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Good move: NewsHunt debuts magazine singles with Delhi Press; Our Take

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Ver Se Innovation’s mobile news & e-book app News Hunt has partnered to offer Delhi Press magazines for purchase on its Android app, reports NextBigWhat.

The app is currently offering three of Delhi Press’s magazines – The Caravan (English), Manohar Kahaniyan (Hindi) and Saras Salil (Hindi), with other magazines in the works. NewsHunt has informed that it plans to eventually offer all 37 magazines from Delhi Press on the app.

The report says users can purchase these magazines through carrier billing, however we were unable to purchase any magazine items at the time of writing this article, since we were unable to proceed beyond the progress circle that appears when you tap on an item to purchase it. NewsHunt claims that it has sold around 5,000 magazine items in the first 10 days of launch. Update: The payment now works fine on Nexus 4. It offers carrier billing through Ver Se’s carrier billing platform iPayy and has partnered Citrus Pay to offer credit & debit card and net banking payment options. For International users, it offers Paypal payment method.

NewsHunt had forayed into e-Books in November last year, by launching a mixture of free and paid regional language e-books across four Indian languages – Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil and Marathi besides English on its Android app. In the following months, NewsHunt seems to have improved its language support and now offers e-books from eight Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Malayalam, Gujarati, Bengali & Kannada besides English. The company claims that it has sold around 1.5 million eBooks since launch.

Single magazine articles available for purchase

What’s worth noting here though is NewsHunt is offering single stories from these magazines for purchase besides the traditional magazine issues. This is particularly interesting since NewsHunt is essentially unbundling all the content from a magazine, allowing users to pick up only those stories which they find interesting, rather than picking up the whole magazine.

NewsHunt Magazines

MediaNama’s Take (by Nikhil Pahwa)

1. Unbundling: We quite like this approach of unbundling stories from magazines: this approach is one that will work better for magazine content, over news. In a sense, it’s similar to selling a song instead of an album. People often buy magazines for the cover stories, and this gives the reader a better choice. The story could act as a teaser for users who can then pick up other stories or the entire magazine if they liked the story. It will be interesting to see whether other digital magazine store and newsstand like Zinio and Magzter also launch a similar offering in the future.

2. Shelf Life: Typically, magazine content has a longer shelf life than news, and in case of Delhi Press, for content like that from magazines like Champak, it might work even better. That content, much of it fiction, is evergreen. Newsy magazine content like that in the Caravan offers perspective over information, and has a longer shelf life as well. A platform such as this extends the shelf life much beyond the 30 day period for which the magazine is on the newsstands.

3. Pricing Power: What’s also interesting here is the differential pricing: it appears that the publisher can choose the price of each story, and this allows them more flexibility. We wonder what kind of data the publisher gets, in order to make a decision on pricing and discounts.

4. Promotion: Also interesting here would be the inclusion of a promotional platform for story content: NewsHunt could offer publishers a slightly lower revenue share, and promote the story to NewsHunt app users, in order to drive higher purchases.

5. Revenue Share: Our guess is that a publisher would be getting around 30%-53.5% of what a consumer pays for the purchase. We’re reminded of what Dippak Khurana, co-Founder of Vserv had once told MediaNama of the revenue share they were offering their publishers, after a tie-up with Vodafone: “For ever Rs 10 that a customer pays, we collect 70% from the operator and pass 90% to the developer, but the operator also cuts a WPC charge of around 15%. So, the revenue share is 70% after WPC charge is cut, and for every Rs 10 a customer pays, the operator keeps 30% of Rs 8.5, we keep 10% of that, and the publisher gets Rs 5.35.” That was in 2012, and we’re not sure if things have changed since.

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