Sunday, 22 March 2015

The Magic of Newshunt's +75Million Installs- with Vishal Anand

The Magic Of Newshunt :+75Million installs happen when Vernacular Ecosystem+ Mobile First + Operator Billing come alive. .

With +75 Million installs, Newshunt rivals Whatsapp, is bigger than Youtube and up there in the constellation of the greats of the emerging Digital India. Add to that the fact that they are the largest bookseller in india, beating the Kindles etc by a very wide margin. This to my mind is truly the future of India, as 300+ million indians wake up to the smartphone and content consumption, Watch their story  as it grows and grows.

The problem they solved: Going Mobile first by building a vernacular ecosystem :  In a nation with  less than 1% english literacy, they started off with a problem to solve- a lack of a mobile ecosystem for fonts. Content creators have used non unicode/non standard fonts that only work for print. On the consumption side, india is all mobile-many have never used  desktop and 95% of phones won’t support one or more indian languages.

So how do u solve for it.? Can’t wait for the ecosystem, so they built a rendering engine that is cross platform. It renders 12 languages consistently across any OS -android, java, symbian, windows, IOS. They take the content from the publisher, transcode, package it for mobile only- less data usage. The publisher doesn’t have to do anything. The outcome- an all organic installed base of 75MM.

They are the largest vernacular book seller in India. They have practically created the books ecosystem in India, for the vernacular,here are no big 5 publishers - typically it is local publishers - about 15000 of them. How do you find them. More important, how do you stack rank them? They built this from users who wanted this, went to railway station sales counters. etc and did research and got the market built. They have sold more books than the publisher has sold physical+ebooks combined. The users are just lapping it up.

They also did operator billing, thro i-pay, our own product- almost 85% of the transactions happen thro operator billing.

A great story, one worth watching… Virendra and Vishal- look forward to more magic.


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