I AM PLEASED TO SHARE THAT during the financial year 2019-20 your Company continuedto focus on sustaining and enhancing its growth trajectory with the help of the channelson the network including Aaj Tak India Today TV and Tez. These channels have contributedto the revenue growth of the Company and all these brands are expected to further propelthe growth of the Company in the years to come. The news channel Aaj Tak' endeavoursto maintain and consolidate its leadership position which it has been able to sustain forthe past 20 years in a row since its very inception.
The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic towards the end of the financial year2019-20 has resulted in not just a loss of lives but also widespread economic hardship.The Media and Entertainment (M&E) sector has been no exception and is facingunprecedented challenges because of the spread of COVID-19. Despite an increase in theviewership on television channels and digital platforms monetisation and revenue earningsfrom these mediums are seeing a downward curve at least in the short run as revenues inthe M&E sector depend largely on advertising spends of other industries. The impact ofthe pandemic and global recession on various industries such as e-commercemanufacturing financial services fashion and retail automobiles hospitality andtravel among others has led to a scale-down in advertising spends in these sectors.
Digital media overtook filmed entertainment in the year 2019 to become thethird-largest segment of the M&E sector; expected to overtake print by 2021. The rapidproliferation of mobile access is enabling on-demand anytime-anywhere content consumptionacross the country. Your Company has continued to expand its digital presence on allplatforms be it YouTube Twitter Facebook or Aaj Tak and Live apps to ensure subscribersas well as followers stay updated on regional as well as national news.
In terms of the digital news consumption during the Covid-19 lockdown video newschannels grew over the pre-COVID period followed by news apps and news websites.Within the video news channels category Aaj Tak has topped the list for both grossnews consumption as well as the percentage of unique users who watched content indicatinga strong digital presence across platforms. Thus having a strong digital ecosystem inplace during these tough times gave your Company an edge over its peers. Apart from itsflagship channels the Company has a well-diversified portfolio of digital channels fromgeneral news to sports astrology food & cooking tech and fitness referred to as the "Taks" to cater to the needs of every consumer.
Your Company has been innovative as it was among the first to use 3D augmented realitygraphics during elections as well as the first to launch Election Express the LIVEand on-the-move news-room. Your Company has been at the forefront of pioneering newtechnologies and in offering differentiated viewing. The launch of the high definition(HD) "Aaj Tak HD" channel strengthened its competitive positioning consolidatedits leadership in the Hindi-speaking belt and helped it become the channel of choice amongthe affluent.
Year 2019-20 turned out to be a glorious year for the Company. Our mettle and integritycontinued to make its mark and more jewels were added to our crown. Aaj Tak won the NewsChannel of the Year-Hindi in ENBA and ITA Awards 2019 best Mobile App for News and BestEditor awards. India Today TV won News Channel of the Year-English in ENBA and ITA 2019Awards while The Lallantop team won Stars of the Industry Award for Content Marketingbesides scoring the Diamond Button from YouTube. These spectacular achievements havecreated a higher than ever benchmark for all of us. Our meticulous efforts are whatdifferentiate us and give us a lead over every other media group. The overall financialperformance of your Company during FY 2019-20 has been satisfactory. The operating profitmargin for this year was 24.21 per cent (on standalone basis).
The demerger of our newspaper undertaking Mail Today Newspapers Private Limited(subsidiary of the Company) and its merging along with India Today Online Private Limited(wholly-owned subsidiary) with the Company was approved by the National Company LawAppellate Tribunal vide its order dated July 22 2019 filed with the Registrar ofCompanies on August 07 2019. I would like to place on record my sincere appreciation formy colleagues on the Board for their guidance and support. I would also like to express mygratitude to all our stakeholders for their continuing faith in the Company. Further Iwould like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the employees of the Company. It is theirhard work and invaluable contribution that continue to provide us strength to deliver yearafter year.