More bang for buck

Updated on: Jul 06, 2011
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Amagi Media Labs' tech allows advertisers to pay for region-specific ads on TV.

A cool monsoonal breeze wafts through the open-air Lotus Pavilion at the ITC Gardenia hotel on Bangalore's Residency Road. The all encompassing greenery of the ‘green' luxury hotel adds to the soothing effect it has on one's jangled nerves after battling the city's notorious traffic to get here. It seems an unlikely setting to talk ‘disruptive technology' or ‘cutting-edge' innovation.

    But, that's what one will talk with the energetic duo of Baskar S. and Srividhya.S. over the next few hours. The couple, who co-founded Amagi Media Labs Pvt Ltd, along with K.A. Srinivasan, in 2008, has evolved technology that could well reshape the way television advertising across national TV channels is delivered to audiences.

  Amagi, which began with $2.5 million in venture capital funding from N. S. Raghavan, co-founder of Infosys, has a simple proposition for television advertisers: Today, smaller advertisers don't consider advertising on a national channel because costs are prohibitive; either they pay rates for the entire footprint of the channel or don't get on to it at all. Or, national advertisers who need regional variations of ads don't have the flexibility – the same ad will be telecast all over the country on the national channel.

   Amagi, which Baskar explains, stands for freedom or liberty in ancient Sumerian, promises to change all that. Amagi's technology, patent-pending in the US & India, is a box, containing software written by the company, which is installed at various cable head ends at the point where the feed goes out to consumer homes. The intervention comes here. Different ads are served up for different regions, enabling even local advertisers get on to a national channel as they pay for ads telecast only in a specific region.

    Srividya puts it succinctly: “All of us watched the IPL matches; would it not be relevant to have city-specific ads? We could have Dhoni speak in Tamil only for Chennai and in Hindi for upcountry markets at the same time. Or, for example, ‘ Extraa Innings ' in TN could have a cricketer speaking in Tamil and you can have local advertisers."


Published on July 06, 2011

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