This was bound to happen, and not in the least bit surprising. LinkedIn India has taken its sales in-house from Capital18 and Webchutney backed online advertising company NetworkPlay: the deal, according to a tweet from NetworkPlay CEO Rammohan Sundaram, ended September 30th 2010. The deal had commenced April 2009.
LinkedIn has been building up towards launching in-house sales – in August, they hired Dhiman Mukherji from AOL India as Director of Ad Sales to lead their sales effort, and Sunny Saurabh as Head of Advertising Solutions. Shiraz Kabir too has joined recently as Sr. Account Manager for Ad Sales, according to a tweet from Hari V Krishnan, Country Manager (India), LinkedIn. On offer are content ads, display ads, sponsored polls, sponsored questions on LinkedIn Answers, partner messages and other customized marketing solutions.
LinkedIn crossed 7 million Indian registered users in September, which means that their user base has more than doubled since Krishnan joined in November last year.
Networkplay has since moved on to its next bet, tying up with mobile VAS company One97 Communications* to collectively offer advertisers mobile advertising solutions, on pre-calls, incomplete calls, post call notifications, SMS, IVR, Out Bound Dialers, Mobile Internet and WAP. One has to question, though – can a sales house / representation business scale like an Ad Network can? At some point in time, the publisher can take sales in house, while with a network, at least there is remnant inventory.
Disclosure: One97 Communications is an advertiser with MediaNama