Mumbai: Network18, India’s most diversified media conglomerate today announced that it has been selected by the Google News Initiative (GNI) for funding as part of the YouTube Sustainability Lab. The fund will support innovation in the area of financial sustainability for video news.
Earlier this year, the GNI YouTube Sustainability Lab invited media companies around the world to submit proposals for selection into the year-long program. Through the lab, YouTube and the GNI teams will work closely with selected news organizations around the world to accelerate innovative ideas related to financial sustainability for video news in the areas of advertising revenue, user revenue, and cost savings. Network18 submitted a proposal for an innovative cost savings model that employs a nationwide network of reporters who will leverage AI & ML technology and develop a cutting-edge mobile journalism platform that will enable much higher volumes of video news with lowered costs of production. Network18 is one among 20 media houses internationally that have been selected for the program.
Due to the low shelf-life of news, and the limited window of news on television, video news publishers always had the challenge of increased production costs with a very small window to monetize content. In addition to this, the speed of publishing content is vital to maximize viewership for such content. The proposed solution builds on a platform, called File18, that Network18 launched last year to leverage its nationwide network of 1,200+ reporters to file text stories and takes it further to provide a platform to file videos with great speed, high quality and with controls around copyright checks, content moderation, etc. This provides a starting point for the digital transformation of a large network of traditional broadcast news to digital-first, social-ready content that can benefit with a larger audience across our digital platforms and social media channels.
Commenting on the selection, Pandurang Nayak, Chief Technology Officer, Network18 Digital said, “We appreciate the GNI’s effort to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive in the digital age and are delighted to have been selected to work on this initiative. We believe that the financial support and peer interactions with media companies around the world will enable us to do greater innovation to deliver a world-class product that’s focused on India. We are committed towards forging greater integration between TV & Digital, and pivoting our philosophy to ‘TV first, digital always’, thereby mobilizing our strength of 1200+ reporters, contributing daily in 13 different languages, to do mobile journalism using AI/ML-powered tools and make it faster and efficient to publish premium news content on our websites, apps and social media properties.”
More about the GNI YouTube Sustainability Lab program here.