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Times of India group’s digital venture Times Internet has inked an agreement with the US publishing conglomerate Crain Communications to launch the Indian edition of Crain’s advertising agency and marketing industry news publication Advertising Age India.

This deal is part of the company’s Times Local Partners (TLP) initiative, through which Times Internet partners global digital companies to build and launch their Indian editions. Previous partnerships include Gawker MediaBusiness InsiderZiff DavisPursuitistFuture Plc and Say Media.

Times Internet mentions that it will be putting together an editorial and insights team to publish local industry news, trends & analysis alongside AdAge’s global coverage of strategic topics for marketers and media. It will also be using Times Group’s media reach to grow this brand locally.

Times Local Partners business head Puneet Singhvi mentions that they will also be rolling regional versions of Ad Age Lists soon. These lists are typically annual lists of top ad agencies, upcoming agencies, top media agencies and international agencies among others.

Subscription?

What’s worth noting here is Advertising Age seems to primarily work on subscription model. Readers get 7 free item views per month, along with select free content as chosen by Advertising Age editors. Following this, they will have to opt for one of membership packages starting at $109 per year for free site access and going up to $329 per year for additional features like webcasts, access to private event livestreaming and member trend reports among others.

It’s not clear whether Times Internet plans to roll out a similar subscription model for AdAge readers in India. We’ve written to Times Internet for more details on this and will update once we hear back.

Update: A Times Internet spokesperson informs us that there are no plans for subscription.

Times Local Partnerships till now

– Gawker Media for the Indian editions of Gizmodo and Lifehacker which went live in May 2013.
–  Business Insider for Business Insider India which went live in September 2013.
– Ziff Davis for Indian editions of its gaming site IGN and men’s lifestyle site AskMen. IGN went live in December 2013 and AskMen went live last month.
– Luxury blog Pursuitist for its Indian edition pursuitist.in which went live in December 2013 with a placeholder page and the company seems to be populating content on the site right now.
– UK-based media group Future Plc for the Indian edition of its technology news and reviews site TechRadar which is yet to go live.
– San Francisco-based digital publishing company Say Media for Indian editions of Say Media’s home design site Remodelista and tech news site ReadWrite which is also yet to go live.

Nikhil adds:

Ad Age India won’t struggle for content because the Times of India group already publishes an advertising industry supplement called Brand Equity.

India has several publications that are built to attract an agency audience, and tend to get advertising from publishers. To name a few: afaqs (funded by Seedfund), Exchange4Media, MXMIndia, AdGully, MediaAvataar, Campaign India, and probably many others that we’ve not even heard of.

Entering a crowded market is never going to be easy, but what Ad Age can do, is improve the coverage of digital advertising, which, frankly, none of them do with great distinction. There’s a paucity of journalists who understand digital advertising. We know. We’ve been trying to hire to add that aspect of coverage to MediaNama.

Disclosure: In terms of content, there may be areas of overlap (and hence competition) between Ad Age India and MediaNama.