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UTVi launches site, creates a channel on YouTube

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | May 02, 2008
UTVi.com is focusing on interactivity and targeting a larger audience beyond investors

UTVi, the & #BANNER1 & # business news channel from UTV, has recently launched its English website, www.UTVi.com. The site has been developed by United New Media Ventures, a subsidiary of UTV, which looks after its Internet and mobile properties.

The site is currently in the beta phase and is sourcing its business news content from UTVi and news agencies such as PTI and Reuters.

UTVi has a tieup with ABC News and Business Standard for outsourcing content, but this tieup is not applicable to the website. "As of now, there are no such plans," says Arun Anant, chief executive officer, UTVi.

TN Prabhu, chief operating officer, United New Media Ventures, says, "The focus of the site will be interactivity because we want people to come and do their own thing on it. We will keep our content simple and jargon free. The site will go beyond stock market news and focus on other areas such as lifestyle as well. We want to target a larger audience and don't want to restrict ourselves to investors or brokers. The site will also educate people and tell them how to make money and how to spend smartly."

A screenshot of UTVi website
In terms of interactivity, the site has a separate sub-section called GuruBlogs, which will carry articles by Govindraj Ethiraj, editor in chief, UTVi. Readers can interact with the editor through this section, but it will be moderated. As Prabhu says, "Blogging will not be opened for everyone as we don't want to make it a general site - it will be by invitation only. The content will be monitored and moderated."

The site will also promote user generated content when the iTube section is launched; this will allow users to shoot a video, upload it and ask a question. A section called Message Board is also available for users to write about stocks, loans and insurance.

Users need to register with the site in order to comment on the blogs, write on the Message Board, get newsletters and access financial applications or tools such as the portfolio manager.

UTVi is using SMS and the interactive voice response (IVR) facility to boost interactivity. It owns a short code, 59995, which sends out news updates. The short code is also used to add interactivity to channel programmes by allowing users to ask questions and provide feedback. UTVi will launch a mobile site in the coming months.

OnMobile, a leading mobile VAS (value added service) player, is handling the IVR facility, which can be accessed by dialling 5059995 from a mobile. The IVR facility is available in English and Hindi. It offers news on demand, polls and stock market related information.

UTVi.com is relying on online shopping and lifestyle related content like travel, entertainment, gadgets, fashion and food to compensate for the fall in traffic after the stock markets close. It has tied up with Rediff Shopping and Indiaplaza.com for the online shopping.

Prabhu says, "The site will be monetised primarily through advertising, while sponsorship of content and online shopping will add to its revenue stream."

Online marketing through search engine optimisation, search marketing and banner advertising will be used to promote the site. The UTVi channel will also be used to create awareness about the website. There are no plans to launch any outdoor campaign.

Apart from the website, UTVi is also using YouTube for its online presence. It has created a channel on YouTube.com called www.YouTube.com/utvinews. Eighteen lifestyle and business news related videos have already been uploaded here, and at last count, it had eight subscribers. The channel has received 1,336 views till now. News videos are available on the site on a dedicated section called UTVi TV.

UTVi.com will be competing with other business news websites such as Moneycontrol.com of the Network18 Group, NDTVProfit.com, Economictimes.com and Business-standard.com.