Bringing out the voice of Bharat through the political survey: Umang Bedi, Dailyhunt

With the elections nearing, President of Dailyhunt says the voice & opinion of local language Internet users motivated Dailyhunt to come up with 'Trust of the Nation' survey

e4m by Apeksha Mishra
Updated: Nov 5, 2018 9:18 AM
Umang Bedi

Dailyhunt announced the results of its political survey, Trust of the Nation, conducted along with Nielsen India as Knowledge Partner. With over 50 lakh responses, the survey reveals how Bharat believes a second term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi will provide a better future. In an interview to exchange4media, Umang Bedi, President, Dailyhunt narrated how the voice and opinion of local language Internet users of Bharat motivated Dailyhunt to come up with this poll survey, more so at a time when elections are around the corner. Bedi also spoke to us about Dailyhunt’s mobile ad revenue growing a 100 per cent year on year as Indian language content goes mainstream.

Edited excerpts: 

What inspired the idea behind #DailyhuntTRUSToftheNATION poll survey?

The world’s largest democracy is India and we at Dailyhunt, an Indic platform are recording the pulse of Bharat through this poll survey. Today is not about politics, it is about democracy. This is an opportunity for us to bring out the voice of Bharat. 
Dailyhunt’s unique value proposition of over 70 per cent of users being from tier-2, 3 and 4 cities helps us to reach out to the heart and expression of the Bharat. The second fundamental driver behind this survey was based on how 80 per cent of our users on the platform have preferred political news as an interest. With the upcoming elections, this is an opportune time for the vibrant democracy around Bharat to express themselves in their local language on whom they trust the most for their nation.

Isn’t the timing and results of the poll acting a lot in favour of BJP, more so when the election dates are close by? How is this not a political propaganda?
Serving as an Indic platform the results of Dailyhunt Trust of the Nation poll survey is all about the voice of democracy, interestingly at a time when we are about to get into the election phase. This is not about politics or poll prediction instead it is about our Bharat and Loktantra. The motivation behind this political survey conducted along with Nielsen India, the gold standard in this space is thoroughly because of the local language Internet users of Bharat. The poll questions, the content, the leaders in this poll survey are chosen as per the political score based on who is most talked about and content which is read and shared the most on our platform. As this is a national poll, we have considered top eight leaders who are there consistently across these affinity marks.

While marketers are enamoured by digital advertising, how is Dailyhunt efficiently recording data metrics in order to monetise viewership, in an era where trust is at the lowest?

We go through severe checks and balances around our data. We ensure that all our data is audited by a third party. The last audit we did was with Deloitte. Secondly, we measure metrics very critically around impressions, time spent, around CDRs which we transparently forward the information back to the advertisers. We work pro-actively with partners and advertisers to improve on these key metrics. Advertisers are able to gain confidence only if you share information transparently. This also helps to improve on metrics over time and this is the journey Dailyhunt is on.

With recent controversies about fake news, fake traffic etc. what key measures is Dailyhunt adopting to in order to combat such threats to our democracy? 

Dailyhunt is taking fake news as a problem in a very serious way. We solve it uniquely unlike other tech platforms. Dailyhunt does not allow user-generated content. All our content comes to us from 1500 plus publishing partners and over 10,000 professionally generated content creators who we have licensed arrangements with. Therefore, we license all our content.

Secondly, using AI and machine-learning languages, we rate the publishers using Publisher quality score and Content quality score. In this, we look at how the content has been laid out, what is being said and the user’s reaction. We also channel it back to the publisher in case of any derogatory images or content. Even for the content that we license, we develop the publisher and content quality score in order to ensure that we are nowhere next to even the borderline of fake news.

What are your thoughts on Indian language content going mainstream? How relevant do you think it is in monetising the platform and leveraging Dailyhunt's mobile ad revenues?

There is a myth that exists in the market that a local language consumer is a low socio-economic consumer. When you look at media, TV is the largest chunk of media with over 50 per cent market share on the $10 billion being spent on advertising. Ninety per cent of content on TV and advertising is non-English. Ten of the top TV channels are also non-English. Hence, the marketers believe that this is the platform to reach out to as it gives a high reach. Today, our mobile ad revenue is growing a 100 per cent year on year.

When it comes to the Internet, post Jio the shift has changed. Local languages are going mainstream in terms of sheer velocity and volume. With current Internet base being 420 million, 230 million plus are local language users whereas 175 million are English users. Nine out of 10 new Internet users are local language users. By 2022, there will be 800 million people on the Internet in India with nearly 600 million being local language users. Dailyhunt is leveraging this trend, to grow and become the largest local language Indic platform in India. Therefore, we are driving infinite reach and distribution, secondly we are growing engagement with video, and thirdly, we are looking at unleashing the monetisation opportunity. Over the next three years, we believe that we could get to anywhere between 10-20 per cent of market share of the digital ad revenues. This, fundamentally because of the massive shift to video unleashes many opportunities around pre-roll, mid-roll, brand sponsorship, content marketing and unique levels of targeting.

How is Dailyhunt helping publishers organise themselves for digital success?

Today most publishers in India have their own independent digital platforms as well. On the other hand, we have a 155 million monthly active users which acts as a reach aggregator for that publisher. Speaking about news, depending on the nature and genre, can have a very limited shelf-life. Within this finite time, for their content we drive maximum number of views for our partners. We drive over 30-60 per cent of traffic of most partners large or small. We also drive over 30-50 per cent of the total monetisation that they make as we do revenue shares with them.
This is how we are helping them grow their traffic. What we also do is, we partner with comScore, such that the attribution of traffic goes back to the publishers so that they can view their rankings go up.

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