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Changing Trends in News

The ability to analyse user behavior and tailoring content recommendations on basis of preferences are some of the challenges facing news publishers today but are paramount to increasing engagement

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The fact that India is a mobile first consumption country, is well established however there have been 3 major trends which could open new opportunities for news publishers in India

Messaging is the new social - WhatsApp with over 1.2 billion users in India while Telegram claims to have over 200 million. Messengers are a mobile first India lead in scale and engagement. The fact that Facebook and Twitter feature lower than WhatsApp in the Google Playstore in India (given that India is a predominantly Android market) showcases the growing clout of messaging platforms. Messaging platforms have become crucial to publisher’s strategy for driving loyalty and new audiences. At Bloomberg|Quint, our WhatsApp news subscriptions service today drives over 5 million pageviews a month and reaches out to 400k users receiving over 1 million automated updates in a day. While publishers are still far away from utilizing messaging platforms for deeper audience engagement, audiences increasingly prefer receiving news at their fingertips without the need to download multiple news app. As per the app analytics company App Annie, Indians spent over 35 billion hours on WhatsApp in 2017 and the number is only increasing

Trust is paramount - The TV model of ‘breaking news’ is broken on digital. Today news breaks on Twitter and is distributed through social and messaging platforms. Hence the focus is now on quality rather than speed and quantity. With readers becoming increasingly vary of fake news, the imperative is now with media organizations to cross check their reporting. The formation of the Digital News Publishers association to curb fake news is a step in the correct direction. Progressive digital publishers like The Quint under the brand WebQ, partner with third party verification platforms like Boom live & Alt News to spot and bust fake news. With an overall reduction in trust among readers, news media companies must ensure that they build processes and set the highest standards of reporting to build sustainable brands.

Data drives the newsroom - Data tools like Chartbeat, Parsley and Crowdtangle are now integral parts of the newsroom. Data today enables newsrooms to know what consumers want to read. The engagement, levels with the content and how they interact with the content. In fact tools like Google Trends have also been used in predicting election outcomes in India. Newsroom are now using data for real time analysis and monitoring which enables them to work at rapid speed. From discovering outperforming stories to identifying social platforms where the story is getting the maximum traction, detailed statistics and data analytics can now be viewed on a real-time basis. The ability to analyse user behavior and tailoring content recommendations on basis of preferences are some of the challenges facing news publishers today but are paramount to increasing engagement.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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media and entertainment

Ankit Dhadda

The author is Head of Marketing and Product, Bloomberg|Quint

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