Indian News Sites Seeing surge in International Traffic [Comscore]


I guess it is true that you can take an Indian out of India but you can’t take his / her love for India. The traffic statistics for leading Indian local news sites does suggest that no matter which part of the world they are, Indians love catching up with what’s happening in India.


Comscore recently published a report on visitation to local Indian sites highlighting a key trend especially when it comes to leading local news portals in India,

Among the top local news destinations in India, most brands saw non-residents contribute a significant share of global visitors

Leading new sites like Times Of India has an international traffic amounting to as much as 36.2% of the total, while 31.76% of OneIndia’s traffic comes from outside the country. Mid and seem to be getting as much as 45% of their total traffic from an international audience.

Indian Newspaper Site Traffic [India & Worldwide]

Selected Newspaper Sites in India by Total Unique Visitors (000)
September 2011
Total India – Visitors Age 15+ Home/Work Locations*
Source: comScore Media Metrix

Total Unique Visitors in India (000) Total Unique Visitors Worldwide (000) % of Global Unique Visitors in India % of Global Unique Visitors Outside India
The Times of India 7,871 12,336 63.8% 36.2%
Oneindia 4,449 6,501 68.4% 31.6%
HT Media Ltd 4,393 6,109 71.9% 28.1% Sites 3,786 4,737 79.9% 20.1%
NDTV 3,558 5,756 61.8% 38.2%
The Economic Times 3,169 4,340 73.0% 27.0%
IBN Live 2,355 3,562 66.1% 33.9%
The Indian Express Group 2,022 2,961 68.3% 31.7%
The Hindu Group 1,885 2,850 66.1% 33.9% 1,672 2,105 79.4% 20.6%
Navbharat Times 938 1,081 86.7% 13.3% 743 1,129 65.9% 34.1% 450 821 54.8% 45.2%
Maharashtra Times 395 446 88.6% 11.4% 384 460 83.4% 16.6% 297 417 71.2% 28.8% 293 583 50.2% 49.8% 286 461 62.0% 38.0%


Interestingly, almost every news site gets high double digit traffic from outside India. One clear explanation for this is the fact that these news sites become a window to millions of Indians residing abroad into what’s happening in India.

What is even more interesting is whether these news sites are aware of this trend and more importantly whether they are doing anything specific to cater to this audience. For example, the recent trend of reverse brain drain among senior executives is one example wherein these news sites could further the cause and awareness by reporting on the emerging opportunities in the Indian marketplace etc.

Another angle to this contribution from international traffic on local news sites is monetization strategy. I recall my conversation with a friend working with the internet ad sales of a  leading news daily and she did suggest that a variety of advertisement options are used along with a fixed price model based on total traffic numbers- irrespective of audience segmentation.

However,most leading dailies seem to extensively using the contextual advertisement via Google Adsense which works well to monetize both local as well as international audience.

If Comscore’s numbers are true the advertisers might be better off working on a audience segmentation pricing approach (if they aren’t already). Additionally, marketers can also consider the local news sites a vehicle to target a fast increasing international audience as well instead of solely focusing on the domestic audience

What are your thoughts on the growing international traffic on local news sites in India?

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