Mumbai: Asianet News Kannada digital platform www.suvarnanews.tv has reported a phenomenal 20x year-on-year growth. This shows the potential of vernacular in driving the next big wave of digital news growth. As the language with the third highest Internet adoption after Tamil and Hindi, Kannada has emerged as a significant growth opportunity.
Since its inception early last year, Asianet News Network’s Digital strategy has been focused on consolidating its dominant market leadership with focused digital media penetration in Kerala with www.asianetnews.tv and Karnataka with www.suvarnanews.tv. Its more recent English digital news property www.newsable.com delivers millennial centric hyperlocal video content. As it strengthens its Telugu news property http://telugu.asianetnews.tv the network is also establishing a significant foothold in Tamil with an upcoming acquisition.
The recent KPMG-Google report titled “Indian Languages – Defining India’s Internet” is ground-breaking in many ways. It details on the growth momentum in the Indian language internet user base clocking a healthy 18% CAGR until 2021, over its proportionate growth in English of 3%. It also talks about how Tamil, Kannada and Telugu will be amongst the most digitally engaged netizenry. With 33 percent of the Indian language internet users accessing news exclusively online, outnumbering even digital payments, vernacular is clearly becoming the rider of growth in Digital News.
“Suvarnanews.tv is a one-stop destination for the Kannadiga which combines the video and text news, and entertainment stories. Suvarna News along with Kannada Prabha which has a 50-year journalistic legacy serves its audience with hyperlocal video-led content. This significant growth comes on the strength of a well thought through strategy to integrate both the Broadcast and Print content on Digital and provide enhanced user experience and engagement.” says Anoop N, Chief Operating Officer of Asianet News Network – Digital. “As a vernacular-video leader in its category the Asianet News digital network promises to deliver top quality content. With 99% of the Indian language internet users accessing news content on mobile devices, we’re also continuously focused on the platform to be mobile friendly both from a format and engagement perspective.
“The Digital News opportunity is a significant opportunity that the vernacular market has been relatively slow in capitalizing on” says Ravi Hegde, Editor-In-Chief Kannada Prabha and Suvarna News. “With suvarnanews.tv, we are focused on securing a first-mover advantage. Building collaboration between TV and Digital desks along with a deep focus on vernacular video content was at the core of the strategy. With Regional News being the preferred category of digital news, we’ve also sharpened our focus at delivering Karnataka like none other” he elaborates.
“Our investments in Digital have been focused on building a media tech asset that dominates with its content and video format, and through this, drive market leadership” adds Amit Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, Asianet News Network. “It creates another strong platform for brands that work with us to capture and expand their presence and market reach riding the wave of vernacular digital growth.” Contexted with the KPMG-Google report that estimates 82% of Kannadigas having a propensity to respond to an advertisement in the vernacular, it’s no surprise that brands will want to maximize on this opportunity.