key takeaways from the survey has been that the Indian users are clearly more willing to adopt digital products and services and make it a part of their day-to-day lives. This is a positive sign for all stakeholders, including market players, consumers, and the government, as it leads to a win-win proposition for everyone and will boost the productivity of the nation as the digital adoption increases.

Executive Summary

As internet speeds have increased and smartphones have become an integral part of everyday life, there has been an explosion of digital content and devices on which to consume it. Consumers can now easily access music, movies, TV shows, books, magazines and newspapers whenever and wherever they want. Internet-connected digital assistants such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod also make it easier than ever to access information and entertainment as well as automate tasks around the home. Digital devices and online content have become an integral part of our daily lives. However, they create new challenges and frustrations.

Consumers have embraced the flexibility and easy access to online music, with 60 percent accessing it weekly. Streaming is now the most popular way listeners enjoy digital music, with 53 percent streaming music online and 39 percent downloading music to listen offline. Only 8 percent still purchase audio CDs. Although there are many devices available for listening to streaming music, mobile phones are the most popular device, particularly for younger listeners.

The popularity of online video also continues to grow, with more than half of people watching online movies and TV shows each week. More than 61 percent of viewers stream video online while 31 percent download it for offline viewing. And when it comes to newspapers and magazines, readers have gone digital. More than 57 percent of people prefer to read newspapers and magazines online compared to just 25 percent who purchase physical copies.

Although consumers enjoy the easy access to online digital content, it does not come without its frustrations. More than 88 percent of consumers find the process of accessing digital content challenging. 37 percent cited content stopping playback and rebuffering as a frustration that disrupts their enjoyment of online digital content.

Consumers want the easy access to online digital content, but they aren’t eager to pay for it. Less than 50 percent will pay for movies, TV shows and music if it is not available online for free. Only 39 percent will pay to download apps to their phones, and less than a third will pay to read online newspapers and magazines.

Internet-connected digital assistants such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod have become increasingly popular. More than 19 percent of people currently own one of the devices and an additional 21 percent plan to purchase one in the next six months. However, many consumers are not ready to trust the devices to perform
everyday tasks. Only 35 percent of people would definitely trust a digital assistant to provide general information such as the weather and news, and only 22 percent definitely trust it to perform home automation. Most consumers (80 percent) are concerned about the use of internet-connected devices with more than 40 percent citing security and hacking into devices as well as privacy concerns about data collected by the devices

The State of Digital Lifestyles report is based on responses from 5,000 consumers in France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States age 18 and older who had downloaded software or streamed online video or music during the last month.

Kicking off with the official song for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ ‘Live It Up’, Gaana is sure to take the football fans on a nostalgic football journey with hits like Shakira’s Waka Waka and Ricky Martin’s Cup Of Life, the playlist is full of (Official) Football Anthems, with a touch of Summer Vibes, and Dancefloor Fillers.

Prashan Agarwal , CEO Gaana , said “ At Gaana , we thrive to give a soundtrack to every emotion & occasion. And with the addition of this playlist , we are celebrating FIFA world cup as an emotion and occasion which has caught the eye of the entire world. The synergy between both football and music is striking, stirring up fan’s emotions across the globe, specially in India where popular songs associated with football have become anthems for the youth,who they often relate and dance to for celebrating their favorite teams victory. With this , Gaana has tapped into the global sports zeal to offer its users an experience to multifold the excitement of the Fifa world cup."

“Live It Up”, this year’s anthem sees the biggest names in global music collaborate, for the biggest event in the world of football. It will be performed at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final on 15th July in Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Along with this year’s smash, ‘Live It Up’, fans identify with all the songs that they’ve danced to during the World Cup over the years and Gaana gives them more than a reason to indulge into their favourite hits at their fingertips.

Famous VJ Bani J hits back at trollers in the musical video

It’s time for the social media trollers to get trolled! 3 female artists: 3 videos - whether they’re being body shamed, trolled for their fashion sense, for speaking up, or just being themselves! These women, in the form of a quirky, originally composed music video, and lyrics packed with punchlines will give it back to their trollers. The first to feature on Trolled, is VJ Bani who hits back at misogynist Trollers, and hits back hard. Trolled will premiere on RISE BY TLC, a digital first channel for women, by women.

Popular VJ and actor Bani J, will be seen debuting as a singer in this quirky and original music video where she will be seen slamming the cowardly trolls

“Mard… half mard... Man. Kya karna cha rahi ho? Pura din gym mein hi rehti ho? Kaun Karega shaadi? Tattoo ki dukan… Thoda toh ladki ki tarah bano... A lot of people like to throw these words around just like they love to throw their opinions in your face; shove them down your throat and then stuff you until you suffocate into a neat little column or box and file you away where you can no longer serve as a threat to their narrow minded, never expanding nor evolving selves. 'They' don't have the patience, the space in those tiny heads that are kept at alarmingly limited capacities by believing all the shit they have been fed. Beliefs of how one is supposed to BE, THINK, BEHAVE and of course LOOK,” said, Bani J, speaking her heart out.

“When TLC came to me with this for a song to get back to the trolls, I was so excited because I really do believe that judging people and making assumptions about them is completely pointless. Like, who are we to judge one another? It’s all ego and insecurity driven and it’s never going to be productive or fruitful. Let this video be a reminder to you beautiful supportive lot to not look for validation from outside of yourselves, don't get into that column and box just to make someone else happy, do what feels right for you, what makes you happy. Look within, it's there. All you ever need. I have never gotten any kind of happiness by succumbing to someone else’s definition of me or what I am supposed to be like.”

Zulfia Waris, Vice-President, Premium & Digital Networks, Discovery Communications India said, “RISE by TLC aims to give wings to young Indian women with its progressive, clutter-breaking content. It will serve as a platform that provides women a strong voice on a variety of issues in a fun, entertaining manner urging women to move forward, to move society, to challenge norms & ideologies, to move beyond preconceived limitations.”

Watch Trolled on RISE by TLC, available on YouTube


Friday, 01 June 2018 00:00

First Price Auction

Over the last several years I have had this feeling - Why should an environment be artificial when there is full automation? What I mean by this is that, the artificial Second Price Auction for a win at a 0.01$ increment to the second best bid sounds ludicrous.


Simply because a particular audience or a particular inventory when in demand attracts a particular price and the buy side artist knows whats the best price he or she should pay. Given the perspective the bid is made to acquire a particular consumer's attention at a particular price, this is the reason why in the programmatic world bidders are so important in an operations team.


But if you take that bit away then you have mundane robot like humans just bidding at an escalated price point knowing very well that they will never lose money and whatever the bid they make will eventually get the better off with a 0.01$ increment from the second best thus by securing a particular audience.
Now this is a sham, for me if the control has to be on the buy side fully then the only transparent methodology has to be first price auctions. This ensures that no hidden costs exists and no SSPs benefit given the full transparency at the buy side at a clear price enables absolutely value for the audience the buy side is acquiring.

More and more measures for accurate pricing is required to ensure full transparency, it began with ads.txt on the supply side and now I am seeing a whole lot in the US moving slowly but steadily to the First Price Auction methodology on the demand side as the metric for bidding. The only issue would be for high end inventory, which are upwards of 25$ for example, these kind of inventory should ideally be in a PMP environment thus reducing all aspects of risks.
I strongly believe that First Price Auctions will be the only method come 2019. Move over second price auction, you will be respected in history!

Authored by: Rammohan Sundaram, 3X Entrepreneur|Consumer Internet|Programmatic Pro|Digital Marketer|HBS

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