NDTV Convergence (NDTV’s digital arm) has signed a five-year deal with Taboola with a “minimum guarantee” of Rs 300 crores for the former. NDTV’s previous Taboola partnership was signed in September 2015 for 3 years and was worth Rs 100 crore, NDTV claims. In its 2015-2018 deal, Taboola had exclusivity over content marketing on NDTV properties. (Read more about the deal here.) Taboola first signed up with NDTV in 2014. It claims that this is its largest deal in the APAC region.

Taboola’s other deals

  • In March last year, India Today signed a 3 year renewal deal with Taboola for content recommendations, ‘full page personalization’, newsroom and audience exchange for driving user engagement.
  • In October, Taboola signed a deal with Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo wherein Taboola’s Asian publisher network would be integrated into Vivo smartphones “on a personalised basis.”
  • It has partnerships with NDTV, India Today, China Daily, Thai news portal Kapook and OhBulan across Asia.

Taboola’s foray into becoming a “news” app

Taboola is a content distribution engine which recommends “articles” on news and other websites. Last month, Adam Singolda, the CEO of Taboola told Fast Company, after launching its own news app, “Taboola News is very premium content. It’s not ads. It’s not sponsored content.” He added that the service would display content from “major” news publishers without naming them. Singolda also mentioned that Taboola News has a 50 person editorial team globally which curates “top news content”.

Taboola had raised $117 million from Comcast in February 2015, on annual revenues of $200 million; Techrunch had reported that it had been profitable for the six quarters preceding the fundraising announcement. A ComScore report from earlier this year shows that Taboola’s audience is growing.

NDTV metrics

NDTV.com claimed to have 200 million unique users monthly in October 2018. In its quarterly earnings, NDTV said that traffic for its Convergence business grew 45% year-over-year, without disclosing the number of unique visitors in the quarter. It saw 200 million unique visitors in the quarter ended June 30, 2018.

Note that in December last year, NDTV said that its cost had been reduced from Rs 124 crore to Rs 105 crore YoY, enabled by its shift to mobile journalism. That year, NDTV reduced its workforce by 25% for profitability, and started focusing only on its core businesses — English and Hindi news channels, NDTV Convergence and the digital teams associated with running the news websites and apps.