US digital media company Ziff Davis has officially launched the Indian edition of its men’s lifestyle site AskMen, along with dedicated editions for Middle East, Benelux and Greece. With this, AskMen now has seven International editions including Germany, Australia, Canada and UK.
The company had previously inked a licensing agreement with Times Internet to launch the Indian editions of its gaming site IGN and AskMen in October last year. As part of this agreement, Times Internet has exclusive rights to IGN and AskMen brands and their content in India. IGN India went live in December last year and AskMen also seems to have gone live last month (we missed it then).
Quite similar to Times Internet’s previous International edition launches like Gizmodo, Lifehacker and Business Insider, AskMen primarily features International content sourced from various AskMen editions right now, however the publication notes that readers can expect “a lot of” local features targeted towards the Indian men.
What’s also interesting here is the publication’s welcome note suggests that Angad Bhatia is the editor of AskMen India. Note that Bhatia is the founder and business head of AskMen’s competitor MensXP, which was acquired by Times Internet in November 2012.
Format-wise, AskMen India is quite similar to its parent site. There is a big cover story, followed by photo tiles that represent various stories. Each story features related story suggestions in the side bar and after the article.
We noticed that Times Internet has also started populating content on luxury blog Pursuitist’s Indian edition pursuitist.in as well. The company had inked a licensing agreement with Pursuitist to launch its Indian edition in December 2013. While the site was already live at the time of the announcement, it featured a placeholder page with content from Pursuitist.com. While the site still features content only from its parent site, local content might be in the works.
As we mentioned earlier, the AskMen partnership and the Pursuitist partnership leads to an interesting situation where Times Internet will be operating prominent players in their respective segments. In the men’s lifestyle segment it owns MensXP and has licensed Askmen, which the company claims are the top two players in the segment while in the luxury segment, it owns Luxpresso and has licensed Pursuitist.
This can provide them significant leverage with advertisers looking for men’s or luxury audience respectively. However, one is owned and the other is licensed, so it will be worth watching out to see how Times Internet builds out these properties and if there will be a conflict of interest going forward, although Times Internet CEO Satyan Gajwani had claimed during the AskMen partnership announcement that both the properties have different positioning and value.
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.
Updates: Added TechRadar India bit