02 December 2020 03:18

MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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Mzaalo, a blockchain-based platform in the gamified video and entertainment ecosystem, today announced that it has onboarded 400+ established brands across sectors to offer users exciting rewards.

Mzaalo’s partnership with brands across categories such as Beauty & Skincare, Travel, Electronics, Fashion & Lifestyle, Health and Wellness, Gifting, amongst others, enables the audience to avail the best products and services by watching their favourite content on the platform. ClearTrip, Croma, JBL, Killer, 1MG, Pepperfry, Swiss Military, Boat, ZoomIn, Zomato Pro, Kalyan Jewellers, Kaya Clinic, to name a few brands, further enhancing in boosting audience engagement.

As the audience get to enjoy the best of content across genres and formats on the gamified platform which gratifies users for watching content, the association with the most prominent brands across segments further entices the users to avail the best of the products & services. The user earning reward points on Mzaalo app can spend on partner products and services, premium experiences, digital goods, games, charitable giving and much more.

Commenting on partnering with the massive list of brands, Mr. Vikram Tanna, COO, Mzaalo said, “The combination of offering the best of content and enabling users to choose from the best of brands with reward points builds a unique position for Mzaalo in India’s entertainment ecosystem. At a time when brands are increasingly tapping customers online, our association further helps in boosting their reach along with enhancing audience engagement.”

As the entertainment ecosystem continues to flourish, Mzaalo brings the best of content and brands to offer an immersive and exciting experience on the platform. The process of watching content and being incentivized in the form of blockchain-based rewards adds to Mzaalo's credibility in building engagement, loyalty and driving growth. The partnership further facilitates brands to tap their potential customer base by rewarding the audiences and allowing them to experience the product.

· The search engine giant enjoys the best brand health among urban Indian for the second consecutive year

· Amazon and Swiggy make notable improvements to their brand perception, but their rankings remain unchanged this year

· Dettol makes an impressive new entry into the top 10 brands list

· Google takes the top spot for best brand globally alongside tech giants WhatsApp, YouTube, Samsung and Amazon

Google tops YouGov’s 2020 Best Brand Rankings in India yet again and becomes the healthiest brand among urban Indians. YouTube and WhatsApp have swapped their positions this year and follow in second (53.3) and third (53.1) position, respectively.

Despite topping the rankings, it was a tough year for tech brands, with each of these brands recording a decline in brand health scores year-on-year. Facebook also recorded a marginal decline to its score, although it has moved up two places to sixth (38.3) in this year’s rankings.

The rankings were based on the Index score from YouGov BrandIndex, which is a measure of overall brand health calculated by taking the average of Impression, Quality, Value, Satisfaction, Recommend and Reputation1.

Apart from tech brands, the top 10 list this year is dominated by e-commerce brands, highlighting the rising engagement of Indian consumers with e-commerce platforms during the ongoing health crisis.

Amazon and Swiggy have made notable improvements to their brand perception amidst the pandemic. However, there has been no change in their rankings, and they remain in fourth (52.8) and fifth (46.1), respectively, this year as well.

Zomato has moved up three places in the list, from tenth in 2019 to seventh (37.5) in the 2020 rankings. MakeMyTrip on the other hand has moved down two places- to eighth (37.1), and Flipkart has made a new entry into the list, in the ninth spot (35.3).

Dettol had a very strong year in terms of brand health perception, making its entry in the top 10 list. Along with being in the top 10 brands, Dettol Soaps is also the “most improved” brand of the past year, with a change in score of +5.7.

The rankings also show the brands which have improved the most over the past 12 months.

After Dettol Soaps, State Bank of India is the second-best improver, with a change in score of +4.4.

The pandemic has put the focus on health care and personal hygiene. It is therefore not surprising to see personal care brands: Lifebuoy Soaps and Santoor Soaps make an appearance in the improvers list in the third (+4.3) and eighth (+2.4) position, respectively.

In particular, banks and insurance brands have made marked improvements to their brand perception over the past year. Apart from the State Bank of India, SBI Life Insurance (+2.9), SBI General Insurance (+2.6) and HDFC Life Insurance (+2.2) also appear in the list of improvers.

Tata Motors (3.3) and Samsung Smartphones (+2.4) are other names that complete the list of top 10 improvers of 2020.

Tech companies dominate the global best brand rankings

YouGov also released this year’s annual global best brands rankings with Google taking the top spot. Tech brands dominate the top of the list with the search and advertising giant followed by WhatsApp, YouTube, Samsung and Amazon.

With Netflix and Facebook in sixth and seventh respectively, the only non-tech-related brands in the top ten are Singaporean ecommerce platform Shopee (eighth), Swedish retailer IKEA (ninth) and US sportswear titan Nike (tenth).

YouGov BrandIndex conducts 8 million interviews across the world every year who answer questions about a company’s quality, value and their level of satisfaction with the brand, among other measures. YouGov BrandIndex operates in over 40 countries across the globe, covering markets in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Australasia.

For this year’s global list, YouGov used data from 33 markets – data from countries that cover three sectors or fewer were not counted in the top 10.

Digital brands dominate the global ranking and with good reason. By their very nature the likes of Google, YouTube, and WhatsApp are available in most places on Earth to anyone with internet access. However, while much of the list has only been around for the last couple of decades, classic brands IKEA and Nike that have been around a good while longer also make the list.

Commenting on the research, Deepa Bhatia, General Manager, YouGov India, said: “YouGov’s 2020 Best Brand Rankings place Google in the first place yet again. In addition to being the best brand in India, the tech giant dominates the global rankings as well, highlighting the power of a strong brand.

India’s top 10 list this year has a dominance of e-commerce brands, showing the rising engagement of urban Indian residents with online shopping amidst the pandemic. Another category of brands that have benefitted from the health crisis are personal care brands. The presence of brands such as Dettol, Lifebuoy and Santoor Soaps in both the top 10 as well as Improvers list highlights the changing consumer landscape amidst the pandemic, putting the focus on health and personal hygiene.”

CNN-News18, one of India’s leading English News channel has a new Managing Editor - Zakka Jacob –previously the Executive Editor of the channel. Network18 announced the elevation today stating that Zakka will now lead the editorial strategy of CNN News18.

The appointment of Zakka marks a generational shift for CNN News18, one in which one of the oldest channels is being run by the youngest crew in its genre. The average age of the newsroom Zakka leads is well under 40 and is not only geared up to challenge some of the more established names, but also to shake up the genre with new ideas, formats and programs.

A seasoned media professional with over 18 years of experience in the industry, Zakka has been hosting channel’s flagship show Brass Tacks. With his inimitable approach and calm demeanor, he has earned the ‘thinking man’s anchor’ moniker in the television news industry. In his spell with CNN-News18, Zakka has managed to carve a niche in the crowded and noisy primetime, which is dominated by loud talking panelists and shouting matches that pass off as debates.

Zakka Jacob is the only Indian anchor who has won the prestigious Asian Television Award for Best Anchor in Asia, twice, that is, in 2016 and again in 2018. Recently, he was chosen in Impact Magazine's 40 under 40 list of influential media persons. Prior to joining CNN News18, Zakka worked in China Central Television from 2011 to 2014 becoming the first South Asian face on Chinese television. He started off his career in 2001 with Sun News a regional channel before moving to New Delhi with Headlines Today.

Dineout, India’s largest dining out and restaurant tech platform, has launched the contactless in-room dining technology to add to the comfort & leisure of Hotels in India. In-room dining technology from inresto by Dineout will allow guests to order from the comfort of their room while maintaining the least contact possible. Premium hotels like Marriot, Radisson, Pullman, Hilton, Novotel, Ibis, Fortune, among others will be employing the technology to serve their customers.

The Hotel industry is adapting to new technologies and making sure to offer contactless services by minimizing customer touchpoints within the hotel. As the guest checks-in, the system generates a unique room pin against their mobile number. While in the room, guests can scan the room QR code and access the hotel’s digital F&B market place. It will allow guests to select the restaurant of their choice and gain access to the digital menu. After selecting the dishes, guests can complete the order by entering the unique room pin and make the payments via digital mode or settle the bill at the time of checkout.

Speaking at the launch, Ankit Mehrotra, Co-Founder & CEO - Dineout said, “Technology is the only way to ensure safe and seamless consumer experience in the post COVID world. We’re excited to extend our contactless in-room dining technology to premier hotel chains in India by enabling digital touchpoints for their guests and ensuring comfortable and safe stay for them”

Gautam Khanna, Director of Food & Beverage, Pullman & Novotel, New Delhi said, “We believe in being a frontrunner in providing the guests a safe and secure environment while ensuring ease of operations. As we welcome guests again, we realise the need to change the way we function and adopt new measures to ensure the safety of our guests. Technology from inresto will not only help our guests place their food orders from their rooms seamlessly but also allows us to maintain a minimum contact with our guests."

In-room dining tech by inresto also allows hotels to use the same tech to offer easy reservations for their other services. Guests can simply scan the in-room QR code to make reservations at Gym & SPA to avoid overcrowding and to follow the hygiene protocols. It also allows guests to book the laundry services without calling the guest service executive.

Dineout has recently unveiled the country’s first end-to-end ‘contactless dining suite’ to help restaurants operate in a post-COVID-19 world. The brand is also facilitating hygiene certification for restaurants through a licensed lab to ensure safe to eat out. Diners can see the certified restaurants on the Dineout App with their audit rating. This will help diners make an informed decision and be assured of the safety and hygiene standards at the restaurants. 

• The study shows 94% respondents in India are willing to pay more for a premium subscription for enhanced video & audio quality

• 96% say they plan to upgrade their entertainment equipment in the next 6 months

• COVID-19 has driven many Indians to use entertainment as a way of unwinding; 66% of Indian respondents said they use it as an opportunity to relax

• 95% Indian respondents got into new types of content they didn’t watch before

Dolby Laboratories, Inc. a leader in immersive entertainment experiences, released findings from a new global study illustrating a significant shift in consumer entertainment behaviour in India. The new homebound work & leisure economy has led to a sky-rocketing demand for new and quality content and for better devices. As per a new Global Consumer Study by Wakefield Research conducted in four countries for Dolby, Indian consumers are now prioritizing and seeking better experiences possibly driven by long hours spent at home. Indian consumers are spending more on quality in order to better connect with content—and to connect with each other.

“Despite all of the challenges of this past year, this study has illustrated the power of entertainment in bringing us together with those that are most important to us,” said Pankaj Kedia, Managing Director, Emerging Markets, Dolby Laboratories. “We take great pride in creating more immersive experiences through our technologies and see the significant growth of Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos as proof that consumers are seeking these experiences as well.”

According to Nathan Richter, Senior Partner at Wakefield Research, “We are all confined and what better way to use this time than to bond with friends and family, both in-person and virtually. People love entertainment and there is an exponential rise in demand for quality content that can be enjoyed in the comfort of one’s home. People recognize that high quality sound and visual experiences have a huge impact and make viewing more exciting. More than that, it enhances the entertainment experience and helps people to better connect during these challenging times.”

The Wakefield study on ‘Quality Time is Quality Picture and Sound’ highlights shifting consumer patterns for content consumption. It throws light on their preferences and the willingness to invest in premium quality content and in devices and to be able to have an enhanced audio and visual experience that is helping increase family bonding time.

The India leg of the study conducted across six cities, including New-Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad, was aimed at understanding the changing content consumption habits during the pandemic. The study cuts across generational breaks and includes the voice of Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X & Boomers.

Here are some of the most interesting study findings:

• Contented by Content- COVID-19 has driven many Indians to use entertainment as a way of unwinding, including 66% of Indian respondents saying they use it as an opportunity to relax and 60% saying they find it as a good social experience of watching with others.

• Ripped from the Headlines- Current events can drive viewers to entertainment and even alter their choices. This includes 92% respondents in India, who said the news impacts what they watch.

• Investing in the Experience-. The study shows that consumers are spending more on quality in order to better connect with content—and connect with each other. Compared to the start of the year-

• 97% of Indian respondents have increased their monthly spends on content by 48% on an average compared to the start of the year

• 88% of Indians respondents have in the past six months already invested in upgrading their streaming services

• 96% Indian respondents plan to upgrade their entertainment equipment in the next 6 months

• Equipment upgrades include better mobile devices. In India, 61% respondents plan to upgrade their mobile device to improve their viewing experience

• Worth It- Consumers connect with their content better with enhanced picture and sound quality. 94% Indian respondents would pay more for a premium subscription to receive enhanced picture and sound quality

• Broadened Horizons- As consumers stayed at home with more time to watch, many consumers got into a genre of content they had not consumed before

• 95% Indian respondents got into new types of content they didn’t watch before

• Those engaging with new types of content had a wide variety to pick from. In India, streaming live music events lead popular new content (50%), followed by comedy (48%), video game streaming (46%) & DIY videos (45%).

• Multiple ways to Watch- In India, 29% say their smartphone is their primary entertainment device. This is followed by 22% who say television and 20% who say computer.

• Smaller Screens, Higher Quality- Consumers are particularly interested in enhanced picture and sound quality for watching movies and TV shows. In India, 49% respondents rank movies as one of their top-two forms of entertainment that merit enhanced quality.

• Work Hard, Play Hard- With work now requiring video conferencing, many are “borrowing” that tech for personal purposes. In India, 92% respondents are using work video applications for social purposes, including 80% who do so often or all the time.

• First Time for Everything- In India, 65% respondents of those who engaged in live-chat while watching streaming videos did so for the first time.

At Dolby, we are committed to bringing premium, immersive experiences to as many people as possible. Just in the last year, the adoption of Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos in the home has been widespread. There are hundreds of millions of Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos enabled devices in market from the world’s leading device manufacturers.

As this study shows, the drive for better experiences doesn’t stop at devices. Content adoption is also growing rapidly, completing the ecosystem that we have been building through global partnerships with leading streaming services that continue to release their top shows and films in Dolby technology every month.

“Ultimately, we expect the desire for more human connection to continue in the future and immersive experiences can help fulfil this demand,” added Pankaj Kedia, Managing Director, Emerging Markets, Dolby Laboratories. “Just as entertainment drives cultural conversation, that same conversation drives connection across the globe, and we are seeing connections grow stronger every day through elevated entertainment experiences.”

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