A year and a half after entering into a partnership with Yahoo! to strengthen the growing readership of Hindi content on the web, Dainik Jagran has now inked a strategic deal with Google to help the group archive its bilingual daily, Inext under its service called News Archive Partner Programme.
It was in June 2009 that Jagran had entered into a partnership with Google for its newspaper digitisation programme for Inext, the first compact Hindi daily in the bilingual format. All nine editions of Inext will be available as part of Google News Archives since the paper’s launch in 2006.
In conversation with exchange4media.com, Bharat Gupta, Executive President, Jagran Prakashan Ltd, said, “There is huge value in this as it enables our archives in Hindi to be indexed, crawled and searchable making them more accessible.”
The News Archive Partner Programme paves the way for Google and Jagran Prakashan Ltd and repositories to partner together and make historical newspaper archives discoverable online.
Gupta further elaborated, “Adding relevance is the name of the game. When we talk about the Indian market, there is very limited content on the Net with Indian perspective. For example, at the time of the Quit India Movement, most of the action was covered by the then regional press. If you want to do any research on the same, every time you search it on Net, you will be greeted with news clippings from the international press. Seldom would they provide any relevance or viewpoint of the actual scene in India. As a result, you miss the real action. By tying up with solutions like Google Archive, many established and long time newspapers can enable sharing of their rich media library lying in their archives, which will add lot of relevance to these search by providing factual/ local data.”
Meanwhile, having partnered with Yahoo! in December 2007, the group’s newspaper portal has seen a huge growth in its readership base. Gupta told exchange4media that the Jagran Prakashan Ltd was extremely delighted to see their online readership base, as measured in terms of unique users, approaching close to 15 lakh per month. “We are very excited about the future of new media and see it as an integral part of our 360 offerings, which will include print, outdoor, radio, below the line and mobile,” he added.
The group is making every move on the web count for all its print publications, including Sakhi, Inext, CityPlus, and Josh, to name a few. They are actively exploring the right partnerships and business models to create a compelling presence online.
Sanjay Gupta, Group CEO, Jagran Prakashan Ltd, is buoyant about the digitisation of Jagran’s content and its forthcoming online properties. He said, “We realise that the web is a bit different from print, and we need to adapt our content accordingly. For example, we have a team of 25 people dedicated to creating and uploading over 3,000 stories and 37 e-paper editions daily. This enables us to match the speed needed to deliver news as it happens. We will not only be leveraging our core print franchises, but will also be building something more online.”
Besides the media properties, Jagran has launched Khojle.in, a classified portal, and has now also created a new company to incubate new ideas in the Internet space – MMI Online. At MMI Online, the focus will be to plug the gap in the Indian market by exploring new business areas in the Web 2.0 space. While being very hush-hush about what MMI will focus on, Sukirti Gupta, CEO, MMI Online, commented that they were beginning to see Internet growth in the core Jagran markets and that there was a huge untapped potential that they hoped to create products for.