MSN.co.in, the horizontal portal of Microsoft, has tied up with Webduniya.com to launch a Hindi microsite named MSN Yuva. The site will be targeted at youth audience residing in Tier II and III towns.
The microsite went live last week and can be accessed directly at MSNYuva.Webdunia.com or through MSN.co.in, where it exists as a separate section.
Speaking to afaqs! on the deal with MSN, Pankaj Jain, president and chief operating officer, Webdunia.com, says, "Webduniya is the content partner and it will provide Hindi content -produced or owned by Webduniya - for MSN Yuva." However, the editorial and content strategy rights will be held by MSN India.
Apart from this, a social networking application, Dosti, owned by Webduniya.com, will also be made available on MSN Yuva. The application will allow Internet users to create their profiles and a network of friends. They can also send and receive messages or scraps in Hindi.
This is the first attempt by MSN to foray into the vernacular content market, claims Sanjay Trehan, head, MSN India, in an interaction with afaqs!. He indicates that MSN India may launch more online properties in other regional languages such as Tamil in the coming months. However, he refused to divulge the details or the strategy behind foraying into the vernacular content space.
Trehan says, "The next growth in the online space will be powered by vernacular content."
MSN Yuva will be monetised through advertisements and sponsorship of content. Microsoft Advertising, the online advertising arm of MSN, will be responsible for getting advertisers for the Hindi microsite.
"There is no advertising revenue sharing arrangement with Webduniya.com," clarifies Trehan. Webduniya.com will be paid for the content used by MSN Yuva.
MSN India will start promoting the microsite through advertisements after three months.