Rishi Khiani’s Ant Farm launches advertising platform Fork Media
30 Apr 2013

Rishi Khiani’s Ant Farm – an innovation sandbox that aims to create global brands ideated and built out of India –announced the launch of its first venture in the advertising space, Fork Media. The venture claims to have HT Media, The India Today Group, The Hindu, and The Daily Mail on publisher’s clientele.

 Founded by former Times Internet Limited's executives, Samar Verma and Upen Roop Rai Fork Media offers advertisers innovative content-led marketing solutions, high engagement ad formats and exclusive access to the country’s leading publishers across the online, mobile and video platforms.

 “Our constant feedback from advertisers is that the typical ad formats prevalent on the web and mobile today are flawed. Users tend to tune out advertising; as a result click-through rates and engagement are trending downwards. We saw this as a great opportunity to create seamless, brand-led content propositions that give advertisers longer-term engagement with their target audience,” said Samar Verma, CEO and Founder, Fork Media.

The Fork Media website states 'We create advertiser focused content, craft innovative ad engagements and use data to match audience to brands. Fork Media works with publishers to unlock alternative revenue streams and with advertisers to create longer term engagement with their target consumer.'

Upen Roop Rai, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Fork Media, “There is a genuine need to address challenges such as low benchmarks set on pricing, lack of innovation and broken ad formats. This is an exciting proposition for both the publisher for driving optimal revenue levels and the advertiser for creating longer-term engagement with its target consumer group. Our aim is to create meaningful, conversation-based advertising for premium brands. We have seen tremendous success in the past in creating synergies between brands and content, and we want to extend that philosophy at FORK.”

The USP of the venture is it puts the ‘brand before measurability’ and has created a unique index that helps advertisers reach out to their intended audience via the right publisher collaboration. It focuses on alternative revenue streams that can run parallel to the publisher’s existing monetization efforts. The agency has created content marketing arm Think Tank, network’s in-house ideation, content creation and design cell.

“When Samar first approached us with the Idea of Fork Media we immediately saw the potential. He has had one of the fastest growths in the online industry largely due to his disruptive ideas and aggressive approach to monetization. We are excited with the traction Fork has managed to gain in such a short period of time. It’s a winning proposition for any publisher or brand” Rishi Khiani - MD of Antfarm.


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18 May 2013

I do not think, they are thinking anything beyond sales for a limited period. The overall model is adopted by many media houses but honestly not defensible.
- Publishers are never loyal to one ad network.
- Hand holding relationship might work for sometime.
- The visibility will be limited
- All the above publishers are News type of audience. Get mostly search traffic.
Have hardly any chance to show case any real buyer to act on the ad banner.
- Content networks like Outbrain, Tabola might play a more long term role.

By the way, they are creating a non-defensible, sort term strategic vision.
I truly have not expected a short term tatics from Rishi Khiani. He is one of the most dynamic leaders on early internet stage.