Airtel outsources advertising inventory management to Mogae Media

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3 Nov 2010
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NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel has outsourced all its advertising inventory management initiatives to Mogae Media, a firm promoted by former Dentsu India chairman Sandeep Goyal, in a first such deal in the Indian telecom industry.

This means Mogae Media will sell all possible advertising space on mobile, DTH and broadband services of the country's top telecom service provider and run its end-to-end mobile commerce initiative including giving special offers, discounts, freebies to subscribers and negotiating deals with companies, a person familiar with the development said.

Goyal confirmed the deal, but refused to share financial details.

He said his Mogae Media has already begun selling the advertising inventory and that he saw great potential for his new venture. "My dream is to create an Amazon in the mobile space in India," he said.

Analysts said it's the first time a telecom service provider has collected and outsourced the complete advertising inventory in the country.

"No one has done that in India so far," said Prashant Singhal, telecom leader at Ernst & Young.

Other operators such as Vodafone and Idea offer value-added services created by independent application and content and have outsourced some services.

"The model has high potential since the mobile phone is the only medium to reach out to 800-900 million people," Singhal said.

He says the concept of giving discounts and loyalty points will work among deal-loving Indian consumers. "This kind of selling could generate revenues upwards of $1 billion in two to three years for the industry," he added.

An analyst who did not wish to be named said Airtel could rake in around 40-50% of the industry's revenue based on the sheer size of its postpaid customer base.

Bharti Airtel's advertising inventory includes space on text messages, multi-media messages, IVR and recharge coupons in mobile services.

The default channel, pre-loading screen and messages from Airtel DTH and broadband also form part of the inventory.

Airtel's deal with Mogae will work on a revenue-sharing model, the person quoted first said.

A Bharti Airtel spokesperson said the company would not comment on market speculations and partner relationships.

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