With content from 33 partners and Republic’s own team of 35 reporters, Arnab Goswami has launched his digital platform Republicworld.com, which will be available in nine languages. The website is built on vertical videos so as to suit the mobile access of the users. It will also have virtual videos on the website. All Republic video content will be streamed in high definition.
The website gives an opportunity to the consumers to select their favourite news topics, to read in their own language such as Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali and more. The content partners of the media company include OTV, Sambad, News Live, Niyomiya Barta, North East Live, Punjab Kesari, Aajkaal, S Newz, Dainik Bhaskar, Nirmana News, Kashmir Monitor, Lokmat, Vikatan TV, Polimer, Asianetnews.tv, Asianet News, Kannada Prabha, Suvarna News, News Mobile.in; across India. The community partners include tripoto.com, RSJ, LBB.in, yourstory.com, digit.in, AutoX. 70 per cent of the content is expected to be original from the Republic team.
Goswami, Founder of Republic, said, “We have launched our website within two months of launching the channel. We are very ambitious. Our third level is to go global and compete with the big daddies of international news.”
The company will soon have multiple language audio feeds for their original national video content. Republic TV will continue to play its live feed on Hotstar. A separate team of about 30-35 content gatherers and reporters has been set up for Republicworld.com.
Republicworld.com will feature long-format Live and VoD content in the form of vertical videos specially created for mobile audiences. Jay Chauhan, COO, Republicworld.com, said, “In the digital content space there is no single dominant global player operating out of South Asia and that’s a big opportunity for us. Republicworld.com is at the intersection of content and tech, so we will keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible to constantly engage and improve upon the user experience for our audiences.”
Why is there so much focus on such high-end technology?
Vikas Khanchandani, CEO, Republic said, “Technology becomes as important as content.”
The website has not yet started advertisements. Will this be done anytime soon?
Khanchandani said, “Monetisation will come in a while. First we want to bring traction and then go on to sell. We will have more videos, I think display ads are decreasing dramatically. Videos are the way forward, it is easier to buy, build and consumer.”
The company has decided to sell the digital and television content separately. As Khanchandani mentions that ad insertion is a manual process, currently. “We are trying to automate it. 78 per cent of content is still consumed on mobile phones and hence, we did vertical videos because it was imperative to do something that would give audience a good experience.”
The virtual reality content will not be a once-in-a-blue-moon-affair. While the channel has started off with three videos right now, there is a schedule. As Chauhan explained, hard news might be a couple of stories every week, documentary-styled stories will come about twice or thrice a month and the real high-end gaming experience content will be once a month.
“There is an option for people to join the live debate online by typing out questions for Arnab and any other panelist.”
The company is customising specific profiles for the users, which means that the company will be sitting on a heap of demographic data after about a year’s time and so on. Will programmatic advertising be an option, Chauhan said, “Might be. Once we reach there, it might be one of our strategies once we have built enough data on it.”