networkplay

Update: Networkplay’s short term contract with MakemyTrip.com has been renewed into a multi-year deal, according to the company. Makemytrip claims it attracts 1.4 million users and over 40 million page-views per month. The average time spent by a consumer on the site is 12.1 minutes.

Original Story: Advertising network NetworkPlay has announced a partnership with professional networking portal Linkedin, as had been reported earlier by WATblog. NetworkPlay had earlier also tied up with  Makemytrip.The company will be the advertising sales representative for Linkedin in India, which, Networkplay claims, gets around 60 million page views from India. On an average, Indian users spend more than 30 minutes on the site, so advertisers have plenty of time to catch their attention.

Linkedin has around 2 million registered users from India. NetworkPlay will let advertisers target high level executives like CIOs and CTOs specifically. We asked Rammohan Sundaram, Founder, CEO and Managing Director of Networkplay what kind of returns Linkedin would fetch, and he said they were looking ast CPMs of around Rs 140 to Rs 160 $8-$10.

Brand Advertising Versus Performance Advertising

For highly trafficked sites, CPM may suffice but why does Networkplay stick to it when the entire market is headed towards performance advertising? Sundaram the future of Internet advertising market (expected to be Rs 1100 crores by 2012) will be fueled by brand advertising alone. Networkplay will continue to focus on brand advertising and will not cater to the performance network.

In the past, brand ads and CPMs formed the bulk of social ads online, but now more and more companies are demanding direct responses, and choosing performance-based models. With the economic downturn, pay for performance has become the mantra in the market with advertisers looking to get more value for their ads so we asked him why Networkplay was stubbornly sticking to CPM and here’s what he said, “We are not playing for the short term, brand advertisers are paying this kind of money even now so it boosts our confidence in our business model”.

Despite the “gloom and doom” economic scene, there are still some sectors that are spending heavily on advertising such as auto, consumer durables, banking and telecom OEMs. “Media is also doing well,” Sundaram says. “Though there may be only 2-3 clients, they’re putting in quite a lot of money.”

Meanwhile its competitor Admagnet has bagged ad sales for all websites owned by People Interactive, which is part of the People GroupKomli Media, Ozone Media (which received funding from IDG Ventures) are other players in this space

India Focus

“90 percent of our advertisers are Indian, and looking at an Indian audience,” Sundaram tells us. The company’s revenues are also similarly split with 90% of revenues from Indian clients.

The company has 40 advertisers and around 40 publishers on its network in all and its top clients include Citibank, India Today, The Economist and Mahindra. Networkplay will be targeting only Indian advertisers for Linkedin, who are some 100 in number in the open market. It has two international clients –  AME Info, a business news website in the Middle East and Gawker Media. Networkplay also picks up inventory from Ad Pepper – which sells international inventory to Networkplay.

Hived Off From GMV; Funding

We also learnt that Networkplay has been hived off from its incubator Goosefish Media Ventures. “At this point in time, we’re not getting any more support from Goosefish,” said Sundaram. The company is clocking over 65% growth in revenues per quarter, since it launched around two quarters ago. When asked if it was looking to raise money, he declined to comment.

Video Advertising

Networkplay has no plans of entering the video market anytime soon. “We haven’t looked at video because we do not have expertise yet. We don’t have a separate network for that,” he said, adding that LinkedIn does have some video inventory.

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