Alibaba-owned UCWeb has launched a revamped version of its blogging platform named We-Media with an initial investment of Rs 50 million. The company said that it will now start paying bloggers and writers for contributing content through a revenue sharing model. It will also recruit 1000 writers in India and Indonesia markets, and according to the company, these writers can earn up to Rs 50,000 a month for writing content on UC News—an aggregated news content platform.
Note that the Rs 50 million investment is part of an earlier announced investment: Alibaba Group said in January that it would invest close to Rs 200 crore over the next 2 years into India and Indonesia operations, especially in its content and media businesses. This is UCWeb’s second investment into the country after it earlier invested a part of $170 million in 2013 for global expansion in countries including India.
Why Alibaba is investing in content and media
The company views the Indian market as on the largest Internet markets in the world and since video is the most popular form of content consumed in China, it believes that India too has a “huge potential” for video consumption. According to the estimates, video content has risen 30% in (India) the last quarter alone.
Alibaba said that the India investment is also a part of a larger “investment (that) falls under Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group’s targeted investment of $7.2 billion in content over the next three years.” The Chinese company added that it is targeting close to 40,000 self-publishers and writers/bloggers in India, especially in the niche category of writers. Apart from this, UCWeb will upgrade its content aggregation system to include more videos (including short videos). “The company is in the process of setting up a separate team to handle the Short Videos section and is scouting for relevant partners to support this for UC News India,” Alibaba added.
UCNews has 80 million MAUs in India
UCWeb’s news aggregations platform UC News, which was launched in June last year, now claims over 80 Million in India as of February 2017. The news platform also claims to have generated “over 3,100 million page views in January 2017 alone, which translates to 100 million page views daily.” UCWeb added that an average user spends over 23 minutes reading content on UCNews.