US firm in pact with Times Internet to launch website

Written by Anushree Bhattacharyya | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 9 2014, 07:30am hrs
US-based Crain Communications Inc has inked a partnership with Times Internet (TIL), the digital arm of media conglomerate The Times of India Group, to launch Advertising Age, aka Ad Age, in India. A business-to-business (B2B) news website, Ad Age covers the latest happenings in the media, advertising and marketing industry. The news website is expected to go live in October.

In an official statement by TIL, Allison Arden, vice- president and publisher of Ad Age, said, India has emerged as one of the world' fastest-growing ad markets with a vibrant and innovative community of advertising, media, and marketing leader.

The Times of India Group, which already has a presence in the sector through its advertising and marketing supplement Brand Equity, believes the alliance will help the group forge a strong online product.

While we enjoy a good presence in the advertising and marketing world through our paper, we had no presence in the digital space. So this alliance will help in creating a presence in the digital space. Moreover, as a digital company, we are always on the lookout for appropriate content for our readers, said Puneet Singhvi, business head, Times Local Partners.

Apart from putting up an editorial team, the company plans to roll out regional versions of Ad Age. With advertising being the main model to earn revenue, it also plans to earn from subscription. Advertising will be the main source of revenue, but in case of special content we will rely on subscription, added Singhvi.

Interestingly, this is not the first time Ad Age has tried to make a dent in the Indian market. From 2009 till November last year, Crain Communications had a content partnership with the Exchange4media Group, which runs a similar website covering news related to the media and advertising industry, apart from trade magazines such as Impact and Pitch. Anuraag Batra, its chairman, remains unperturbed: the deal will force B2B websites, including my own, to work harder.

Analysts, however, believe that the advertising and marketing category is already full of too many players fighting for their share of revenue and, with the entry of any new player, generating revenue is going to get more difficult.

With the Times of India group already being a competition to such companies, it will have have to find new ways to earn revenue, said Mahesh Murthy, a serial investor and co-founder of venture capital fund Seedfund. For the record, Seedfund is one of the investors in the B2B website