We expect a third of Times Internet’s revenue from subscriptions: Vivek Jain, Times Prime

Times Prime has been envisioned as the gateway to Times Internet’s existing and upcoming subscription products, says Jain, Business Head at Times Prime 

e4m by Tasmayee Laha Roy
Updated: Jun 5, 2019 8:31 AM
Vivek Jain

The subscription model is on its way to become a major source of revenue for Times Internet, says Vivek Jain, Business Head at Times Prime. He is also the Head of Product, Technology and Operations for MX Player. 

In a chat with exchange4media, Jain talks about their brand associations and more.  

Excerpts:

Times Prime is a new product in the market; tell us a little about it.
A few months back, Times Internet launched Times Prime, a first-of-its-kind premium lifestyle membership in India. Times Prime offers exclusive privileges and benefits to its members across dining, travel, entertainment, shopping and a lot more.

The market at the moment is flooded with content platforms. Why did you launch a digital subscription product?
Globally, subscription has been gaining popularity as the preferred medium to access a wide range of products and services online. For instance, The New York Times derives 50 per cent of its revenue from subscriptions and we see such stories playing out in other categories as well. It is helping businesses to significantly enhance engagement, increase loyalty and ARPU.

Times Internet currently has more than 450 million monthly active users in India and the number is growing rapidly. We have over 40 digital products across categories and many of these brands are creating premium experiences and locking it behind a paywall.  We already have 1 million paying subscribers across our products and aim to grow this figure to 20 million. In fact, we expect a third of Times Internet’s revenue to come from subscriptions, going forward. We believe Times Prime will play a critical role in this regard. We envision Times Prime as the gateway to all our existing and upcoming subscription products while also offering access to premium benefits and privileges across various other categories.

Many brands have launched their own subscription programmes. What would you say is your competitive edge?
Today, most subscription programmes are specific to a particular category, be it dining, music or e-commerce. This not only limits the value offered to users but also potentially limits the audience for such programmes. Besides, managing multiple subscriptions may prove to be cumbersome for a user.

Times Prime bundles together premium subscriptions and exclusive benefits from India’s leading brands under one umbrella. Essentially, we offer a multi-category, premium lifestyle membership which gives users access to memberships and privileges across diverse categories ranging from dining and travel to entertainment, events, shopping and much more.  We offer a seamless, zero friction user experience and are consistently working with our partners to ensure one-click access to all privileges.

In fact, we are offering benefits of up to Rs 60,000 in a year at an annual cost of just Rs 999. Our members typically are able to recover the cost of our subscription within a month of using Times Prime. This enables us to reach out to a much wider base of users and scale up more rapidly and sustainably.

How has the response been so far?
The response has been very promising and we are overwhelmed with the growth so far. We have garnered a substantial base of users in just a few months with no advertising. Word of mouth has been our biggest source for customer acquisition till now. Having said that, we are planning on launching campaigns shortly to drive awareness.

Which brands and partnerships can we expect to see in the future?
We aim to elevate the lifestyle of our members. That’s why we have been very selective when it comes to brands and offers. We only want to offer exclusive benefits and privileges from the best brands to our members. We expect to see more prestigious brands across lifestyle, hospitality, entertainment and services joining us soon. 

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