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More Musical Chairs At Network18’s Internet Businesses

Update: The tech tab on FirstPost now links to Tech2. The tech tab on IBNLive does not. Earlier: Tech2, a technology news and reviews portal started in 2008, has been moved from In.com sub-domain to a FirstPost.com sub-domain, continuing a long-standing tradition at Network18 of playing musical chairs with its websites. Despite Tech2 being brought under FirstPost, Firstpost still has a tech section. This change follows layoffs at Web18 in August last year, where between 50-70. From what we had heard, In.com was impacted the most, followed by MoneyControl.com, and Tech2. The TV business also laid off a significant number of employees. Operations of FirstPost had remained unaffected. We'd heard of Infomedia18 also being affected, with especially the tech magazine T3. In our opinion, the problem for Network18 has been a lack of a vision for its Internet business, which has led to a regular changes in strategy. Chasing an IPO starting 2006 (now not feasible), it first launched multiple brands, taking a vertical centric approach. Too many brands launched (13 between 2007 and 2008) meant that not enough management bandwidth was available for building each vertical into a business, following which just about everything was integrated into a common platform of In.com, essentially switching to a quasi-horizontal portal strategy, while still maintaining individual brands. This was an attempt to aggregate traffic that was being distributed across different sub-properties, possibly with the intent of selling advertising on In.com in a consolidated manner, since higher pageviews (and claiming higher comscore numbers) warrant greater attention…

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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

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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