Jagran New Media’s Bharat Gupta


The CEO explains the revenue challenges and opportunities of Indian language web publishing businesses.

Jagran New Media is the digital wing of Jagran Prakashan, one of India’s leading media and communications groups, with interests spanning print, OOH, activations, radio and digital.

It creates and publishes online news and informational content in genres such as news, education, lifestyle, entertainment, health and youth. It offers content in 12 languages ​​including Hindi, Punjabi, English, Urdu, Assamese, Marathi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Oriya, Bengali, and Gujarati.

Running a large Indian-language web publishing company comes with its own set of challenges, audience segmentation, and more. Bharat Gupta, CEO of New Jagran Media, explains these aspects to us in an interview during the third edition of Digipub Week.

What is Jagran’s perspective on content? Are you a print business or a content business?

We started our journey as a printing company. But over the years, we’ve evolved and discovered that different audiences consume content differently. That’s when we did our research and segmentation to branch out into five different products. So the idea was to introduce a purpose to the content, because there is already enough generic content available.

We grew from Jagran.com to five websites in the areas of health, education, women, fact-checking and entertainment. To create sustainable business models, we had to start thinking outside the box and beyond advertising.

Making the best use of creative content creates syndication opportunities. If the organization creates content for itself, it is also possible to create content for other companies. Over the past five years, we’ve realized that the only way is to evolve into a content company, where news and information is just one segment of the whole game.

How far is Jagran from realizing its true revenue potential?

In 2018, our main source of revenue (90%) was display advertising. The challenge was that it wasn’t enough to make us sustainable. This is where the concept of syndication clicked.

India is a very interesting market. It has the second largest internet population. After establishing content credibility, the natural expansion was to outsource Hindi content or provide podcasts to another partner. This is how syndication became a new source of income.

Also, a lot could be done in customer service. After many discussions, we started to explore the power of storytelling with our clients. We had a great content team, but can we use the same team to create a better story for an advertiser? This is what turned into a third basket of income.

Finally, during the COVID pandemic, when many other revenue streams dried up, we experimented with subscription with our most powerful product, e-paper. We got 10% conversions for e-paper users, which was very motivating.

In this field, one must continually experiment, without fear of failure. Display advertising used to contribute around 85%, today its contribution to the overall pie is only 65%. We created 35% new revenue generation streams.

How is Jagran using technology to evolve its content and distribution? Can you detail your data management efforts?

As we grow our business, we wear three hats – content, technology and policy. In terms of technology, the policy, which we follow internally, is “build by the partner”. So we try to focus on our heart and for the rest we buy or partner with someone.

As a content-driven company, our heart is content. While 30-40% of traffic is limited to our own platform, around 60-70% comes from third-party sources, such as social media platforms or search engines like Google.

There’s a lot going on in politics. What are the big differences? Is the distribution of content calibrated, from the point of view of the Indian market?

For India, which is very diverse in nature, there are a lot of new users coming in. They may not be very sure about safety and security. For them, a product like Google is perhaps Godbecause they believe that he can answer all questions.

However, while the medium has democratized the way people can access information, it has also spawned misinformation. But the technology cannot be blamed here because people are using it in the wrong way.

It is important to ensure confidentiality, content accountability and a redress mechanism. In 2018, during the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation, we obtained the GDPR accreditation carried out by EY. We want to ensure the security of user data.

You can watch the full interview below:

Digipub Week 2022 is supported by MGID (presenting partner) and AndBeyond.Media (associate partner).

It’s a global advertising platform that helps brands reach unique local audiences at scale. It uses privacy-focused, AI-based technology to deliver high-quality, relevant ads in brand-safe environments. The company offers a variety of ad formats, including native, display, and video, to deliver a positive user experience. This allows advertisers to boost performance and awareness, and publishers to retain and monetize their audiences.

Each month, MGID reaches 900 million unique readers, with 200 billion ad impressions, across 25,000 trusted publishers. For more information, visit: www.mgid.com

It is a global SSP that provides next-era advertising technology solutions to publishers. Our holistic platform, with technology at its epicenter, serves over 1,000 media publishers and content creators. Being in the industry for over seven years, our sole focus is to optimize operational efficiency, maximize returns and provide programmatic solutions to monetize and generate additional revenue through advanced and varied adtech solutions .


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