Digital will follow the TV route: Gyan Gupta CEO DB Digital

Gyan Gupta, CEO of Dainik Bhaskar Digital, believes that figuring out the right metric is very important on the digital medium and this can only happen when advertisers, agencies and publishers sit down and talk things out. Recently, dainikbhaskar.com became the No.2 news website in the country. We caught up with Gupta to get his views on the digital medium as well as to understand DB Digital’s plans for the future

e4m by Abhinn Shreshtha
Published: May 6, 2016 8:17 AM  | 7 min read
Digital will follow the TV route: Gyan Gupta CEO DB Digital

Dainikbhaskar.com, the flagship Hindi website of the Dainik Bhaskar Group, was recently adjudged the No. 2 news website in the country by comScore. According to comScore numbers, Dainikbhaskar.com has 24.3 million unique visitors and 378 million page views. It also continues to be the No.1 Hindi news website.

We caught up with the CEO of Dainik Bhaskar Digital, Gyan Gupta to find out more about how the DB Group is approaching the digital medium.

Excerpts:

It must  feel like a great achievement to become No.2 in the online news category despite being a non-English player.

Language (other than English) is going to become bigger and bigger in the digital ecosystem. We have been talking for a while now that the importance of content in different languages is going to increase and this (DB.com becoming No.2 News website) is an indication that this is happening. And I think it is important for content in different languages to increase, otherwise we are not going to be able to reach the entire country.

So, what would you attribute the success to?
I think it is a lot of stuff. One thing is that we have been doing a lot of work on the content, like having analyst discussions with the editorial team, understanding how digital and mobile audiences are different, how to treat the headline, the copy for digital, etc. We have also put in work on the product side. The websites are faster; we focus on a lot on the user experience.

What is the digital strategy for you?
The digital strategy for us is very simple. Everyone is trying to figure out their business strategy,  but I think largely it is about understanding what the audience is looking for, in terms of content and information, and how do you give it to them in a nice intuitive and faster manner depending on the device he/she has. Beyond this we also look at how the advertisement and the user experience will play out.

Speaking of advertising, what are the challenges and opportunities that you see as a non-English digital publisher?
A couple of years back the story was very different. Advertisers would tell us that they are not looking at Hindi content. But if you understand from the advertiser point of view, it is very simple; they will go where the scale is. For them to make any campaign successful is not about the language (whether Hindi or English). If you look at print, if they want to go to a metro they will probably choose English, but if they want to reach out to a Jaipur or Bhopal they will choose Hindi. While TV marketers look at what gives them a mass reach. I think language is something that we overplay, but for the advertiser it is only about the audience quality and the reach. As and when vernacular language provides them the reach, which it should on digital; I think digital would probably follow the TV route rather than the print route, there is no reason why advertisers will not show interest.

When you say digital will follow TV, you mean in terms of reach?
Yes, in terms of scale. Also, I feel that in digital, other languages will have a major role to play rather than English alone. You see, digital is a mass medium but how does it reach 500 million? It will only happen if we get those 300 million who are speaking local languages online, otherwise the medium will be restricted. Today, if we are looking at digital being a 150 million audience medium, estimates suggest that 50 per cent of this audience speaks local languages and this percentage is only going to increase. The English audience, by and large, is already online. When we talk about adding new people to the internet, the growth will come from the local language population and Hindi forms about 60 per cent of this number. So, that is why I said that the audience spread of digital medium will be more like a GEC rather than print.

Can you tell us about the different properties in the DB Digital stable and the monetization strategy for them?
We have 9 properties with 5 being the most prominent----dainikbhaskar.com, divyabhaskar.com (Gujarati), Moneybhaskar.com, which is also the third largest business website, Fashion101.com and Dailybhaskar.com, which is in English. Then we have smaller properties like Bollywoodbhaskar.com, DBcricket.com, Jeevan Mantra, etc. As of now the largest revenue sources are dainikbhaskar.com and divyabhaskar.com. We believe that daiinkbhaskar.com is our flagship property because we want one website to have the most scale, which it has right now. The other websites are still new and are getting scale.

Videos are the latest craze. How do you leverage videos at DB Digital?
We have DB videos which we started about 10 months back. We have our own team, our own studios and we produce our own videos. We started with news bulletins, which are working really well for us. We also produce a lot of videos around specific content depending on breaking news, Bollywood news, etc. Video for us is very important, we are focussing on it and we feel video will be a great way forward. From a user perspective, bandwidth still continues to be a challenge but audiovisual is the way forward. This actually connects to my previous point of digital being more like TV. Once you go audiovisual, the whole language barrier goes away. Whether you read English or Hindi or any other language, you are completely comfortable watching videos in Hindi, so videos have lessened the language divide.

Coming to the mobile front, can you tell us how you are approaching this medium?

Mobile is becoming huge for us. Around 60-65 per cent of our entire readership is already from mobile and by end of the year it should be around 75-80 per cent. We are trying to figure out different monetization models on mobile and how we can create better user experience on it. A lot of our internal discussions are around these areas.

Are your revenues from mobile proportional to the traffic ratio between mobile and desktop?
What we are trying to figure out is how to give a brand solution to advertisers. Mobile is largely performance-led. Now for advertising to make sense, you need to have brand advertising. On the mobile you need to solve the brand advertising challenge without disturbing the user. This is the problem. Once we solve this and brand money starts coming in, then the mobile growth will get further accelerated. That is when the big money will start coming in. On the revenue side we still see advertisers preferring desktop and it also gives a higher ARPU on desktop. At some point of time this will balance out.

We are seeing platforms like Facebook wooing publishers to allow them to host content. What are your thoughts on this?
I think going forward the landscape is going to get very complicated with Facebook Instant Articles or Google AMP. There will be a lot of other guys who want to aggregate content. At the end of the day they are all trying to do a single thing, which is to provide a great user experience. I think the publishers should take up this challenge rather than relying on someone else to solve it. It would be naive for us to let someone else solve our problem.

Can you tell us about your business expectations this year?

We still have a lot of milestones to cross. Creating a stickier and better product for the consumer to give them a great experience is a very clear business objective for us. In terms of new product launches, we are working on a few things but I am not sure whether we will launch them this year. The larger focus for this year is to adapt to the mobile experience.

Read more news about (internet advertising India, internet advertising, advertising India, digital advertising India, media advertising India)

For more updates, be socially connected with us on
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube

Meta expands payment options on WhatsApp to grow India business

The tech giant has partnered with Razorpay and PayU to make payment 'as simple as sending a message'

By e4m Staff | Sep 21, 2023 7:41 AM   |   2 min read

WhatsApp

Indian consumers shopping on WhatsApp can now pay using Google Pay, Paytm, PhonePe or debit and credit cards within its app. 

The announcement was made at Meta's Conversations Conference in Mumbai on Wednesday. 

WhatsApp has more than 500 million users in India, the largest in the world. However, the government has capped its in-app pay service to 100M users. Now, users can shop and send a payment through the app of their choice within WhatsApp. 

“We’re making it easier to complete a purchase directly in the chat. Starting today, people in India can add items to their cart and send a payment using the method of their choice from all supported UPI apps, debit and credit cards, and more”, according to the company’s blog. 

Meta has partnered with Razorpay and PayU to make payment “as simple as sending a message”. 

Meta also announced “WhatsApp Flows” on Wednesday that will enable businesses to offer more functions such as choosing a train seat, ordering food or booking an appointment all without leaving the chat window. 

The company will make Flows available to businesses globally using the WhatsApp Business Platform in the coming weeks. 

Meta also announced that it will soon expand Meta Verified to businesses on Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp after having rolled out the feature for creators in March.

Read more news about (internet advertising India, internet advertising, advertising India, digital advertising India, media advertising India)

For more updates, be socially connected with us on
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube

India leading in terms of businesses having embraced messaging: Zuckerberg

The Meta CEO was attending the company's Annual Conversations in Mumbai virtually where a slew of new features for WhatsApp were announced

By e4m Staff | Sep 20, 2023 2:11 PM   |   2 min read

whatsapp

“India is a country that's at the forefront of a lot of what we're going to talk about today,” said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in his virtual address during the Meta’s Annual Conversations in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Zuckerberg also lauded India and Indians for “leading the world in terms of how people and businesses have embraced messaging as the better way to get things done.”

The Meta CEO also spoke about the new innovations on WhatsApp. “We’ve continued to innovate with our messaging formats, our group chats and broadcast channels. And it's the same focus that we're bringing to how we support businesses, creating simple to use and easy to scale tools so they can connect with their customers in meaningful ways,” he said.

Zuckerberg also expounded on the various ways in which WhatsApp supports businesses, such as creating customized experiences, etc. During the event, Meta announced brand new features for WhatsApp Business, such as UPI integration. The company also announced the expansion of Meta Verified to businesses on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. 

“Now, as you know, we’ve launched our own payment solution in Brazil and in Singapore, and today I am excited to announce that we are bringing this service to India. With payments in India, we’re going to support other payment methods as well, including all UPI apps. This is going to make it even easier for people to pay Indian businesses within a WhatsApp chat using whatever method they prefer,” he said in his address. 

Read more news about (internet advertising India, internet advertising, advertising India, digital advertising India, media advertising India)

For more updates, be socially connected with us on
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube

Elon Musk to charge 'small' fee for X (Twitter) subscription

The Twitter owner said that the move may help weed out bot accounts

By e4m Staff | Sep 20, 2023 1:20 PM   |   1 min read

Elon Musk

X (formerly Twitter) users may soon have to pay subscription fees to use the platform, according to Elon Musk. The magnate has hinted that he could soon enforce a paywall around the business to get rid of bot accounts, which has become a throne on his side: “We are moving to having a small monthly payment for use of systems.”

Musk made the disclosure when he was in a meeting with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu who visited Tesla Motors in California. Currently, the platform charges users for accessing premium features of X such as checkmarks for verified accounts.

By enforcing subscriptions, bot account users may get discouraged from creating new accounts.

Musk has not mentioned how much the new paid service may cost or what special features can the users avail of.

In the meeting with Netanyahu, Musk also addressed the issues of antisemitism prevalent on the plaform.

Read more news about (internet advertising India, internet advertising, advertising India, digital advertising India, media advertising India)

For more updates, be socially connected with us on
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube

OTT won't be regulated as telecom service: DoT

DoT said that the current definition of telecom services under the Telegraph Act is good enough and that there’s no need to add OTT in the new bill

By e4m Staff | Sep 19, 2023 8:28 AM   |   2 min read

OTT

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has reportedly said that OTT (over-the-top) players won’t come under the purview of the definition of  telecommunication services in the Telecom Bill.

According to news reports, DoT said that the current definition of telecom services under the Telegraph Act is good enough and that there’s no need to add OTT in the new bill.

The government won’t be enabling a revenue-sharing model between the OTTs and the telecom-sharing providers.

The report also quoted a government official who said that there’s no revenue-sharing mechanism in the works.

Telecos have been demanding a share of the revenue earned by OTT players who have been using the former’s network for carriage of their apps.

In their defence, the telecom companies contend that the streaming apps have been offering heavy services and generating disproportionately high traffic, pushing them to upgrade their network capacity.

The new Telecom Bill is set to replace the Telegraph Act, which defines “telegraph” as “any appliance, instrument, material or apparatus used

or capable of use for transmission or reception of signs, signals, writing, images and sounds or intelligence of any nature by wire, visual or other electro-magnetic emissions, Radio waves or Hertzian waves, galvanic, electric or magnetic means.”

The move to remove OTT from the Telecom Bill is reportedly expected to be tabled in the winter session of the Parliament.

Read more news about (internet advertising India, internet advertising, advertising India, digital advertising India, media advertising India)

For more updates, be socially connected with us on
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube

Ad Nauseum: Are AI algorithms hurting ad performance?

Increasing use of AI-generated content & data can decrease production of original content, while simultaneously increasing the volume of deductive and AI-generated content, say experts

By Shantanu David | Sep 19, 2023 8:27 AM   |   6 min read

ai

As we navigate the oft murky depths of the internet and digital media, sailing from content to information, and weaving between news and retail; that is when it happens.

Ad nauseum, whether it’s the act of repeating something to the point of aversion or the effect of seeing the same ad for air fryers for days after having innocuously Googled ‘healthy French Fries’ that one time, seems to be occurring more frequently. And you can blame it, as you can most things according to certain talking heads these days, on the advent of Artificial Intelligence.

“AI plays a big role in digital ads, making things smoother and better. But there's a worry that AI might make ads too similar because it only uses similar data,” observes Sanjeev Jasani, COO, Cheil India.

And that’s only what’s happening at the metaphorical shop front. Things behind the counter have the potential to get a lot messier. And that’s even as more advertisers, publishers, and media merchants pivot towards the inarguable efficacy and application of AI technologies.

Ghosts in the machine

Agreeing with the universal sentiment that AI is the next big thing, Shashidhar Sharma, Country Head – Programmatic, GroupM Nexus, says the utilization of AI and its inherent ability to analyze extensive data sets for extracting insights has led to a multitude of practical applications, and increased revenue generation, and thereby has a consequential impact.

“However, the possibility of the data sets themselves being biased does exist. An increasing use of AI-generated content and data has the potential to decrease the production of original content, while simultaneously increasing the volume of deductive and AI-generated content. Subsequently, this heightens the risk of content loops, which impacts advertising and programmatic vastly as we advertise pertinent content trying to reach out to relevant users. If content loops or echo chambers become predominant, users will progressively shift away from them and seek out original content that provides up-to-date and contextually accurate information.”

Siddhant Mazumdar, Head, Mediabrands Content Studio – India, says that Artificial Intelligence unquestionably has the potential to generate echo chambers across various applications. “With the proliferation of AI-generated content, there's a concern that AI may end up primarily curating content created by other AI systems, sidelining human involvement. This scenario presents a somewhat dystopian perspective. As AI content becomes indistinguishable from human-created content, it becomes increasingly challenging to ascertain its source.”

Indeed, consumers today have been exposed to different forms of echo chambers for a while now. It’s not (just) that people in your digital surroundings think like you and agree with your views on so many things, excellent as you may view them to be.

“Social media platforms, for instance, employ AI algorithms that repetitively serve content or products based on users' preferences, limiting exposure to diverse viewpoints. This phenomenon can also occur in conversational chatbot experiences, where strong biases or one-sided information may dominate, offering limited exposure to counter viewpoints,” says Mazumdar.

“Similarly, if data bias creeps into the way we use algorithms within digital advertising, the subsequent insights will be impacted. The risk is high, but the solution is also a continuous process that should start immediately. AI/ML should be approached with the understanding of what insights to use, which trigger points we optimize for, and what target user persona we are aiming for. If we lose vision as stated above, we do run the risk of deductive data sets being repetitively used, reducing the efficiency drastically,” says Sharma.

The Exorcists

Jasani says to fix this we need to use different types of data and AI that shows different ideas. “This way, ads can be more interesting and work better. Advertisers and publishers should prioritize responsible AI usage. Regular data audits, transparency in algorithms, and continuous monitoring are key. Human oversight is essential to ensure that AI-driven ads resonate with the intended audience while respecting ethical and cultural boundaries,” he says.

In Sharma’s opinion, publishers should explore the potential of AI capabilities for fine tuning the content rather than creating it from scratch. “I would emphasize on the significance of original content which has never been more crucial and should be given due attention. The usage of original content with AI supporting the mechanism by throwing in research insights would be my recommendation.”

Mazumdar adds that subject matter experts with neutrality in mind can supervise or guide AI content creation, ensuring it remains grounded in human sensibilities. “Looking ahead, AI platforms should ideally provide tools that allow users to control the extent of AI involvement in the processing, empowering everyone to have greater control over the outcome. This balance between AI and human oversight will be vital in maintaining the impact and human touch of ads.”

Sharma also says that advertisers should have checks and balances in place to ensure user persona mapping is done accurately so that biased or inaccurate insights do not impact the overall strategy.

So while echoes are definitely growing in the void that is digital media, there is still a chance to curb that while we still have our hands on the remote.

Epilogue

Mitesh Kothari, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, White Rivers Media sums it up, saying, “AI is a mixed bag in today's ad world. On one hand, it helps us pinpoint our target audience, refine our advertising campaigns, and enhance efficiency through machine-learning techniques. On the other hand, it can also steer you into an echo chamber of comparable concepts.”

“Remember, in this data-driven age, staying on top of your datasets and keeping a finger on the pulse of consumer sentiment is crucial. Use AI to craft ads that speak directly to your audience, striking that perfect balance between its advantages and pitfalls.”

 

Read more news about (internet advertising India, internet advertising, advertising India, digital advertising India, media advertising India)

For more updates, be socially connected with us on
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube

Urge & request media to stop speculating: Koo Founders

'We are committed to our dream of taking Koo to the world and beating the best with Indian tech,' said the founders.

By e4m Staff | Sep 18, 2023 12:25 PM   |   2 min read

Koo

After the reports that the homegrown micro-blogging platform, Koo, is actively seeking a partnership with a party possessing robust distribution capabilities, the founders have now issued a statement urging media to stop speculating.

The statement highlights that 2023 has been one of the toughest years for the startup ecosystem around the world. Funding has come to a standstill and only near breakeven or early stage startups are lucky to raise funds, that too at low valuations / heavy markdowns.

“While our stable state plan was to scale more before generating revenue, Koo too was caught in this unfortunately sour market timing and had to switch gears from a growth trajectory to a revenue generating engine. With just 6 months more on our trajectory, we would have beaten Twitter in India” read the statement.

The founders of Koo believe that from growing rapidly to cutting down on growth and proving unit economics, within 6 months of revenue experimentation, Koo took a 180 degree turn and proved that this is a real business. 

“While the market is unfavourable, we as founders are committed to our dream, of taking Koo to the world and beating the best, with Indian tech. We believe that India needs to have a seat at the table that's currently only reserved for global tech giants.”


“The next phase for Koo is to build scale and that will happen with either funding or through a strategic partnership with someone who already has scale. With the current reality of a slow investor market, the best way forward is to partner with someone who has the distribution strength to give Koo a massive user impetus and help it grow. With a platform that's scale ready, Koo can outshine competitors with the right push on growth. While we talk to the right partners to build this out, we urge and request our well wishers and friends in the media to stop speculating and be patient till we have something concrete to announce. All we can tell you is that, with all these changes, Koo will be much stronger as an organization and will make all of us proud,” it further read



Read more news about (internet advertising India, internet advertising, advertising India, digital advertising India, media advertising India)

For more updates, be socially connected with us on
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube

Deccan Herald & Prajavani join hands with Quintype’s AI digital experience platform

Quintype’s digital experience platform empowers the editorial team with custom workflows, bi-directional print-to-digital syndication and innovative storytelling formats

By e4m Staff | Sep 18, 2023 10:58 AM   |   2 min read

Quintype

Quintype has announced its collaboration with The Printers Mysore of Deccan Herald and Prajavani. This partnership has facilitated The Printers Mysore in doubling its active user base and maintaining stable website traffic.

The Printers Mysore aims to harness the power of its influential media brands to enhance its digital media presence for the next-generation news consumers.

In this journey, Quintype, with its AI-powered newsroom growth platform and deep digital publishing expertise, stood out as the ideal partner for The Printers Mysore's progressive digital approach.

This strategic collaboration has enabled Deccan Herald and Prajavani to bolster its digital-first newsroom approach. They adopted Quintype's flagship News CMS platform, hosted on AWS, which comes fully equipped with all essential editorial features and the added benefit of seamless bi-directional print-to-digital syndication. Remarkably, over 2 million stories were migrated to Quintype’s platform without any dip in website traffic. Furthermore, most of their URLs now achieve a "Good" rating in Google's Core Web Vitals assessment.

“Our aim was to enhance our tech stack to offer our readers unparalleled experiences with a great design that is Clean, Crisp and Contemporary. The new platform aligned perfectly with our editorial team's criteria, including efficient workflow management. The entire Quintype team, from tech to product to support, was physically present in our office during the go-live of the new Prajavani and Deccan Herald websites. They closely worked with our team throughout the process, ensuring a smooth transition,” said Sitaraman Shankar, CEO of The Printers Mysore and Editor of Deccan Herald.

"We're thrilled to team up with The Printers Mysore, a media titan in India boasting nearly 9 million print readers and an impressive over 100 million monthly pageviews," expressed Chirdeep Shetty, CEO at Quintype. “Our DXP platform is designed to aid publishers in reducing website downtime and amplifying traffic. It's a robust tool for efficient content generation and omnichannel distribution powered by a state-of-the-art tech stack."

Read more news about (internet advertising India, internet advertising, advertising India, digital advertising India, media advertising India)

For more updates, be socially connected with us on
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube