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On dgStream: DGM India’s Video Content Network


DGM India, which has so far been an advertising network, is launching a video content network called dgStream: it will tie up with video content owners for supplying content, with publishers to showcase this content to their visitors and hence aggregate audience, and then monetize this inventory through video advertising. Not many people might remember, but this is similar to what was attempted many years ago by Nautanki.tv, wherein Nautanki partnered with premium content owners like ZoomTV, Times Now, FTV, Bollywood Hungama, among others, streamed this video content to small publishers, and tried to monetize that with advertising.

Update: Before Nautanki.tv, there was the Times Audience Network doing the same thing.

That was 5-6 years ago, and things are slightly different here: the challenge for Nautanki.tv would have been with monetization. They were able to ink content relationships and distribute it to small publishers, but at that time, the online video advertising market in India wasn’t very mature. YouTube wasn’t big, and the YouTube-IPL deal, which changed the online video advertising landscape in India, was still a year away. Today, people are making money on YouTube, with monetization via video ads. DGM is not only entering a market that is a little more mature, but it also brings with it advertiser relationships that it has established over the years. Getting advertisers will never be as big a challenge for DGM as it would be for an upstart. DGM also already has publisher relationships: they power around 20,000 websites, of which over 10,000, DGM India MD Anurag Gupta told MediaNama, are on board for dgStream.


It’s also interesting to see an advertising network get into the content business: it differentiates dgStream from what competitors like Vdopia and Jivox do, which is run advertising on publishers content. DGM is entering this game a little late, but perhaps the need to ensure that they have inventory to sell means that they have to bring in content partners.

Some notes from my discussion with Gupta:

– Content Deals: tying up with small content owners, not big brands because they demand high minimum guarantees. Gupta declined to name video content partners, and only said they have “large numbers”. DGM is open to paying both (small) minimum guarantees or do revenue share deals. The type of deal will depend on the partner, because the publishers will have to be “brand safe”. “We will go on a cost per view basis largely. We’re not going to the big ticket video content guys. We are right now not large, and they would want minimum guarantees, and we’re still figuring out the throughputs. Smaller content providers will be happy to work with us on small MG’s or a revenue share.” The press release mentions some segments – Bollywood, Music, Travel, News & Regional, Devotional.
– Platforms: both web and mobile (plus tablets)
– Revenue shares: a percentage of revenue earned will be shared between the publisher (website) and the video content provider, and some will be apportioned for bandwidth costs. DGM India expects to earn 20-30% from the amount that an advertiser pays.
– Current video advertising rates: have been disrupted by google, which brought in the Cost per view model. It’s typically Rs 100-150 CPM, and on TrueView, where the user needs to view the ad for a few seconds for it to register, the rates range from Rs 2-2.5 per view to Rs 20 per view in some cases.
– Advertising approach: not there yet, but eventually will look to provide real-time bidding on advertising. “At the back end, the architecture works on two different streams – the ad server and the content server. The integration of content and ad which ad to play is guided by the logic. It will will call a tag, and the adserver will play.
– Ad Units: “We will prefer a 300×250 unit, but there is a lot of customization. If there’s a regional news site that wants us to power the video section, we can create and customize that. We can call multiple content and videos, sorted by genre. Alternatively, he can take a 300×250 unit. We’re not a YouTube; a user can’t search across a million videos. We have content library which will be across publishers. We’re not a destination, but we can create destinations for other publishers.”
– Data available to an advertiser: video ad views, clicks and interaction, and allows targeting for ad specs such as “location maps, product video and product feature display”.

Note that dgStream’s signup page has a video ad demo from Surf Excel, but also features a couple of interactive ads from Blackberry which are clearly not video ads. Strange.

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