Friday, January 19, 2007

ADEX Results: The Internet at 163 crores???

The TAM Adex ad survey for 2006 has just come out. And it seems to indicate the internet has a share of 1% at 163 crores. yes, you read it right, 163 crores.
Some quick thoughts on the number.'s India online advertising figures would seem to be 40% of total Indian advertising revenues.

The number clearly does not include income from google's ad sense programme which a lot of sites have taken a shine to. In fact, an estimate on the total money distributed by the adsense programme in 2006 puts a figure of around Rs28-32 crores. That is a really interesting number, as it means almost 20 percent of advertising extra for the publishers.

Perhaps most fascinatingly, it seems media owners do understand the relevance of online advertising more than we give them credit for. The three main industry sites,, and between them are estimatd to be garnering Rs 10 crores of advertising on the sites and their mailers. That is a not too inconsequential 6 plus percent, and added to other media advertising in the space, will probably add upto more than 15% of total money spent online. Very impressive numbers indeed.

Prediction for 2007: Internet at 260 crores.
The Big B –Shah Rukh tussle: KBC has the answers

I am no fan of SRK, with hardly a good word to say for the roles he has enacted in various films, save the earliest, and some honest attempts in between to act ‘normal’. Otherwise, the guy is far too aware if his stardom when he acts, helped no doubt by the fact that recently, he has been directed by admirers and good friends too frequently.

But the media war that seems to pit SRK against the Big B, does seem a little unfair on him. Picture this:

You are 25, just at the beginning of your career, and a man twice your age is the ruling deity in your industry. Chances are, you would give the man credit for being what he is, and get on with making your own life. 15 years on, you have won virtually every possible award, broken most box office records, and among people from your generation, clearly done enough to ensure you are considered the biggest thing to have happened in 15 years in the industry. And what do you see? The twice your age star, who is now only 25 years older than you, is still doing his darndest to rule. Apart from a superb reinvention on the small screen, which has also acquired it’s own power in the intervening years, the old fogey has also done everything possible to outflank you, outsmart you and eventually, seemingly prepare the ground to continue the ‘ruling dynasty’ with son Abhishek finally coming good.

Shahrukh has good reasons to feel aggrieved at the Big B for taking the sheen away from what should have come naturally to him.

Which to me, explains his drive to better the Big B on not just his endorsements (ie, get the same endorsemens at a higher price), but even his most famous roles (Don) and finally, the TV show that gave the Big B the second lease of life, KBC. Here, we have had two guys going about surviving and protecting turf in the most interestingly different ways.
While SRK goes about chasing down every possible achievement the Big B had, and trying to better it in the simplest currency people understand, ie, more hard currency for the same thing, the Big B has made a virtue of the opposite and ‘convenient’ values of simplicity, humility and more recently, a show of being above it all. All the time, fighting hard to protect his turf. I mean, who would have thought a celebrity would get away with endorsing over 25 brands?

I feel KBC will finally have the answers. The amazingly popular programme was that, simply because it’s appeal cut across the spectrum, from the youth to their parents. The youth bedazzled by the money it offered, while the older lot liked the money as well as the Big B’s superb understatedness while dispensing it at most times. By quite simply, making the event bigger than the outcome for a majority of the participants. He could carry it off, thanks to his age, and the well cultivated image described above.

Shah Rukh will need to change the rules again. And this time, to by far the largest audience in his life. For one, he cannot quite downplay the financial size of the awards, thanks t his own reputation for valuing it mightily, with the many comments attributed to him justifying his dancing at parties, shows etc for the money. Secondly, the image of a man who has been there, done it all, and has no reason to need to talk about his achievements will not go with him. After all, Shah Rukh possibly has a serious reason to make sure he lasts for another 10 years or so at least, son Aryan’s future in the industry might be at stake.

So will the mighty SRK pull it off in KBC? If he does, it will be a true triumph of his magnetism and derring do, in the face of difficult odds. If he doesn’t, a lot of his supporters will have to live with the “I told you so’ of Big B fans for some time to come. And like a Tendulkar ‘ choke’, the stigma of the KBC misadventure will sully a carefully and well burnished career.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The big conundrum of web 2.0- Financial domain

With the second wave of dotcoms, or more precisely, the first wave survivors and the second wave, already having 'arrived', there is one big hole in the Indian space. For a really good, content driven financial website. Sure, we have the pink papers and their websites, but those fall short, as do the websites of almost all print publishers in the country.

Sadly, it has allowed a website like from the TV 18 group to have a virtual monopoly, despite practices that would put off any serious surfer anywhere. Mind you, they have done quite a few things which clearly marks them out as formidable players, but the fact is, lack of worthwhile competition has also made them take users for granted, with pretty frustrating results lately.

Thus, if you want to see the latest results, those will be linked to, another group website, which in turn requires you to be registered at, their tipping and trading website. The disease is spreading, as sites like, which were never comprehensive in any case, have also put a brake on going beyond the headlines, unless you are a subscriber to their services.

Leaving the job of getting information really difficult for anyone interested in financial issues, who is not quite an active investor.

Pure play competitors like seem to have given up some time back, though I feel they are just a single round of funding away from a smart turnaround, given the market dynamics right now. Myiris for instance, badly needs to add bandwidth and servers for their traffic, redesign a little to show some semblance of freshness, and they could be looking at serious monies in pretty good time. Which leaves me wondering, why haven't they moved yet?

And worse, leaves me wondering, how long before we have a serious, quality option to moneycontrol?