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2-min read

Network18 Bucks Tepid Ad Environment, Keeps Leadership Position

Revenues at Network18 digital grew 34 per cent year-on-year to Rs 47 crore, marked by growing ad-spends at News18.com’s vernacular language sites.

News18.com

Updated:July 29, 2019, 7:06 PM IST
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Network18 Bucks Tepid Ad Environment, Keeps Leadership Position
Revenues at Network18 digital grew 34 per cent year-on-year to Rs 47 crore, marked by growing ad-spends at News18.com’s vernacular language sites.
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Network18’s news channels have once again emerged on top in both viewership and revenues in the fiscal first quarter, despite a subdued ad environment due to weak market and regulatory flux.

Revenues at the network’s general news channels were buoyed by election-related advertising, especially for News18 India, the flagship Hindi national news channel. Standalone news revenue for the network’s channels grew 29 per cent year-on-year in the fiscal first quarter to end-June, testifying the strength of its brands and quality of programming.

From an EBITDA loss last year, the first quarter of the current financial year to end-June 2019 saw a major leap in profitability. This was driven by election advertising revenue as well as a continuing drop in losses at the network’s regional news channels.

“The growth is a result of the efforts that started with the rebranding of our channels. That’s why despite challenges such as NTO (New Tariff Order), we bounced back in a few weeks,” Avinash Kaul, CEO of Broadcast at Network18, said.

The News18 bouquet of news channels also maintained top position in terms of market share as well as reach. The business channels cluster, including CNBC TV18 and CNBC Awaaz, maintained their leadership position in the first quarter with 51.3 per cent and 68 per cent viewership share, respectively. CNBC TV18 garnered 60 per cent viewership during market hours.

News18 India, on the other hand, garnered a 12 per cent market share in Hindi-speaking markets (HSM). Its performance in mega-cities was even better, with a genre share of 13.7 per cent. CNN-News18 garnered 19.2 per cent market share and ranked third in the first quarter.

Network18’s regional news cluster had the highest reach of 429 million viewers in the first quarter. News18 Rajasthan and News18 UP/Uttarakhand continued their first and second rank in their respective markets.

Revenues at Network18 digital grew 34 per cent year-on-year to Rs 47 crore, marked by growing ad-spends at News18.com’s vernacular language sites. “It was a big quarter for us from audience growth as well as from the advertisers’ front. We got a fairly significant leg-up and traction,” Network 18’s President for Digital & Corporate Strategy, Puneet Singhvi, said.

Network18 Digital is India’s second biggest digital news player with close to 166 million unique visitors. The rising strength of the News18.com brand and the tailwinds in vernacular news consumption have helped News18 languages grow at an industry-leading pace, with 46 per cent rise in readership on a quarter-on-quarter basis.

On the business brands front, the Moneycontrol app continued to be best-in-class, with industry-leading active users and engagement. Moneycontrol News saw yet another strong quarter, driven by events such as the Lok Sabha elections, IPL and Budget. Average monthly users jumped 43 per cent QoQ, making Moneycontrol the second biggest platform on mobile web.

Moneycontrol’s recently launched subscription product Moneycontrol Pro too has seen significant traction, with more than 85 per cent growth in subscribers on a quarterly basis.

News18.com (English + Languages) is at the second spot in general news category with 39 per cent growth in unique visitors. News18 languages continued to see strong growth in page views of almost 46 per cent over previous quarter amid industry-leading engagement, metrics.

Firstpost, with its extensive coverage of elections and cricket coupled with editorial initiatives on new segments, has now emerged to be the fifth largest player with readership growing by 65 per cent.

Disclaimer: News18.com is part of Network18 Media & Investment Limited.

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