We spoke to Boby Paul, general manager, marketing, at the publication, to understand why.
Kerala-based Malayalam (daily) newspaper Malayala Manorama has ended its association with news aggregator app Dailyhunt.
Boby Paul, general manager, marketing, Malayala Manorama, tells afaqs!, "It was a regular business decision, a collective decision. This was not a marketing or monetisation related decision. Everyone within the group agreed that if there is love and appreciation for your content, people will find ways to reach you, either through your app or directly through the website. So we had a long and fruitful discussion with them (Dailyhunt) at the end of which we decided to pull out of the association."
When asked what prompted the decision, he says, "There are two ways in which a traditional publisher can use platforms. One is through large ones like Facebook, Google, Twitter, through which a lot of people come to our website."
The second, is through associations with news aggregator services like Dailyhunt, Inshorts and News Republic, to name a few. As far as this option goes, Paul explains, "... they cluster content from different publications in their own way, basis language, for instance, and have their own algorithms to push content to the top, depending on what people are reading."
As a result, his brand, he tells us, was "getting diluted." Moreover, aggregator apps don't differentiate between articles from a leading paper and those from far smaller publications. The team's reluctance to "tag along with others" and the general sense that "news has become so commoditised today" led to the decision to pull out the association with Dailyhunt.
The publication, he tells us, clocks in an average of 12.5 to 13 million unique visitors per month. Time spent per session is about 9.5 minutes.
Dailyhunt was launched as Newshunt over a decade back and has been aggregating news articles from Malayala Manorama since.
In the wake of this development, one wonders whether publications - that is, creators of news content, that are more aggressive on digital media today than ever - and aggregators will find a way to co-exist.
Besides the online news segment, categories that are grappling with a similar situation are those that comprise online ticketing/booking (travel, entertainment) players.