Raahil Chopra
Sep 12, 2016

After Hindi, Patrika Group's CatchNews.com eyes Malayalam, foreign language forays

A year post launch, multimedia portal's COO outlines expansion plans

After Hindi, Patrika Group's CatchNews.com eyes Malayalam, foreign language forays
A year post the launch of CatchNews.com in English and after six months of operations of its Hindi version, Patrika Group is preparing the ground to launch it in Malayalam in the next six months.
An international language site is on the anvil too, informed Vinny Ganju, COO, Catch News, in conversation with Campaign India. 
He termed the readership base 'sizable' for the Hindi version, justifying the launch and encouraging expansion to other languages. 
He said, “We want to reach the language base. It’s about intelligent content in this space too." Explaining that there existed a gap in the market for those seeking intelligent content in Indian languages, Ganju added, "The vision we had has been accepted so we want to get into other languages.”
Without getting into the readership/traffic numbers or revenue contribution share, Ganju ceded that the Hindi portal’s contribution in terms of advertising revenue was 'still nascent'. However, he added that the platform has witnessed 'a lot of premium advertisers' looking at the option.
Catch was launched as a multimedia platform targeting the 18 to 45 year age group, in India and abroad, with the promise of delivering 'great substance in small pills'. Campaign India reported its soft launch on 15 June 2015 (story link below). 
Focus on advertising
The inventory on CatchNews.com is currently sold jointly for the English and Hindi versions. The COO explained the focus on monetisation in year two. He said, “The whole idea was to build-up organically during the first year. We focused on building the product editorially." 
"Now, we’re getting to build the next level and focus on advertising," he added. Monetisation efforts will be driven by branded content and premium inventory options.
Digital revenue is currently growing at a group level, stated Ganju, alongside strategies and teams that have been formed. The publisher now claims to have 'in-depth penetration' on the consumer and advertiser side.
The digital team of the Patrika group (across CatchNews, Patrika.com and RajasthanPatrika.com) is about 300 according to the COO, of which 70 are for Catch (primarily). 
Again without reference to the base numbers, Ganju referred to the premiumness of audience, with a claimed 20 per cent using Catch on the iPhone.
He added, “Our amplification process has been crucial. We have created manual groups to create reach. We do a lot of work on women, social and environmental issues and push them to the right community. Forty per cent of our readers are women.”
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