With India going mobile in a big way over the past year or so, the big players in the space have started looking at this market seriously. Popular news aggregator News Republic has launched in India with many local partners and a focus on local content. The app, with its focus on global news, will have over 50,000 articles from around 1,200 partners.
“Monetisation on mobile in a market like India is going to be tough initially. No one is making money, but yes there is money to be made,” says Shafi Saxena, chief brand officer at News Republic. “Mobile ad revenue in 2009 was $416 million, in 2014 this was $19 billion… that is 4,500 per cent growth in five years.”
“That leaves 36 per cent for everyone else. That will change,” she adds, underlining how the whole ecosystem is evolving and learning rapidly. “Monetisation is lagging traffic, but it will catch up eventually.”
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News Republic believes that it empowers people by keeping them informed. It is also extremely customisable when it comes to the types of news and sources that a users wants to follow.
It also uses its own algorithms to create features like TagNav that automatically tags stories and links it to other stories on the topic from different sources. For users in countries like India, where mobile networks are still patchy, it offers offline reading with stories from your sources and topics downloaded to the device as a predefined time. News Republic is also one of the first news apps to become available on Apple Watch and other wearable devices.
The company is also bringing in Appy Geek, its technology news aggregator into India along with News Republic.