The Indian Media and Entertainment (M&E) sector continues to show great potentialand the headroom for future growth is significant. The industry is expected to grow at amuch faster rate than the global average. The short-term impact of events such asdemonetisation and GST is progressively fading away and the long-term benefits could helpthe economy as well as the sector grow faster.
Your company launched Aaj Tak HD the first Hindi news channel of the country in HDformat. It provides superior quality viewership advanced high-quality graphics of newsin HD and clutter-free environment. In addition to taking "Aaj Tak" to anotherlevel vis--vis the competition in terms of viewer experience and perception the channelattracts premium viewership and advertisers. Digital media continued to grow at a fastpace. Digital consumption will grow and monetisation avenues will see great innovation tocater to the new Indian customer segments. Interestingly mobile subscriber growth was ledby rural markets. The growth of digital infrastructure is enabling Indians to fulfil theirneed for personal content consumption. We have responded proactively to this change ofconsumer behavior by launching 20 digital channels in different genres ranging fromregional news to lifestyle. They have all been well received by their respectiveaudiences.
The strategy of the company has been to expand its content footprint on every availableplatform to meet the information needs of the consumer. With five broadcast channels itreaches on an average 276 million viewers every month. The digital channels reach nearly77.6 million unique visitors monthly. The India Today Group also has a significant socialmedia presence with a fan base of 120 million and the India Today Twitter handle activatedin 2015 has crossed 5 million. All this makes your company a multimedia powerhouse. Inorder to establish itself as the benchmark in the field of fact-checked stories andbusting misinformation in mainstream and social media a fact check team has been set upwithin the company which works independently of other editorial operations. The fact checkteam has strengthened the in-house quality control mechanism by minimising the chances oferrors across the network thus enhancing the credibility of the company.
The overall performance of your company during FY 2018-19 has been satisfactory. Theoperating profit margin for the year was 26.66% (on a standalone basis).
The demerger of our newspaper undertaking of Mail Today Newspapers Private Limited(indirect wholly-owned subsidiary) and merging of the same alongwith India Today OnlinePrivate Limited (wholly-owned subsidiary) with the company is pending before the NationalCompany Law Appellate Tribunal. I would like to place on record my sincere appreciation tothe Board of Directors 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 which continue to provide us strength to forge aheadin our endeavour.