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Delhi Metro should extend exclusive, long-term ad rights: Industry leaders

By VJ Media Bureau - July 08, 2014

DMRC is preparing the ground for consolidation of OOH business in the Metro space, and is likely to give out ad rights for periods up to 10 years

With a 190-km rail network and an estimated 900 million annual passenger traffic, Delhi Metro holds the potential to become one of the most powerful mediums for OOH advertising in the country. However, this potential has not been fully tapped into. Speaking at the session on'Delhi Metro = 900 million commuters, How we are maximizing this big OOH opportunity' on Day 2 of OAC 2014, Sharat Sharma, Director Operations, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said the organization is cognizant of the revenue potentials of OOH advertising inside and outside Metro stations, and inside Metro trains, and is taking steps to increase its revenues from such avenues from 15 per cent now to 20 per cent.

He explained that as Delhi Metro expanded its network, it parceled out ad rights in multiple tenders. "We did not have the volume to offer then, but now we would like to see big players operate in this space,” he said.

To attract major OOH concessionaires, DMRC is clearing the ground for consolidation of ad rights. The corporation plans to give long-term licenses for a period of ten years, with ample flexibility in space utilisation as per terms defined. DMRC is also looking to offer more flexibility in the use of any OOH format. Sharma said that by 2016, Lines 7 and 8 will also be available for advertising.

Sunder Hemrajani, Managing Director, Times Innovative Media, urged DMRC to give exclusive rights to one concessionaire. The asset runs the risk of commoditization in the event of fragmentation of media ownership, he asserted. He also said that the license should be give out for a period of 15 years.

Haresh Nayak, Managing Director, Posterscope Group India, observed that short-term strategies adopted by some of the OOH firms in this space was "killing the medium”.

Siddharth Subramaniam, Principal Manager, Media, ITC Foods, said that major OOH firms active in this space should make the effort to impress upon brand marketers the compelling advertising opportunities that Delhi Metro offers.

Hemrajani added that currently "too many permissions are required” for executing various OOH campaigns. To this, Sharma said that such issues have been addressed and that DMRC is open to various innovations provided passenger safety is ensured at all times.

Hemrajani also pointed out that the current base price for bidding is way too high. If the base price is "reasonable, then the demand side will get addressed”, he said.

Subramaniam said that price is not an issue if the right solution is offered.

Manu Seth, Marketing Director, HTC India, moderated the session.

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