Multimedia news portal BloombergQuint’s Whatsapp broadcasting service has reached 100,000 subscribers the publisher has said in a statement. Launched in November 2017, the free service allows users to sign up and receive news snippets, market highlights and other content from the publisher as messages on Whatsapp intermittently through the day. The chatbot-style service also allows users to check for real-time stock prices and use hashtag-based search for trending news categories.
BloombergQuint is a co-branded TV news channel, which was announced in March 2016 through a partnership between Bloomberg, and Raghav Bahl-owned The Quint.
A statement from the company reveals that 30% of subscribers are iPhone users compared to the national average of 3.12% (percentage of smartphone users in India using iPhones), 60% users come from metro cities and fall in the 25-45 years age bracket. The statement adds that these users on an average read over 12 stories. The statement does not specify if it’s 12 stories overall or 12 a day (the latter is a much more impressive number, obviously). The other inference that the company draws from this usage data is that the larger portion of iPhone users reflects a ‘premium’ consumer base. (Our first impressions of the service itself)
Other publications using messaging platforms
In December last year, Zee Media launched AI-powered chatbots for Zee News, WION and DNA that are integrated into Facebook Messenger.
International publishers like CNN, Guardian and Huffington Post also have chatbots on Facebook messenger that operate in a similar manner. Some like Huffington Post send selected stories out for their subscribers to read. Others like Guardian are fully interactive, responding to queries with relevant news articles and clips.
In June last year, UK-based publisher and media company the Financial Times (FT) launched WhatsApp broadcast service to distribute news and updates to its readers. It said that it will send only one or two stories per day, and “whether you are a subscriber or not, it will always be free (outside of the FT’s subscription paywall).”
In March 2016, Broadcasting organization BBC News said that it is using chat applications Viber and WhatsApp to publish its documentaries. In April 2014, it’s worth remembering that BBC had launched a pilot through which it was pushing out audio bulletins and other updates related to the Indian general elections via WhatsApp, WeChat and BlackBerry Messenger. On WhatsApp, BBC transformed the service on election day into a live breaking and analysis service, sending more than 20 items to subscribers on the day. This included breaking news alerts and analysis from correspondents in its Delhi bureau.