At the time of writing this article, the channel primarily features discussions on various topics like the elections, IPL and other general interest topics. This is probably because on-ground reporting has higher costs, which might make it unsustainable for Ping Digital. Besides studio-based discussions like ‘Young & digital”, BOOM News is also featuring discussions conducted over Google Hangouts. In the two months since its launch, it seems to have garnered 775 subscribers and around 220,000 views for 273 videos.
It appears that the network also works with brands for brand integration as a means of revenue apart from using advertising as a means of monetization on YouTube. The network seems to syndicate its content to platforms like Tata Sky, among others.
Focus on discussions & viability of news content on YouTube
What’s worth noting here is Boom News’ focus on discussions. This is probably because discussions and analysis tends to have a slightly longer shelf life than pure news reporting which is more of a commodity and typically has an extreme low shelf life.
From what we’ve heard from YouTube content partners in India, news is a high cost – low returns category, with the shelf life of news content being relatively low when compared to other categories like entertainment or fashion & lifestyle. Due to this, channels do not make additional investments on creating exclusive web-only content and largely focus on uploading large volume of content as opposed to driving high volume of traffic to a single video. From what we’ve heard, television players like NDTV and TV9 have been performing well on YouTube platform.
The challenge with web-only content and for Ping Digital right now will largely be monetization of this content, due to low returns and high investments on the web, which is why republishing news content makes sense, due to low cost of repurposing. This becomes more abysmal if you consider mobile phones, which is why most news channels are probably looking at mostly republishing news content.
Ping Digital was started by media-person and former TV anchor Govindraj Ethiraj, and backed by Ankur Daga, CEO of Angara.com, a New York based precious stones e-commerce venture, and Ashwin Dhamera, former CEO of Travelguru. Ping Digital claims to have 104 channels across multiple genres including education, news & politics, food, lifestyle & fashion, tech & gaming and entertainment. It has 60+ content creators, 8500+ videos, 77.4 million views and 200,000 fans across different platforms.
(With Inputs from Vikas SN)