Google looks to earn from IPL through Orkut

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 26 February 2009, 06:50 Hrs   |    3 Comments
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Mumbai: Google is betting big on upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) as they are all set to make its social networking site Orkut open for advertisers. The internet giant is in discussion with IPL officials to create brand positioning campaigns and even an IPL profile page for Orkut users, reported Business Standard.

According to Google India Managing Director Shailesh Rao, the company last year built a stronger base of marketers and invested in internet advertising. In 2009, Google should make revenues from its own social media platform.

Moreover, Google seeks to convert its vast network of Adwords advertisers to Orkut where they can place targeted and contextual advisements on various social communities and user profiles, reaching individual customers directly. "This would be through minimum intrusion, as we will only allow advertising at the lower half of the user's profile page, that too at an infrequent rate," said Mahesh Narayanan, Senior Industry Manager, Google.

Google expect that companies from segments such as FMCG, telecom and movie producers would be the big -ticket advertisers for Orkut on 2009. "You will see Google helping airlines sell tickets and packages on Orkut, financial services and products to users, and insurance and brokerage firms to offer services to targeted users," Rao pointed out.

Google sites ranked as the top property in India, with nearly 20 million visitors, as per a comScore data in 2008. Besides, Orkut registered nearly 10 million visitors with a growth of 39 percent. Apart from that, Orkut Apps, the blog that helps for software developers to market their social applications, has also emerged as a new revenue source for Google.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) estimates that online advertising market which is presently stood at Rs 240 crore in 2008, will grow to touch Rs 2,500 crore by 2011. Meanwhile, a bad economy outlook and fall in online advertising is forcing the networks to focus more on making money from existing subscribers than on adding new users.

However, research firm IDC claims that the use of social networking sites will continue to grow, but advertising will not necessarily expand along with it. "The fact that people use social networking services for communication puts them in a mindset that is less receptive to advertising than when they are using web sites like Yahoo or Google," opined IDC analysts.

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