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Times Internet launches regional language news portal Samayam

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Times Internet has launched a new regional language news and entertainment portal called Samayam in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu. Samayam is available on a desktop site, mobile web and also via an Android app.

With this, it seems that Times Internet is looking to take on DailyHunt (formerly Newshunt) which aggregates regional language news content from over 100 publishers across 15 languages including Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Marathi. Times Internet’s language offerings are now available across 8 languages – Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Gujarati, Marathi and Bangla – in addition to English.

Samayam will ask users to set a default edition or a language choice, and subsequent visits will directly take the user to his/her default edition. The three language editions can also be accessed via separate URLs.

MediaNama’s take

While it’s always good to get into regional languages to reach an untapped audience, Times Internet has picked Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu for the new portal. These are interesting choices as publications in these languages frequently make it to Indian Readership Survey list. According to the 2014 readership survey, Malayalam publications dominate in the regional language magazines, followed by Tamil. Malayala Manorama, Daily Thanthi, Mathrubhumi and Eenadu are dominate the regional dailies. However, not much is know about their online presence and Times Internet can use fill the gap to increase digital presence in the languages.

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Other Times Internet content initiatives

– In May, Times Internet signed a deal with Perform Group‘s football portal Goal to bring worldwide content to India. Under the strategic deal, Times Internet would have exclusive rights to the Goal brand in India and drive local commercialization of Goal across both desktop and mobile.

– Earlier in January, Times Internet merged its cricket site GoCricket with  Cricbuzz. Times Internet acquired a majority stake CricBuzz for an undisclosed amount in November 2014.

– In November 2014, Times Internet forayed into videos by a signing a strategic partnership with Electus Digital. As part of the partnership, Times Internet will be launching the Indian editions of comedy site CollegeHumor.com, geek culture site Dorkly.com and Hip-hop focused celebrity site WatchLOUD.com.

– Other Indian editions of International brands launched through Times Internet are, Huffington Post, TechRadar, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, IGN and AskMen.

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