06 April 2020 15:33

MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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Havas Group India has further strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of Neeraj Bassi as the Chief Strategy Officer, effective immediately.

This is in sync with Havas Group’s aggressive growth strategy and its mission to create meaningful work for its clients.

In his new role, Neeraj will lead strategy and drive the next phase of growth across Havas Creative and Media and report to Rana Barua, Group CEO, Havas Group India.

Bassi moves from Publicis India, where he was Chief Strategy Officer & Managing Partner and leverages over two decades of varied experience, across categories. He has worked with some of the most reputed agencies like Ogilvy, Wunderman Thompson, McCann and renowned market research networks such as TNS, IMRB, NFO in India and overseas.

While Bassi is credited for many iconic brand campaigns, he has also provided strategic guidance and brand solutions for a host of brands including, Unilever, Audi, Cadbury Dairy, BMW, Honda, Milk, Asian Paints, Unilever, Nestle, Philips, HSBC, Adidas, Voltas, Sprite, Max Life, and Dabur among others. He is also the recipient of multiple awards across reputed award forums in India and globally, that recognises effectiveness like Effies (India & APAC), AME, WARC, etc.

Bassi is a passionate teacher at his alma- mater; Mica and also closely involved with the placement process for MICA.

Commenting on the appointment Rana Barua, Group CEO, Havas Group India, said “Neeraj has been in the industry for over two decades and comes with rich experience and insights in handling strategic planning across brands and categories. He has a proven track record of building brands successfully and positioning them ahead of their competitors. His strategic inputs and a deep understanding of the consumer mindset will further help us to make a meaningful difference to brands and consumers.”

Commenting on the appointment, Bobby Pawar, Group Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, Havas Group India said “Neeraj is a seasoned professional known for his deep strategic understanding of the brands. I am confident that his skill set, and experience will take Havas to new heights and will help us to build a stronger foundation for the agency’s future. I am delighted to welcome Neeraj to the group and look forward to working with him and adding value to our client’s portfolio”

“Our industry is in transition today, where consumer’s preferences and behaviours are evolving on a continuous basis and they are spending time engaging with a host of media platforms. In this dynamic context, the Havas Village way of working, is exactly what clients need. I am looking forward to working with the dynamic leadership at Havas and leveraging the true potential of the “Together” strategy, to drive growth of brands that we work on and to add value to our client’s business” added Neeraj on his new role.

As people around the world have increasingly moved inside over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen music and podcast listening change in a variety of ways.

For example, with fewer people streaming from their cars during their daily commutes and an increase in working from home, more people are streaming across devices like computer desktops, TVs, smart speakers, and gaming consoles. There’s also been an increase in cooking- and housework-themed playlists, showing that people are primarily focusing on family and domestic tasks instead of music intended for get-togethers. Self-improvement podcasts (think wellness, meditation) are seeing an uptick as well.

Hungry for more? Read on for some additional streaming trends that we’re seeing on Spotify based on listening from March 19 to 25, when much of the world had committed to staying home. (Before you ask, yes, streaming of The Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” saw more than a 135% spike in streams in recent weeks—an important reminder to keep 6 feet [2 meters] of distance from anyone outside your household.)

There’s an increased interest in news podcasts.

Knowledge is power—and Spotify listeners are certainly staying in the know. We’ve seen increased interest in news podcasts, so we’ve put together a COVID-19 hub to help our users find everything in one place. Listeners have been checking out podcasts like Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction (CNN), Coronavirus Global Update (BBC), and Don’t Touch Your Face (Foreign Policy). Gimlet’s show Science Vs also has a few recent episodes on the COVID-19 outbreak.

Parents are playing music and podcasts for their children.

Right now, parents are facing a new challenge: keeping their kids safe and entertained—and maybe even helping them learn something—while they try and get their own work done. Due to this, we’ve seen an increase in the streaming of Kids & Family content, particularly music to help kids sleep. In fact, both children’s music and classical have seen boosts over the past week.

Listeners are in a more “chill” music mood.

During this time we’ve also noticed that the songs Spotify listeners are adding to their playlists are more “chill”—meaning they’re more acoustic, less danceable, and have lower energy than songs previously added. Plus, the music tends to be more instrumental, featuring instruments rather than vocals. Looking for your own calm inspiration? Check out the many playlists on our Chill shelf.

Playlist collaboration and social sharing is bringing people together.

We’ve seen an increase in collaborative playlists during this time frame, allowing people to connect over shared music and have virtual jam sessions together. (If you didn’t know, here’s a video tutorial for creating collaborative playlists of your own so you can get started). Plus, Spotify users are sharing more content on their social networks than usual, so they can let their friends and followers know what they’re up to from afar. Learn how to share your song of the moment to Snapchat or Instagram.

Artists who livestream concerts are seeing a spike in listening.

Now that live tours are postponed, many artists are staging virtual concerts online. Afterward, listeners are heading to Spotify to stream the artists—giving them a similar bump to the one artists typically see after live concerts. James Blake, Indigo Girls, Ben Gibbard, Chloe x Halle, Code Orange, and Jewel are just a few of the many artists to see spikes in streaming so far.

Podcasts and playlists are helping people keep fit and healthy.

Listeners have been taking time for themselves and making their health and wellness a top priority. More people have been listening to podcasts in the Health & Fitness and Lifestyle & Health categories in the past week, with users also streaming more podcasts with the words “cooking” or “recipes” in the title or description. When it comes to playlists, users are creating and following more workout playlists than they were a month ago, and streams of running, yoga, nature sounds, and meditation playlists are up.

The songs people sing on balconies inspire streaming.

In Italy and Spain, residents have taken to singing songs together from apartment balconies and windows, especially in honor of health care providers and first responders. Two of the songs sung in Italy have soared: streams of “Abbracciame” increased by 820% on March 13, and streams of “Azzurro” soared more than 715% on March 14. In Spain, streams of the ’80s track “Resistiré“ (I Will Resist) by Duo Dinamico leapt by more than 435% starting March 15, after videos of the event started circulating on social media.

IIn the current Scenario when the entire world is waging a war against the outbreak of deadly Novel Corona Virus it is imperative that each and every person pitches in and does their best to contribute in their own capacity to fight this pandemic.

Across the globe Governments are fighting to save their citizens with lockdowns, where Corporates are responsibly helping the government by contributing money, food packets, medical supplies and also offering to extend their resources for the aid of patients.

B4U Network in India has been actively involved in providing food packets to underprivileged children on various occasions in the past. The network has pledged to fight against hunger and partnered with the Rahi NGO to enhance this cause.

B4U’s pledge against hunger and belief that no one remains hungry, particularly in the current troubled times of lock down, has once again partnered with Rahi NGO and are distributing Food packets which include Dal, Rice, Dry vegetables and vitamin sachet in a single pack providing complete nutrition to families of daily wage workers, rag pickers, abandoned senior citizens, destitute, low income groups, medical patients etc. affected by the current lockdown.

Echoing the sentiment of the pledge, Mr. Sanjay Agrawal (Group CFO and COO B4U Network) quoted: We are happy to do our bit in these extremely difficult times our endeavour would be to try and ensure that we fight against hunger along with the fight against this Pandemic. Stay Healthy, Stay Safe.

More information about B4U is available on www.b4utv.com. You can keep abreast of all B4U shows on social media platforms like Twitter - @THEOFFICIALB4U; Facebook – B4UMusic.

As COVID-19 spreads across the globe, hospitalizing thousands and compelling governments to issue stay-at-home and social-distancing mandates, MTV News is tailoring content to meet the special concerns of its young audiences.

The news operation isn’t focused on informing young people about what COVID-19 is or how they should combat it since Gen Z is already in-the-know and plugged in to what’s happening in the world. In fact, 53% of 13-25 year olds agree that they “have a deep understanding of important social and political issues,” according to ViacomCBS’ Global Consumer Insights 2019 “Power in Progress” study. Instead, MTV News wants to be a resource for its audience and create a safe space to address and listen to their particular concerns. They are creating content both on the MTV News site, and on social media, with correspondents reporting from their homes.

“We see young people leading the conversation in so many ways, from the journalists and voices we’re highlighting on MTVNews.com, to the incredibly inventive ways they’re educating others on platforms like TikTok. We owe our audience meaningful coverage on COVID-19, and as we always do, we continue to reflect their perspective and their impact to the larger cultural landscape,” says Terron Moore, vp, editorial director for MTV News.

Prioritizing the Needs—and Actions—of Youth

One of the site’s most popular COVID-19-related pieces has been a video series of Dr. Darien Sutton-Ramsey answering questions from MTV News’ Instagram followers, including queries like “Can I go on my Tinder date?” and “How do I protect my mental health while inside?” In another popular piece, “Young People Want You To Talk About Mental Health During This Pandemic” a 17-year-old high school student says, “It has only been five days of ‘social distancing,’ and I can already feel the effects.”

MTV News Director of Social Impact, Ella Cerón, said she was proud that MTV News could be a place where conversations about hooking up or the mental health challenges of quarantining could happen. Cerón added that MTV News is distilling all the resources in one place to help young people “navigate this new normal together.”

Cerón added that the mental health aspect of quarantining is a huge part of what is driving MTV News’ approach to the issue. “On the mental health side of things, if people aren’t used to staying home, if they’ve suddenly lost their jobs, or if they don’t have health insurance, it is an extremely scary and destabilizing time, ” she says. “There are so many different factors that young people are navigating right now at disproportionate rates compared to the rest of society. The more we can slow down and also acknowledge that your mental health is valid and you should prioritize that, I think the better.”

“We have a lot of stories coming up in which young people tell us how they’re feeling about their mental health and how they’re trying to be proactive in this moment,” Cerón added.

In the weeks since COVID-19 has rapidly spread around the world, many young people have banded together to make a difference, and MTV News has documented some of those efforts. It covered two 17-year-olds from Connecticut who started the “Kick Corona Challenge” that urges young people to spread positivity by creating engaging social challenges to spread positivity among teens and young adults who are struggling with the isolation of being suddenly homebound. Cerón also pointed to Invisible Hands Deliver, created by 20-year-old Liam Elkind and 25-year-old Simone Policano, which picks up prescriptions and groceries and provides no-touch deliveries for at-risk individuals. As of Friday, the organization already had 2,700 volunteers.

“Young people have always been involved in social and political issues. If you look through the vast history of big social movements, young people have been at the front,” Cerón said.

“In a lot of ways, they’re rallying in ways that are superseding government inaction or these government deliberations that are taking forever,” Cerón added. “I think right now it shows that the people we can rely on most are each other.”

Brightcove’s just-released Q4 2019 Global Video Index found a big increase in the time spent viewing streaming video on a pair of devices — smartphones and connected TVs.

The increase on screens at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of size seems out of character with the streaming world, but it may simply be an example of evolution. Where we once talked about the democracy of screens, that whatever screen at hand was the one we were most likely to choose to watch, viewers have evolved and now use mobile devices to source content and connected TVs to consume it.

Tablets and desktop computers are losing ground, meanwhile, with computers taking the biggest hit, a decline in video views of more than 10%.

Online news becomes a staple; especially in crises

If there’s any doubt streaming video has become mainstream across the world, how consumers are getting news related to the coronavirus outbreak should put an end to it.

Data from Brightcove shows streaming media/entertainment and streaming news numbers are riding a surging wave of viewing, almost certainly driven by the coronavirus crisis.

Whether it’s social distancing prompting consumers to camp out in front of screens to watch streamed entertainment, or a need for the latest news that has viewers checking in on developing stories more often, Y/Y streaming numbers have seen big gains.

In the first two weeks of March, for example, the amount of time spent viewing news video increased 14% from the previous year, while the actual number of videos viewed jumped more than 31%.

On March 13 alone, when U.S. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency, time viewing news online increased 47% from a year ago and the number of news videos views jumped nearly 66% – the highest total for a single day in Q1 for the past two years.

Broadcasters used to be the go-to source for developing news stories, but the COVID-19 crisis has shown that consumers increasingly turn to streaming news sources for the latest updates – as well as in-depth coverage of news that’s important to them. With streaming, news providers can update news on the fly, provide broader, deeper coverage, and pull in points of view from around the globe. And, they don’t need to worry about fitting reports into arbitrary time slots. They have the flexibility to tell a better story.

Q4 2019 Global Video Index sees rise in time watched

Time watched overall during Q4 increased by nearly a quarter, up 23% Y/Y, according to the Q4 2019 Global Video Index. Connected TVs saw time watched more than double globally, up 114% from a year ago, with smartphones rising 30% and tablets up 6%. Only computers saw a decline in time watched, about 2%.

Australia/New Zealand saw time watched on connected TVs increase 173% with North America seeing a significant increase in time watched on smartphones, more than 53%.

Marketing & Sales see rise in mobile use

In Q4, smartphones were the name of the game for marketers trying to reach consumers online. More than 62% of all marketing video views were on mobile devices globally.

Asia-Pac saw an even higher percentage of marketing video on smartphones, 82%, up from 55% the previous year. ANZ increased to 55%, Europe was at 62%, Latin America 61% and North America 53%.

Computers saw the second largest share of retail and marketing video views in every region with tablets trailing and connected TVs even further back. While smartphones earned a bigger share of video views in every market, computers lost share. Asia-Pac saw computer’s share of video views drop by more than 50%, Japan/Korea saw computers fall behind smartphones for the first time, as did North America. MENA saw smartphone share grow to 49%, pulling even with computers during the quarter. In every other region smartphones surpassed computers.

Tablets slipped in every region and connected TVs saw limited growth. But connected TV share is likely to add pace over time as viewers continue to look to the big screen for content, more premium content makes its way onto CTVs and marketers follow.

Engagement (time spent), meanwhile, with retail and marketing video on smartphones is up in every market: Asia-Pac (+380%); ANZ (+41%); Europe (+78%); Japan/Korea (+12%); LatAm (+52%); MENA (+91%); and, North America (+71%).

The bottom line

As the Global Video Index showed, Q4 traditionally has been a quarter of growth for OTT with the holidays driving viewing time on new devices and company’s racing to get content and platforms into the public eye.

But Q1 this year could see significant change as the coronavirus begins to have an impact on how critical information and news is shared around the world.

The true measure of just how far streaming video has come will be even more apparent in Q2, as large portions of the world’s population begins to “shelter in place” to slow the spread of the virus. Will the amount of streaming video consumed increase? Of course it will.

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