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The New Normal for Television Content Delivery and Monetization

There are around 150,000 advertisers advertise nearly 200,000 brands in print media while only 12,000 advertisers advertise nearly 15,000 brands in Television media in India.

Cloud based management & broadcast services, are now becoming actively targeted advertising solutions too. The market of content is changing at a pace where the demand for videos streaming  is exponentially increasing all over the world. It seems like learning, entertainment, launches, news and stories will only be shared digitally, enjoyed visually and be extremely light in terms of storage capacities on devices in the future. It's all going to change how business once functioned, data was consumed, goods were sold or problems were solved. 

Companies in the content business are moving towards:-:

1. Regionalization- Helps advertisers regionalize their advertisements based on the geography they want to target through its patented watermarking software of geo-targeted advertising. It also enables TV networks to regionalize its channel content based on regulatory requirements of the country and launch new country specific feeds

2. Personalization- Amagi also helps broadcasters and advertisers do contextual and device based targeting of TV content consumed on the internet ( OTT).

3. Monetization – It helps broadcasters monetize their ad inventory better by selling and splitting the same ad spots to different advertisers as per their region-specific requirement.

Three individuals, who didn’t belong to the television or media business, who say they hailed from a 'wireless tech' background, approached a brand marketing team about how they can help them buy TV spots on a national broadcasting network, but only in a single state in India. The advertiser immediately calls the TV channel and says, 'Hey, who are these guys selling your spots? Is it legal?' Fair enough. It was always the TV sales guys who spoke to them about spots. And that is how Amagi was co-founded by three proverbial outsiders, namely, Baskar Subramanian, Srinivasan KA and Srividhya Srinivasan, in 2008.They were looking for large businesses in India to disrupt. They had around 40-50 plans, of which TV was right on top, because of its laggard-ishness when it came to adopting technology. Most of the TV channels laughed at the idea. They said things like, 'It's not doable', 'There's no market for this', 'Why are you guys wasting your time?', 'You guys are talking about an industry you know nothing about', 'It's interesting but won't work in India.'

There are around 150,000 advertisers advertise nearly 200,000 brands in print media while only 12,000 advertisers advertise nearly 15,000 brands in Television media in India. This, despite the latter having nearly five times the reach of the former. The trio looked at this gap as a huge potential advertiser base for the TV broadcasting industry. The increase of TV penetration in India coupled with the spurt in the number of TV channels also made this an attractive industry to be present in. Soon Amagi’s technology found acceptance with TV Channels in India as they saw more revenue by geo-targeting the same ad spot/inventory for different advertisers.

As Amagi grew in India, it found some unexpected wins which took it outside of India. Zee Bangla, a popular Bengali GEC based out of India had large viewership in neighboring Bangladesh. Since most ads on Zee Bangla were India specific and not of relevance to Bangladesh, Amagi easily extended its model to provide customized ad spots at a country level. This made the founders wonder if there was potential for Amagi’s services in TV Advertising markets outside the country. When Amagi excitedly approached other channels with their services for providing geo-targeted TV Ad spots at an international level, they didn’t find many takers. The hassle of coordinating across borders and limited viewership in international markets made it unattractive to many channels.

Instead, an opportunity showed up when MAA TV wanted to launch its GEC in Singapore. Amagi’s services helped the channel meet the broadcasting regulations of Singapore by masking the objectionable content with legal content. Suddenly, Amagi realized that for International markets, a service that lets networks meet country specific broadcasting regulatory requirement and cost-effective broadcast over the cloud holds more value to them than geo-targeted Ad spots. This led Amagi to Horse & Country (H&C), a UK based equestrian sports and country lifestyle channels which was looking to expand to international markets with localized feeds to individual countries. H&C’s lean operations team meant they couldn’t handle multiple feeds and needed a single feed whose content can be customized flexibly. The services that Amagi offered the MAA in Singapore appeared to be a perfect fit for this and H&C signed up with Amagi. The association was a massive success for H&C with Amagi exceeding their expectations and delivering 100% on the Service-level agreements (SLAs). In fact, H&C offloaded the complete responsibility of managing the broadcasting and advertising content to Amagi making it a complete broadcast Management Company.

Today, Amagi enables large TV networks like AMC Networks, FLIK TV, B4U, VIACOM 18, D-sports, Turner, Scribbs network, Zee, NDTV and around 100+ channels to launch, operate, and monetize channels anywhere in the world and has deployments in over 40 countries.

Amagi has metamorphosed into a full-fledged media company and has innovative product offerings like THUNDERSTORM, a transformational server-side OTT ad insertion platform delivering personalized and targeted advertising on live linear OTT feeds.  They also announced the launch of SKYLIGHT, offers TV networks cloud-led, end-to-end services encompassing content preparation, channel playout, content delivery, and monetization for both linear TV and OTT for maximum efficiency.

Amagi has been honored with the IBC Innovation Award for Content Delivery in 2015, for their work with AMC Networks International (Sundance Channel Global). Additionally, for their ad-tech solution to NDTV 24×7, has won the ASBU BroadcastPro Middle East Innovative Project Award. Amagi has also been recognized as the winner in the media and entertainment category by Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific. The brand has also been recognized among India’s top 50 Brands in the country by Industry veterans and advertising and broadcasting fraternity in India.

As viewers shift to multiscreen content viewing, traditional content channels will also shift to OTT. However, to successfully monetize OTT content, TV networks need to personalize ads and mitigate challenges such as ad-blocker apps, buffering, and integration with multiple distribution platforms. Amagi believes that its cloud technology will transform traditional broadcasting as cloud-based feeds of TV channels come at a meaningfully lower cost.

In India their focus is to get National advertisers buy TV ad spots more efficiently and get better return on investment and on the other hand make TV advertising affordable and accessible to SME advertisers. , launched by Amagi- does just that- a do it yourself platform for TV media planning, the platform is first of its kind online media commerce platform to plan TV ad campaigns and buy TV adspots online.

The Road Ahead 

Having tasted success in the Indian markets and early success in the International markets, Amagi is now at another watershed moment. The company is carving its next phase of growth in video content delivery and monetization, media commerce platform for SMEs in India and exponentially growing its cloud based managed broadcast services.

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