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SureWaves’ plans to grow biz from local cable channels in 2015

MUMBAI: Rajendra Khare, the CMD of geo-targeting ad network SureWaves Media Technology, believes the year 2015 will be a game changer for the company.

According to Khare, the recent partnership with Hansa Research for a third-party audit of its Spot TV Network, which aggregates 450 local cable and regional satellite channels, will bring more confidence among advertises to start spending more on the SureWaves network.

rajendra-khareSureWaves, which is expecting to hit Rs 40–50 crore (Rs 400–500 million) in revenues, is expecting to more than double its earnings during the next financial year.

“In the current financial year, our revenue is expected to be in the Rs 40–50 crore range. We are looking at 2–3 times more revenue in the next fiscal. Our main value proposition is size. We have achieved that size, which is why advertisers care for us,” Khare affirmed.

Spot TV Network reaches out to over 90 million households and 470 million plus viewers, claims Khare, who, along with Anant Kansal and Tapan Datta, is one of the co-founders of the company.

“This year will be a game changer for SureWaves and the third-party audit is very important in that respect. So the size combined with third-party audit will make it a strong year for us,” Khare asserted.

He said that the third-party audit would offer the company a two-pronged benefit. “It would give existing advertisers the confidence to increase spends on our network and bring in new advertisers,” Khare stated.

The demand for a third-party audit came from the advertisers. “After tasting success with Spot TV Network, advertisers demanded a third-party audit to increase spends. Advertisers told us that a third-party audit would clear the path for them to spend big time on Spot TV Network,” he added.

surewaves logoSureWaves itself provides online television reports to advertisers. What Hansa’s audit will do is validate those reports.

“The process of auditing has already started. Hansa has been involved in this for the past few months. Advertisers can directly subscribe to the report from Hansa for their campaigns,” Khare said.

Khare believes that the USP of SureWaves Spot TV Network is its pan-India reach. It can be used as a reach-builder by advertisers.

“So far, advertisers were buying on SureWaves to test, validate and experiment or wherever they were having shortfalls. However, the merit of our network is that it delivers huge GRPs across the country. There is no television property that can give you effective results in all parts of the country. GECs give large reach but they cater to a specific language market,” he pointed out.

“Early in the planning phase advertisers can use SureWaves network not as a shortfall mechanism but to build primary reach.”

The main benefit of advertising on Spot TV Network is that it allows localisation with a national footprint. “Our platform allows localisation, so an advertiser can run multiple creatives for impact in different markets but they are making a single buy,” Khare explained.

A large number of the channels aggregated by SureWaves are cable channels run by multi-system operators (MSOs). “We also have a small set of niche satellite channels,” Khare noted.

SureWaves plans to add more regional satellite channels to its network as it sees an opportunity there. “After we consolidate Spot TV Network with local cable channels, we see a similar need for long-tail regional satellite channels because they are very small and the real power will come if the advertiser is buying them together,” he explained.

However, that is something that the company will look at in Phase II of its growth plan. “Once set of advertisers are used to buying on cable channels, we will also offer niche satellite channels who find it difficult to appeal to large advertisers,” Khare stated.

SureWaves Spot TV Network is being used by more than 100 national advertisers who are looking to penetrate deeper into tier 2 and 3 cities.

“The Spot TV Network Top advertisers spend 0.5-1 per cent of their overall marketing spend for our network. This can really go up, the real power of our network will be realised when it is used as a reach builder. In percentage terms they can spend 4-5 per cent of their budgets because that is the share of viewership we deliver on an overall basis,” he stated.

Explaining the relationship between SureWaves and cable channels, Khare said, “Most of these channels have clientele in their local region but as far as national advertisers are concerned they partner with us because national advertisers want large threshold viewership and secondly they look for high accountability.”

The ads are scheduled centrally through a cloud platform called SureWaves Media Grid. The grid allows access to multiple TV channels, filter them based on geography and genre, check on available inventories, and place commercials.

“We schedule all ads centrally so in a sense we represent cable channels collectively. It’s like media commerce,” he said.

SureWaves counts Accel Partners, India Innovation Fund and Canaan Partners among its investors. Canaan Partners had recently led an Rs 35 crore (Rs 350 million) funding round in the company. It had earlier raised Rs 10 crore (Rs 100 million) from India Innovation Fund and Accel Partners in 2011.