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Mediology’s Readwhere.com set to herald digital publishing

Creating digital editions with scope for monetization holds the key to the future of publishing. The music and television industry embraced it. Now, will Print media follow?

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | January 16, 2013

With improving Internet speeds and greater accessibility to mobile and tablet devices, it’s becoming necessary for publishers to be able to monetise their content through digital mediums. However, embracing digital still remains a technologically challenging and expensive proposition for publishers. A look at Western markets makes it clear that many mainstream newspapers, magazines and book publishers are going ‘digital only’ in a big way, the latest being the 80-year-old Newsweek.

 

India has been able to buck the trend, and print continues to maintain a steady chart. However, that should allow us an increased opportunity to learn and embrace digital and new aspects of distribution. The challenges to embrace digital for publishers remain, but there is hope in the coming year with an innovative platform, Readwhere.com, launched by Mediology Software through which publishers can now not only digitise their publications for the web, mobile and tablet devices, but also distribute to a larger global audience for enhanced monetisation.

Best of all, the end consumer gets access to all the content on a single platform, at the click of a mouse, or the tap of a finger.

It is also pertinent to keep in mind that digital and online consumption is steadily increasing in the country through mobile handsets. The total number of Internet users in India is set to reach 165 million by March 2015, according to the ‘Mobile Internet in India’ joint report by IAMAI and IMRB.

Source: IAMAI-IMRB

Manish Dhingra, Director and Co-founder, Mediology Software, said, “The prime challenge for publishers so far in digitising their print editions has been the cost involved. This is where ‘readwhere’ has proved to be a boon as it enables them to digitise their print content at almost negligible cost.”

Manish Dhingra

“On top of that, ‘readwhere’ brings new revenue streams which essentially make it a no-brainer for these publishers. If you take a look at consumer angle, today’s consumers have no time to go to a book store to pick up the magazine of their choice. Because of such consumers who want to get the content at their comfort, print media has been facing a tough time. Also, the news and information sites are gradually replacing traditional print magazines,” added Dhingra.

However, at the same time, there is still a huge demand for nicely packaged printed content. Considering all that, it is very important for publishers to embrace digital so that the end consumer can access their content on any device. Publishers need to tap those consumers through a single-window platform that takes their content on every possible digital device, be it Internet, mobile, Android, iOS or Windows 8.

All a publisher needs to do is create an account on ‘readwhere’ and start uploading content in PDF format. Like Youtube, ‘readwhere’ allows a publisher to create a free account and publish its content until it does not choose to monetise its content. To monetise the content, the publisher would require a premium account available on paid/revenue sharing basis. For example, India Today Group and Outlook Group are premium publishers and these magazines are available on paid subscription basis through the e-commerce integration of ‘readwhere’.

‘Readwhere’ not only helps publishers reach the readers who don’t have access to print copies but it opens up a new revenue stream for the publishers. The print version of any published content, be it a magazine, comic or book, has a limited print run and hence limited opportunity to earn revenue, whereas an unlimited number of copies or subscriptions could be sold with ‘readwhere’.  The online version of a publication remains available forever where readers have the access to the archive.

“The model of ‘readwhere’ is a mix of Youtube and iTunes. While Youtube allows a premium publisher to monetise its content using ads only, iTunes offers paid content. The ‘readwhere’ premium publisher can monetise its content through both subscription and ad revenue. The entire payment gateway and backend is managed by ‘readwhere’ making monetisation hassle free,” explained Dhingra.

Vernacular publishers from tier 2 and 3 cities with huge following in their markets now have a huge opportunity to make their content read across the world through ePaper or eMagazine. The platform gives an opportunity for relatively smaller publishers or authors to monetise their premium content.

There are 45 million users accessing content on the Internet in their local language as of December 2012, while there are 122 million active Internet users in India, according to the ‘Vernacular Report’ by IAMAI and IMRB. However, as per 2001 Census of India, there are 769 million people who speak the top ten local languages in India. This shows that there is a huge potential and headroom for growth of local language content in India, and going regional can help companies revolutionise the Internet market in the country.

Source: IAMAI-IMRB
Source: IAMAI-IMRB

The ‘readwhere’ platform is a boon for publications like comic books that have virtually disappeared from the market due to lack of demand. Now those comic books could be bought and read online.

The readers’ interface is built with latest technologies and sharing options. The platform also sends emails to the subscribers of a particular publication when the new issue is available.

So the year is all set to witness a platform that looks promising to the growth of Indian publications by offering a completely new distribution channel and monetisation opportunities. Will 2013 herald the beginning of the Digital Publishing Era for India? Only time will tell.

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

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