Industry experts discuss challenges in digital publishing at e4m-Akamai roundtable

Himanshu Gautam, Business Head - Digital, Amar Ujala Group said that it was critical for brands to have a great product in order to overcome challenges in digital domain

AkamaiRT

exchange4media and Akamai Technologies organised a roundtable on Challenges of Digital Publishing- Bridging the gap in engagement and monetisation at Le Meridian, New Delhi recently.

Some of the eminent names who were part of the roundtable included: Himanshu Gautam, Business Head, Digital, Amar Ujala Group; Varun Kohli, CEO, iTV Network; Anant Nath, Director, Delhi Press; Pankaj Pachauri, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, GoNews; Shambhunath Shukla, Advisor - Digital Publishing, Punjab Kesari; Atul Chaurasia, Executive Editor, Newslaundry; Apoorv Parijat, VP, Engineering, POPxo; KK Sharma, Founder and Chief Editor, Cable Quest; Akshat Verma, AVP, Innovation, Design and Technology, Nyoooz; Vishal Goel, Head of Digital Strategy, Patrika Group; and Shiv Prasad, Technical Head, Anjan TV. The roundtable was moderated by Rohonesh Kar, Country Leader - Media Presales, Akamai and Kanwaljeet Singh Bedi, CTO, NDTV & Gadget 360.

Speaking about the challenges in the digital domain, Gautam of Amar Ujala Group said that it was critical for brands to have a great product in order to win the battle in the long run. “Our focus on digital is about creating engaging content for our audience. This has worked in our favour so far. Secondly, we give a lot of importance to community building too, where in we focus on localising content for users across various cities,” stated Gautam.

Underlining the need for a collaborative effort to build the digital ecosystem, Kohli of iTV Network said, “As digital publishers, while we grow on producing authentic content we can all come together and explore the possibility of demanding subscription charges for the content offered. This will not only help us resolve the subscription-based issues but also beat the Google-Facebook duopoly to a large extent.”

Speaking about sustaining business through the subscription-based model, Nath of Delhi Press said, “There was a time, as a magazine publisher, we were focusing on how to add to the volume of the content. Now we look at calculating minutes of viewership that we are getting in a month’s time. Being a magazine publishing house, the overarching goal is to come up with content that will eventually produce subscription capability such that someone pays for it automatically, whether we impose the pay for it is a different thing altogether.”

“Space for local newspapers to have a subscription-based model is less. Only a few big names can afford to have subscriptions capabilities in the market at one time, while others might find it difficult unless we are looking at a niche audience,” he further added.

“It is indeed important to curate news according to the interests of the reader and also regional content should be kept on the top as a priority while curating the content,” said Shukla of Punjab Kesari.

Speaking about his venture GoNews, Pachauri said, “I see television as my competition, so we use BARC rating. As per data recorded by BARC our videos are viewed more than that viewed on television which gives an advertiser a set benchmark to advertise themselves on our platforms. Also, we are sticking to the shorter form of video content in regional language which gives us an opportunity to co-create a lot of content.’’

“With interest growing in video, increase in personalisation of content is changing the face of internet usage today. With content consumption on the internet being this high, it’s really a good time for the digital space in India,” stated Bedi of NDTV Group and MD – Gadgets 360.
 

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