Advertisers have seen and understood the power of news, reveals Network18’s Sidharth Newatia

Advertisers have seen and understood the power of news, reveals Network18’s Sidharth Newatia

Newatia shed light on the growth of ad sales amid the Barc competition.

Sidharth Newatia

Mumbai: News18 India has outperformed its competition for the 15th week in a row, extending its dominance in the Hindi news segment in the country. According to Barc data (Market Share 24 hours TG:15+, India, WK 40 to 43' 22, All Day), News18 India continues to lead with 15.7 per cent.

This has also been noticed by advertisers, which will help the network with the growth in ad sales and eventually increase revenue. There is not only growth in viewership but also in overall advertising revenues, which is reflected in strong double-digit yield growth for News 18. Network18's consolidated revenue increased 12 per cent year on year to Rs 1,549 crore this year.

Network18 Hindi cluster national revenue head Sidharth Newatia spoke with about the cluster's growth, strategies, and challenges. "We will continue to press that business lever going forward. We have taken a conscious decision to back our content more and have thus been very cautious about the ad inventories that we run. We want to provide our advertisers with a clutter-free environment to ensure their marketing objectives are met," he expressed.

He believes that the North, West, and South are the largest markets, with the North region accounting for the highest advertising spend for the news genre.

The pandemic has had a positive effect on ad sales in the news genre. The importance placed on having news as part of the media plans has increased over the past two years.

"Advertisers have seen and understood the power of news in these times and have used the medium to further their communications. There was a brief period during a pandemic when the news genre had a higher reach than some of the other genres. So, all in all, business has been good in these pandemic times," he said.

News 18 is consistently working on increasing the penetration of news genre advertisers in tier I and tier II cities and showcasing to them the power of news and the importance of building their brands through it.

He elucidated, "The contextual and relevant nature of the news has already made the genre a must-have in all the media plans. Growing the advertiser base has been the key pillar of growth for us, and we will keep on pushing this metric hard."

While speaking about challenges to getting advertisements, Newatia expressed that the challenges are not in terms of advertisers but getting the volumes up to earlier levels.

"The television industry has not lost advertisers; in fact, it has gained them. The challenge is that the advertising spend per advertiser has gone down due to pressure on bottom lines because of rising input costs. Thus, clients have reduced their discretionary spending. Having said that, as a network, we are in an enviable position with the three national channels at the top of the pyramid. We have the number one Hindi general news channel in News18 India, the number one English general news channel in CNN News 18, and the incomparable number one English business channel in CNBC TV18," he affirmed.

This year, one of the strategies for Network 18 is to build an enviable intellectual property lineup that will be relevant, best in class, and second to none.

Newatia stated, "The news genre is such that it has the power to bring about societal change. All programming/content is geared towards that objective only. We do shows like Rising India on a national level as well as on the state level with the political and social diaspora to discuss the way forward."

Recently, News18 India held a large event called Amrit Ratna, which honoured some very prominent Indians for their contributions to the country. All these things not only add shine to their brand but also give a 360-degree one-stop solution to advertisers.