New Delhi: Mashable, the technology blog founded by Pete Cashmore, and India.com have formed a partnership to launch Mashable India, which will have a local editorial team to generate original content. It will also leverage the audience reach of India.com properties.
Mashable claims to have 42 million unique visitors a month and 21 million social media followers. India.com is a joint venture of Penske Media Corp. (PMC) and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.
“As Mashable continues to grow in parallel with the expansion of digital, entering into India was an obvious next-step. Digital and technology continue to have a profound impact on the world’s largest democracy and Mashable will look to chronicle this transformation in unique ways that truly resonate with the Connected Generation," Cashmore, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Mashable said in a statement.
“We believe that the combination of Mashable and India.com will provide a unique content destination curated for India’s fast growing online generation," said Punit Goenka, managing director and CEO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, adding that the idea was to create a truly world-class and innovative site at Mashable India.
Content from India.com Web Portal Ltd is currently published on its sites such as BGR.in, CricketCountry.com, BollywoodLife.com, TheHealthSite.com, Prepsure.com, BrownPaperBag.in, and its flagship India.com. Together, the India.com properties reach out to over 45 million unique visitors per month, a company statement said.
Zee Entertainment Enterprises, an entertainment broadcast firm is one of the largest producers and aggregators of Hindi programming in the world, with an extensive library housing over 1,20,000 hours of television content and rights to more than 3,500 film titles.
PMC is a Los Angeles-based digital media, publishing, and information services firm founded in 2003.
In a statement to the press, PMC chairman and CEO Jay Penske said: “With Mashable’s focus on digital innovation and its social media relevance, Mashable India will undoubtedly become the nation’s leader in this rapidly expanding, technology-focused marketplace."
Nearly half of Mashable’s 42 million monthly unique visitors are from outside the US; India is one of its top five markets.
Mashable will compete with the Indian editions of other international digital brands such as Gizmodo, Huffington Post and Quartz for eyeballs and advertising revenue. Gizmodo, Huffington Post and the American business news site Business Insider have been introduced in India by Times Internet Ltd, the digital arm of the Times of India Group. A clutch of home-grown digital media brands have also launched over the years including Firstpost and Scroll while the news portal TheQuint will be up and running in April.
India’s digital gold rush is understandable, says Ritu Kapur, CEO and founder of TheQuint.
“Content and technology companies in New York and the Bay area in the US are very keen to come to India. Expect more action in the space," she said referring to the launch of Mashable India.
“They are hugely interested in this market as it is one of the largest English-speaking markets in the world and has significant smartphone and mobile phone consumption."
Samir Patil, CEO, Scroll, said India’s shift to digital was dramatic.
“Facebook has 100 million users in India and there are 70-80 million smart phone users—and these are real numbers," he pointed out. Agreed Satyan Gajwani, CEO, Times Internet: “...the audience growth is phenomenal and that is what is exciting our partners."