The Financial Express, a business news property of the Indian Express group, has launched a Hindi website. This is in continuation of the group’s strategy of opening more Indic language websites as the company said that it would be launching more websites in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Bangla.
For now, the Financial Express Hindi website has nine news sections – National, International, Corporate and markets, Auto, Technology, Sports, Career, and Gallery. It is unclear when the publication launched the website also not known is if the website has a separate editorial team or if it is translating English stories to Hindi.
MediaNama has written to Sumit Gulati, business head and vice president at Financial Express Digital, and reached out to Durga Raghunath, CEO of Indian Express digital, and will update once we hear from them.
Media houses are increasing the number of Indic language websites in recent times as the number English language readership is reaching saturation. As such, the push for Indic languages is understandable. A Google and KPMG report on Indic languages showed that around 180 million Internet users could be added by 2021 for pushing news in local languages. With more users coming on the Internet and consuming content in their languages, it would allow for better monetization in the future.
- Last month, News18 added Bengali, Urdu and Gujarati languages. News18 went live in Hindi at the end of December 2016 (Q3FY17). In December, News18 said that it crossed 63 million unique visitors and 337 million page views.
- In September 2017, online news portal The Wire announced its launch of Urdu website. The news portal initially launched an English version and then a Hindi version in February 2017.
- Catch News also has Hindi website.
- In October 2015, Times Internet launched a regional language news and entertainment portal called Samayam in Tamil, Malayalam, and Telugu.
- YourStory has 12 Indic languages.
However, the monetization of ads on Indic language websites is currently not viable. Cost-Per-Mille (CPMs), a metric used by digital advertisers for a million digital impressions, is 2.5 times more for English compared to vernacular languages, as indicated by this Business Standard report. The report also quotes Gyan Gupta, CEO of Dainik Bhaskar making a case for more advertising in local languages. He said that a Hindi advertisement on Hindi website performs four times better than an English ad on the website.
Meanwhile, the KPMG report also added that 88% of Indian language internet users were more likely to respond to a digital advertisement in their local language than in English.