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We are not in the business of offering niche: SureWaves Founder Rajendra Khare


Bangalore-based digital media company Surewaves says they are targeting national advertisers who want to reach all markets. Rajendra Khare, founder of the company feels that they are not competing with companies such as Rediff owned VuBites or Mayfield backed Amagi, and says that they do not target niche markets.

“We do not compete with Amagi or VuBites because our offerings are very different. What we are doing is we are adding audience of large number of TV channels and additive offerings to a client. We are not in the business of offering niche. An advertiser who wants to restrict his reach to only a specific market his consideration will be different. Whereas an advertiser who wants to reach all markets and want to meet larger audiences and we kind of add audience,” Khare says.

While VuBites and Amagi help advertisers reach out cable operators and help replace house inventory with ads or even localize ads for a market, Surewaves lets advertisers upload variants of one ad to their Spot TV platform and control their deployment to MSOs across the country from a single dashboard. Part 1 of the interview with Khare:

Medianama: What is your focus area?

Khare: Our flagship product is Spot TV. Others are accompanying solutions in larger scheme of things Spot TV is the focus.

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Medianama: So what is the impact of 12 min rule on your business?

Khare: It affects our business extremely positively. Some of our leading channels have already have it in place and others are  in the process of doing it. From an advertiser point of view they want to get the larger (media) properties to meet their reach plan. The top channels will remain in the consideration set of the advertisers. Now what happens is that, this inventory is going to dry up fast and here we are offering something as large as what top 4-5 properties in the country are offering.

Till now they had four options and now here’s a fifth option (Surewaves) which is providing reach across country and a huge viewership share and secondly you know because premium inventory is going to be at a shortfall. When I say we offer an extremely large share of viewership, we also offer an extra advantage on top of that. We offer large viewership combined with a marketplace.

So they (advertisers) can select , different markets in the country and in each market they are being helped with various large viewership being available through a single platform. There isn’t anything like this available yet that you can reach any part of the country using a single window interface and yet achieve such a large viewership.

Medianama: But is it still premium?

Khare: It’s like this, the moment inventory is affected the positive impact I see is that quality of content is going to become universally far better. The viewer was the loser because there was too much commercial time.

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In the 10+2 minutes of advertising slot that is available .. 10 minutes is going to be more premium as the advertisers are not going to be lose in the crowd. He is going to get bang for his buck. So now the number of minutes he does is less, but it’s a far more impactful thing and hence the value of the inventory is going to be more valuable and premium. So the revenue is going to play out whether there is 20 minutes of commercial time in an hour or ten minutes. The revenue is going to shrink to that ten minutes as advertisers will now get more value for their money.

Rajendra_KhareMedianama: How much premium do they pay?

Khare: Premium is something that is not a simple formula out there. Negotiation to some extent but more imp is the law of supply and demand.

Medianama: So how much do these rates fluctuate?

Khare: Fluctuation is not something we can easily quality in this case. It’s mostly volume driven. So if we have a client who is a volume buyer, he has every reason to ask for better price and we have reason to offer him that. This happens in media industry all the time. Some of the larger buyers from existing media players be it TV or print, they will be able to command much better prices. We don’t do anything different.

Medianama: Have you seen this effect already or will you see it in the next 6 months as more channels implement it?

Khare: The metamorphosis is happening now and this will fully play out over the next 3 months. You know, there are indications that the economy would change the trend and the slowdown would bottom out. The growth is going to start becoming healthier. Rising demand and reducing supply so that’s the picture I see emerging out. While in the last quarter it was reducing demand and reducing supply. So they were both in the same sync, but going forward, this kind of rising demand with reducing supply and full impact of this will be done out . So people will seek inventory that is elsewhere and we being a company which makes available inventory across a variety of properties, we aggregate that and make it available on a single platter. So advertisers would find this value proposition very very compelling.

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Medianama: Were investors concerned about the 12 min ruling?

Khare: While we were trying to raise funding this 12 min rule had been the air for a good 6-8 months, so any investor will ask how will this impact any company I’m investing in. Fortunately it was a very positive impact for us.

I would like to give one more perspective on the 10+2. Here’s what was happening: Because inventory in TV was getting constrained, some of the advertiser started thinking if they can’t buy the inventory they want on TV from some of the bigger players, should they start using different media options. All this because TV has become very premium and unaffordable. So (with) the coming of Surewaves, the good news for advertiser is that the solution for TV lies within TV itself.

In TV there was a lot of inventory that was not getting utilized due to other difficulties. So you know, even if they wanted they could not use it. So now we have solved that industry level problem as the inventory has suddenly become available and hence the 10+2 problem in TV can be solved with targeting in TV.

Most importantly for us our timing is right. Our value proposition was strong even without 10+2.


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Medianama: Do MSOs work with multiple companies that offer a similar solution or do they only work with one company at a time?

Khare: We do not compete with Amagi or VuBites because our offerings are very different. What we are doing is we are adding audience of large number of TV channels and additive offerings to a client. We are not in the business of offering niche.

An advertiser who wants to restrict his reach to only a specific market, his consideration will be different. As opposed to an advertiser who wants to reach all markets and want to meet larger audiences and we kind of add audience. We are trying to appeal to national advertiser and giving him a compelling set of audience which is an additive effect that we offer.

From an MSO perspective, he runs his channels which has a lot of local flavour. MSO was at a loss earlier as they were not able to attract national advertiser revenue to his own offering, because of the fragmented system which did not have accountability. MSO now love us as his own brand of offering is able to attract revenue. There is strictly no competition for this.

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