A number of leading Asian broadcasters and media agencies have come on board to form a new sales house.
Multicultural Media Sales (MMS) has been set up to safeguard and grow the best of South Asian broadcast, digital and print media in the UK. In a press note, it said that it is the need of the hour that the industry is represented by a sales body, which not only understands the cultural gap these channels bridge but also value the contribution to the British media industry as a whole – and give it it’s adequate due.
The industry is at a stage where it is imperative to ensure the sector grows and the highly targeted and quality content gets its due in the form of representation and monetisation. Despite the high reach and loyalty amongst their audiences, multicultural media has constantly faced issues with monetisation, and hasn’t got the true value it deserves. In a rapid survey amongst the top 50 advertisers, the awareness of specific brands and channels was extremely low, with most marketing directors and media planners only dimly aware of the huge market potential but aren’t aware of the names of the broadcasters.
MMS aims to address this situation and with co-operation and integration will try to represent this growing sector. MMS will be the sales house for Sony Network, which has been performing extremely well and topping the rating charts. With popular reality shows and pathbreaking content Sony Entertainment Television continues to be the number one channel over the weekends.
Along with that MMS will also be representing the largest commercial South Asian radio channel in the UK – Sunrise National.
Shalin Patel, Vice President – Business Head Europe, Sony Pictures Networks said, “As a major broadcaster, we have always looked at opportunities to grow not only our own business but also the TV industry as a whole. Innovations and partnerships have been the key to our ongoing success and allowed us to continue to give our very best to our most important partner, the viewers themselves.
“This agency representation deal with MMS for our ethnic advertising sales in the UK is another step towards helping achieve better business practice in our industry, growth of the overall market and better ROI for our advertisers.
“We look forward to this new business avenue, but at the same time our teams will continue to support and communicate with all of our advertising agencies and advertisers directly as has always been the case.”
The formation of MMS has been supported by industry stalwarts including Managing Director of Alliance Advertising, Sajjad Shawl, Managing Director of Sunrise Radio Tony Lit MBE, Executive Vice President at Sony Pictures Networks’ Neeraj Arora and Managing Director of Here and Now 365 Manish Tiwari.
Other channels being represented by MMS include those managed by Alliance Advertising and Ethnic Media Limited including leading Indian and Urdu news and entertainment broadcasters such as NDTV 24×7 which is the No 1 Indian news channel in the UK. MMS has invited other reputed broadcasters and digital publishers who are at an advanced stage to join the sales house.
Tony Lit MBE said, “Having been an established media operator in the London market for 30 years, and nationally for just over three years, it’s important that we have as big a footprint as we can to commercially monetise our service across the UK and beyond to potential clients. MMS who will now be actively selling Sunrise Radio airtime spots and sponsorship from April 2019 onwards to potential clients will become a natural extension to our highly experienced inhouse direct sales team, and we are happy to be represented by them.”
Sajjad Shawl said, “The formation of MMS will give the much-needed stability and uniformity that this very diverse space deserves, keeping good quality content and broadcasting services as paramount importance and ensuring it gets adequately monetised.”
The formation of MMS will also ensure jobs within the industry are safeguarded. With much talk surrounding the emergence of digital media platforms in the UK and rumours around the shutting down of certain channels, MMS will aim to represent not only the channels but help the broadcasters retain the highly skilled employees of this industry as well. A note has been sent to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Rt Hon Jeremy Wright to showcase the contribution of this industry to the growth and excellence of the British media industry and see how it can be further represented.
Manish Tiwari said, “The multicultural media industry has a huge contribution to the British economy and the media landscape, which is why it is important to recognise its value. It is the need of the hour to represent and reward reputed broadcasters, print and digital platforms who have built a strong loyal audience and created an industry that is inclusive and holds great potential. We add a very important strand to British Media landscape and its global impact as a free and secular society.”