Mumbai: Media services firm Last Minute Media Pvt. Ltd, which runs a website that enables trade in advertising inventory, has entered into a deal with television ratings firm TAM Media Research Pvt. Ltd to offer data and analysis services.

The website, (LMI), allows media owners to offer unsold advertising inventory online and is promoted by Dentsu India, the local unit of Tokyo-based Dentsu Inc., and Mogae Group.

Eyes on future: Last Minute Media chairman Sandeep Goyal says the website is targeting Rs200 crore in transaction volumes by 2010.

A TAM Media spokesperson confirmed the agreement.

Goyal claimed that the website had transactions in excess of Rs10 crore in September. The website charges a membership fee from users and also bills them on transactions.

“We are targeting a 2009 transaction level of Rs60 crore," he said. “Year 2010 should comfortably see us do Rs200 crore in volumes."

There are some bargains available on the website, according to Mona Jain, head, strategic investments, India Media Exchange (IMX), the media buying unit of French advertising and communications company Publicis Groupe SA in the country.

“Advertisers are likely to get ad inventory 8-10% cheaper on the site than what they would get outside," Jain said. “IMX is in the process of signing deals through LMI. I think their deals are extremely creative and you get inventory at attractive rates."

Others aren’t as convinced as Jain.

“We have direct access to both clients (advertisers) and media owners," said Sam Balsara, chairman and managing director, Madison Group, a media buying house. “Why would we need an intermediary?"

Last Minute Media also has equity participation with Star TV Network, Zee Network and Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd, which publishes The Times of India (TOI) and The Economic Times (ET) newspapers.

Mint and the Hindustan Times, published by HT Media Ltd, compete with TOI and ET in many markets.

The website claims it has inventory from at least 80 media owners and 50 advertisers with a total combined expenditure of approximately Rs2,500 crore, which is almost 10% of the Indian advertising market.