View Point
How publishers must adapt to
changes in the Indian media landscape

The internet has long been spinning its web of interconnectivity around the globe, and in India, the revolution is in full swing, having experienced 28 percent growth in terms of users over the last year. With telecom giants investing in high-speed wireless infrastructure, it is predicted that India will reach to 350 million internet users by 2015, exceeding the entire population of the United States! Nicola Brookes, global communications manager, Atex briefs the emerging opportunities, while highlighting how Atex can help newspaper establishments take advantage of the developments in this domain.

India is currently ranked third in terms of its number of internet users, behind China and the US. Of the 100+ million Indians online, nine out of 10 utilise social media and 20 percent benefit from mobile internet. India now has the world’s fastest growing telecom market (233 percent year-on-year) driven by cheaper data rates and improved handsets. Within three years, more than half of the country’s internet users will access the web from their mobile phones.

India: a snapshot
  • 1.2 billion citizens
  • Over 100 million internet users – 8 percent of total population
  • 22 official languages and 844 regional dialects
  • 9 percent GDP growth in economy for the last three years
  • More than 4,000 daily newspaper titles
  • Top three are Indian language newspapers
Of course, India has a long way to go before the benefits of the internet can be fully realised. A ranking of 118 out of 154 for its Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) development status, shows that despite India’s significance as a global IT hub, a majority of Indians have yet to even acquire fixed telephone lines, a basic necessity for gaining internet access. But publishers can’t afford to ignore the great potential and the growth rates this country affords.With all the emerging options, the most successful media companies will be those capitalising on the huge emerging global audience by publishing content on multiple platforms. Readers should be able to specify which channels (print, online, mobile, tablet, e-reader) they want to use, at which times of day, and for which types of news, information, events, and advertising content.

The entire publishing industry in India will eventually go digital. We will see a seamless convergence between web and mobile internet audiences with the surge in smart phones and internet penetration. Mobile has become an entry point for many users, and with more and more people consuming the internet through mobile, the number of smart phones may well surpass the number of PCs. Getting on board with cross-media publishing now will help ensure your customers remain loyal, your content becomes king, and the royalties become yours.
Some tech-savvy businesses have been quick to tap in to this potential. Dinamalar, a Tamil language daily newspaper distributed in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, has surged forward on the new media front. The 60 year-old title is the world's number one Tamil language newspaper site, delivering the latest regional and world news, business, financial, political and entertainment stories, and attracting more than two million unique visitors and 190 million page views each month.

Dinamalar is also available as an iPhone, iPod and iPad app which it claims ‘provides its enriched content with a better user experience’. All have recorded a substantial number of downloads and page views, with various apps also being made available on the Android platform. Currently these are offered free, but the paid route is likely to be implemented soon.

With such success from Dinamalar’s approach, it’s likely that internet and app usage will graduate from an early adopter phase to broader take-up this year.

On this line, Atex, a leading software company providing solutions for media-rich industries, is encouraging publishers to take advantage of the digital revolution in India and start building new business models for delivering content online. Embracing the huge opportunity to diversify their offering, publishers should consider the revenue earning potential online provides. These lie in periodical subscription, adopting the pay-per-use model, hosting regular banner ads and innovative video ads. Currently internet advertising accounts for just three percent of the Indian advertising market, but is capable of much higher growth rates than other mediums. With an estimated value of $6.3 bn in 2012, this could have significant implications for publishers.

Atex enables media companies to produce content across multiple platforms using existing staff, all the while maintaining the brand’s standards for quality and credibility. Alongside this, advertising departments can offer cross-media packages which are produced in a single system, with a single invoice and a single view of the customer’s account information. This is possible with the enabling technology that supports multi-media content, advertising and audience management, coupled with multi-channel delivery.

Presently, media companies require a unified technology platform, with all the robustness of a conventional publishing solution, plus capabilities that enable editors to publish to multiple platforms continuously, enable journalists to gather information in new ways and provide greater insights into audience preferences, location and behavior. The foundation for Atex content management, advertising and audience solutions is a framework called OneView, providing a single view of all content and customer transactions. Over the past few years, Atex’s business has mirrored that of its media company customers. Today, more than 60 percent of its revenues come from digital, as opposed to its traditional print business. The company has also changed its deployment models to reflect the growing demands for hosted, cloud-based solutions.

Atex understands the urgency for media companies to become more agile in implementing change. By allowing Atex to take care of the software, a media company’s IT staff can concentrate on more strategic initiatives, such as reaching younger audiences and transforming the publishing business to support new around-the-clock, collaborative, and convergent multi-channel delivery models. The firm provides the enabling technologies and professional services to help media companies in this cross-channel quest. The concept is simple — any type of content, delivered anywhere, anytime, and in whatever format your readers seek. Against the backdrop of many dramatic changes in the media landscape, Atex’s mission is to remain the global leader in helping media companies turn ideas into dynamic, scalable and impactful multi-channel revenues.


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