Maria Montero

The Times of India Internet is not giving ground …

The aggressive push Chinese companies from Silicon Valley and Chinese companies that have won over India, one of the latest high-growth markets, have decimated many local companies in recent years. With each passing day, Amazon is closing in on Walmart-owned Flipkart’s advantage in the e-commerce space. Uber is fighting Ola for the tent’s position in the car ride market; and Google and Facebook dominate the ad business, to name a few. But a handful of companies in India have not only survived growing competition, they have also built businesses that are positively thriving.

The Times Internet media conglomerate, one such company, says its properties now reach 110 million users every day and 450 million users every month. To put this in context: Facebook and Google have roughly 300 million monthly active users in India. Facebook, What is mired in controversy over the spread of misinformation about WhatsApp in India (and other regions), has not revealed its growth in the nation in the last two years. But in a marketing speech, the giant says its family of applications (Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram) reach 350 million users nationwide each month.

In a rare industry move, Satyan Gajwani, The Times Internet vice president shared an overview of the conglomerate’s business on Tuesday, revealing the ever-growing tentacles of its ambitions.

If the numbers are so great, why self-publish? Gajwani declined to comment, but his company is in a unique situation. For all its scale, Times Internet. It remains one of the least talked about conglomerates of its size in the country. Most of the news organizations in India compete with their media, which may explain why it is not reported in the press.

The Growing Portfolio of Internet Times Companies

The 181-year-old subsidiary, Bennett Coleman and Company Limited (popularly known as Times Group) operates more than three dozen properties, including the Times of India newspaper, the Indiatimes online point of sale, the advertising business in Colombia, Tventures venture group and Gaana and Reproductor MX streaming services . And almost all of these properties are growing, Gajwani said.

For example, Times Internet The media have accumulated 265 million monthly active users. The Times of India, the country’s most widely read news and newspaper website, has 212 million monthly active users, 44% more than last year. Regional Times Internet digital periodicals such as NewsPoint, Navbharat Times, Maharashtra Times, Vijay Karnataka now have 122 monthly active users, he said.

Music streaming service Gaana, which raised $ 115 million from Tencent and others last year, hit 100 monthly active users in March this year, the service announced last week. MX Player, a video player app that doubles as a streaming service that Times Internet acquired for about $ 140 million last year, is one of the most popular Android apps in emerging markets.

During the first month of the IPL cricket tournament, one of the most popular events in India, 118 million users tuned in to the Times Internet’s Cricbuzz, a news and entertainment service dedicated to sports. As the mobile gaming ecosystem begins to gain traction in India, Times Internet says it is also building a portfolio of applications in this space.

Its lifestyle properties like MenXP, iDiva, and Whats Hot have 40 million monthly active users, and its videos record more than 200 million views every month. These properties are exploring an additional revenue channel by selling products directly to clients, Gajwani told TechCrunch in an interview.

Times Internet Vice President Satyan Gajwani

Go beyond ads

Pursuing that path illustrates the Times Internet’s growing drive to grow its business beyond ads. Most Times properties on the Internet are built on advertisements and cost users nothing to access. His own advertising business, called Colombia, now complements some advertisements on its network and is used by more than a dozen external brands, such as Ola, ABP News, and Hotstar.

But online advertising still cannot compete with television and print advertising in India, Satish Meena, an analyst at research firm Forrester, told TechCrunch. So in recent years, Times Internet has announced a series of subscription services at many of its properties.

“Especially for premium publishers, an ads-only business model is not likely to last or be sustained in the long term,” Gajwani said. Last year, Times Internet announced Times Prime, a subscription package that includes access to the premium version of Gaana, an ad-free experience on Times of India, and discounts on a number of third-party services such as Swiggy, the BigBasket retailer for the delivery of foods. and the PVR Cines theater chain. Gajwani said Times Internet has reached one million customers on its subscription services.