Benita Chacko

Indic language expansion is a big pillar of our strategy: Jagran New Media's Bharat Gupta

The digital wing of Jagran Prakashan recently launched two mobile apps - ‘Jagran Fatafat’ and ‘Jagran Local.’ 

In a bid to redefine the way users consume news, Jagran New Media, the digital wing of Jagran Prakashan, recently launched two mobile apps - Jagran Fatafat and Jagran Local

Launched in August, the two apps support Jagran’s growth trajectory to build communities on the back of technology. Jagran Local is intended to strengthen its reach within local communities and boost its presence in the Hindi heartland. Specifically catering to quick news consumption format, Jagran Fatafat is targeted at user expansion.

A Kantar-Google report, titled Indian Languages- Understanding India’s Digital News Consumer, published in May 2023, reveals that about 25% news consumers watch videos of less than 60 seconds and 70% only read summaries which are 60 words or less. Jagran Fatafat was launched to meet this changing consumer reading pattern. The new app specially tailors its content to provide readers with the essence and the gist of each story in just 70 words. 

The same study also concluded that 73% of Indian language online news consumers choose hyperlocal news with 7 in 10 users consuming local and neighbourhood-level news. Jagran Local drives its growth on this insight. 

It is an all-in-one guide that connects readers with their local surroundings, providing content from 16 states and 350 cities including round-the-clock updates of real-time news and information. The app allows users to consume content from the geo-targeted location or manually select different states and cities.

In an email interview with afaqs!, Bharat Gupta, CEO, Jagran New Media, says, Indic language expansion is a big pillar of Jagran New Media's strategy.

"With this launch, we’re one step closer to offering information that caters to the distinct sensibilities of our audiences," he said.

Equipped with an intuitive UI/UX interface, Jagran Fatafat is targeted at new user acquisition. 

"Jagran Fatafat aligns with our long-term strategy of providing tailor-made content as per the user requirement and thus acquiring more new users. The content we are offering currently is targeted to niche audiences and we believe that with changing consumption patterns we will soon be able to target more and more users through this app," Gupta adds.

Meanwhile, with Jagran local, the target is to reach micro-level communities. The coverage will include updates from their close surroundings reaching a wider geographical area through hyperlocal content. 

"Our apps are specifically designed keeping in mind the preferences of different audience groups, and with a multitude of existing readers in Tier 2 & 3 markets of India, we’re hoping to expand the reach even more," he says.

Need for two separate apps

Jagran consciously chose to launch two separate apps instead of launching two tabs on the main app to cater to differentiated user needs without cluttering the main app with features that might not be relevant to all users. 

"We’re also aiming to scale the niche offerings to grow into their verticals and attract more monetisation opportunities. Keeping the two apps separate will assist in better user retention and engagement," he says.

Moreover, it helps the publication create a distinct brand identity for their niche offerings. "This is very important to us to be a leading player in the news and information industry," Gupta adds. 

Monetisation Strategy

Currently, Jagran's focus is to elevate its content game and offer an intuitive and seamless user experience. Subsequently, it will direct its focus on Display Advertising. 

There are two integral parts to its monetisation strategy. First, to offer targeted and customised advertising solutions to local brands to promote their offerings in the hyperlocal markets of their choosing. Second, to attract national players in reaching niche audiences as per the strategy for their target groups. 

"We will also expand our monetisation opportunities through different mediums such as syndication, partnerships, affiliates, and more. Overall, our USP of niche targeting of micro-level audience segments will offer a favourable ROI to advertisers, both local and national," says Gupta. 

Jagran Local's presence in 16 states and 350 cities helps it get more local advertisers.

"Specially curated content solutions and micro geotargeting deliver an attractive ROI to more local advertisers. With cost-efficient advertising solutions, the Jagran Local app reaches small-scale start-ups, MSMEs, local retailers, and a whole niche of local advertisers," he says. 

In the phase 2 expansion strategy, the Jagran Local app will be expanded to more cities and as it scales it hopes to attract more local advertisers. 

In Fatafat, the advertisements are strategically placed between different news summaries. Gupta says this ensures no hindrance to the seamless user experience. 

"At Jagran New Media, we have always believed in providing factual, credible and engaging content while ensuring a smooth user journey. This is our priority so we never compromise at the expense of advertising," he says. 

Promotional Strategy

To acquire new users, Jagran News Media has employed a data-backed promotion plan with a mix of channels including paid, organic, print, and cross-vertical marketing promotions. 

"We interlink the different website promotions under the cover of Jagran New Media to reach and target diverse audiences. We’re constantly evaluating various data points to reach users at the right place and time. We also use our social channels to organically engage users through community-building initiatives that empower and educate. Targeting through our social channels makes things easy, as we already have an engaged community built for each of our brands," he says.

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