To firm up its presence in the digital domain, Star News launched Hindi and English versions of its news websites on April 7, 2011. Both the websites have different editorial teams headed by Abhijit Das, Editor, New Media Initiatives. Ram Krishna Laxman is the Head of Marketing for Digital Initiatives.
Speaking on this initiative, Ashok Venkatramani, CEO, Star News, said, “Consumption of news is not necessarily confined to the television now when almost 50 per cent of India’s population is less than 25 years of age. Also, there are clear evidences that young people are watching less television and consuming other mediums more. Hence, we need to have capability to deliver the content on all the platforms. And this is a step towards that.”
While, Star News has always been among the popular news channels in the country, it seems that the channel is a bit late in foraying into the digital domain. When pointed out, Venkatramani, however, didn’t agree with this and stressed that they were the first news channel in the country to have tied up with BSNL when 3G was launched nine months back. If one has 3G connection with BSNL, he can see Star News Live on his mobile phone.
Continuing further he said, “We have tie-ups with YouTube. On Facebook we have got good response on our various programmes. We also do a host of live chats, interactions, updates on social network platforms. We are on Twitter too. We are engaging people with multifarious platforms.”
However, Venkatramani choose not to reveal anything on what percentage of the marketing budget had been kept aside for digital initiatives. He added that he believed that for a content provider, it was always beneficial to be on various mediums from the advertisers’ perspective as well. The benefit of having presence in various platforms is that brands (associated with the channel) can actually do multimedia activities through various available mediums. Being in all the mediums helps advertisers as they can promote themselves with a 360 degree approach.
He further said that Star News’ philosophy of ‘Apko Rakhe Aage’ was something that would differentiate its websites too. The launch event was also attended by Shazi Zaman, Editor, Star News and Neeraj Sanan, Executive VP, Marketing-Distribution, among others.
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