Building A Media Business For The Next Billion Users


Did you know that in Tier 3 cities of India, the search icon, or the magnifying glass that you see in the Amazon app was interpreted as a table tennis racquet? Such an irony.  Amazon’s forte is Product Search and Recommendations. This is why Amazon had to reinvent it’s App for it’s Bharat strategy.

There are 100’s of other examples where What-Worked-In-Lucknow didn’t work in Etah. Or What-Sold-Like-Hot-Cakes in Jaipur never caught the user’s eyes in Bhilwara. Cracking vernacular India is the new holy grail for everyone. But it takes more than just translating your app into the regional language. Building any product that hits the masses in a country where 780 languages are spoken and culture changes on every 100th milestone in a daunting task.

The exact thing that the team at News18 seems to have mastered. They have not only built a news and media product that serves this audience, they have also now started championing monetization of this audience. Sounds almost impossible right? That’s what we will unravel in this conversation with Sudipto Nandy - Head of Product at Network18 and Sonakshi Sinha - Lead on Monetization at News18. 

Here are few things that are covered in this episode-

  • How news consumption looks like in Tier2 and Tier 2 cities. What’s different and what’s not?
  • What are some of the finer nuances that, say e-commerce can learn from you
  • What are your learning as you build a product that now caters to this unique untapped audience
  • How to sustain this given the undue pressure on the advertising ecosystem?


Sonakshi Sinha

Sonakshi is a Lead on Monetization at News18. She is user-focused professional trained for data-led problem-solving in high-pressure workflows. Along with exposure to Digital, Vernacular, Broadcast & Print over past 10 years, has has a rich experience of working with Google Analytics, Display, Native & Programmatic Advertising, SEO, Data Management, Wireframing, BI Dashboards, JIRA, Recommendation and Chatbot Flows.

Connect with Sonakshi

About the company

Network18 Group is a media and entertainment group with interests in broadcasting, digital, movies, e-commerce, magazines, mobile content and allied businesses. TV18 Broadcast Limited is the broadcasting arm of Network18. TV18 operates India’s largest bouquet of News channels across 15 languages and 26 states; with marquee properties like CNBC-TV18 in Business News and CNN News18 in English News. Through its JV Viacom18, it also operates a portfolio of entertainment channels across genres, including leading premium local and global brands like Colors, Nickelodeon and MTV. Viacom18 also operates OTT platform VOOT, and produces and distributes films through Viacom18 Motion Pictures.


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