wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Raghav Bahl plans digital news business; Hopefully, not another Web18

Network18 founder Raghav Bahl is planning to launch a digital news business, he has told Mint. Bahl says he will begin with Hindi and English to begin with, and then move to regional news. The buzz about Bahl’s plans has been around for a few weeks, and from what we have heard, both Bahl and his wife Ritu Kapur have been in touch with current Network18 executives to discuss setting up an online news business, though it was not clear whether they had decided to launch another news operation.

Last quarter (Q4FY14), Network18’s digital content revenues dipped to Rs 24.1 crore for the quarter, down from Rs 28.4 crore in the corresponding quarter the year before (Q4FY13) and from Rs 24.8 crore revenues in Q3FY14. Digital content now accounts for about 16.1% of Network18′s digital commerce and content revenues.

Note that, over the past few years, Bahl had set up FirstPost.com as an independent online news operation within Network18, despite the existence of Web18 properties like IBNLive, MoneyControl.com, IBNKhabar. This was probably because of the need of a fresh team with a fresh perspective, and an experienced editor like R. Jagannathan guiding it. FirstPost, when it launched, had a definitive independent editorial direction, a mix of news and views, and wasn’t led by TV. Prior to FirstPost, and with Moneycontrol as a significant exception, Network18’s web business floundered because of a constant chopping and changing of strategy, something that I had seen coming, back in 2007. Things haven’t improved much.

network18-website-launches

Since then, Network18 has also launched another news site called News18. Go figure.

Do read: More Musical Chairs At Network18′s Internet Businesses

Some notes on Web18 from that post:

– Total sites launched/acquired: at least 27 sites
– Total sites shuttered: 3 (Indiwo.com, Blish.in.com, Storeguru)
– Total sites integrated: 5 (IndiaEarnings, EasyMF, Buzz18, Josh18, Aawaaz Karobar)
– Total sites sold: 3
– Max sites live at any given time: 24 in 2010
– Maximum sites launched/acquired: 7 each in in 2006 and 2007 (read: This portal launching frenzy)
– Maximum shut-downs/integration/sale: 5 in 2010, followed by 4 in 2012
– Quickest launch-and-shut: Storeguru (Blish.in.com surprisingly was live for more than a year)

Quick Take: While the Internet is growing, Bahl will find that it is a completely different beast, as compared to TV. There is fragmentation of both news and advertising, low entry barrier, and it is rare when costs of operation can be covered by revenue. Operating at scale and in a generic news space, as many recent news upstarts will find out, isn’t the best way out. Then again, Bahl built Network18 on equity stake sales and lots of debt.

You May Also Like

News

Key takeaways Network18’s digital news revenue increased by 50% YoY for the second consecutive quarter Consolidated Net Profits grew 125% YoY Network18 Digital saw...

News

Network18’s digital news properties, which includes websites like moneycontrol.com and News18.com, saw a 38% year-over-year growth in terms of revenue, as the company said...

News

The digital business of Raghav Bahl and Ritu Kapur’s The Quint have been acquired by Gaurav Mercantiles Limited, a company that also has Kapur...

News

Network18’s digital revenues were impacted by the weak ad environment, but the impact was lesser than that on broadcasting. News18.com’s Indian languages sites have...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2018 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter

    © 2008-2018 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ