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Updated: Rediff.com: Still Drinking Its Own Kool Aid

(Updated below) Would Rediff.com do a search deal with Microsoft for Bing, emulating Yahoo? A hypothetical situation, but responding to MediaNama's question on the companys earnings call, Rediff Chairman and CEO Ajit Balakrishnan appeared reticent. Balakrishnan declined to share the split between Search and Display Advertising - the information kept confidential for competitive reasons - but said that vertical search is an important source of revenue for the company. Rediff provides vertical search for airfare and trains, Jobs, Products, Mobile Ring Back Tones and Ring Tones, among several others. These are likely to be important contributors to its Fee based revenues. Around a year ago, Rediff revamped its website design, and removed advertising from its homepage, once the hottest space for advertisers on portals in India. In a previous conference call, Balakrishnan had said the company expected no more than a single digit percent decline in revenues from the move. Responding to our question on whether Rediff has made up its losses from this revamp, Balakrishnan said that there has been growth in online advertising revenues (up 16% year on year) for the company, and revenues are close to having recovered, but reiterated that this is an investment in the future. The new design, Balakrishnan has claimed in the past, is primarily an optimization for smart phones, and for improving the user experience. Rediff, however, doesn't see mobile advertising as key source of revenue in the near future: mobile advertising, globally, is still at a nascent stage. Balakrishnan said that…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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