NEW DELHI: Chinese technology firm ByteDance has said digital media companies and publishers in India are increasingly leveraging its regional language entertainment content app Helo for posting news and updates.
The number of digital media companies on Helo, a platform specifically created for India, has increased by close to 200% since its launch less than a year ago, and ByteDance has also begun experimenting with digital media publishers to post videos on its highly popular short video sharing app TikTok, a top official said.
“We are working closely with digital publishers such as Scoopwhoop on TikTok to understand what works for their audiences,” said Sachin Sharma, director of sales and partnerships at ByteDance India. “We are still at a very early stage to share specifics pertaining to this.” He said the company aims to partner with more companies soon.
TikTok emerged as most-downloaded free app on iOS and the top free app in social category on Google Play store after Madras High Court lifted its three-week interim ban on the app. As per market intelligence firm Sensor Tower, TikTok was the most downloaded app globally in the first quarter of 2019 at 188 million downloads with India accounting for 47% of that.
Helo, which offers content in Hindi and other Indian languages, has amassed more than 50 million monthly active users and is aiming at a 300% user growth this year.
There are about 20 digital media outlets already on Helo, including Scoopwhoop Hindi, Digit, and Sportskeeda.
“Partnering with digital media companies serves a dual purpose where our users find the relevant news and entertainment related content in their preferred language and the digital media companies find the relevant audience for their platform,” Sharma said. “Since last year, the number of digital media companies on Helo has increased by close to 200%. With the targeted growth of 300% of Helo in 2019, we will continue to engage with more content partners to offer our users content curated as per their preference.”
Social media platforms have been strengthening their partnerships with digital media platforms. As per media reports, Facebook was in talks with Indian content based startups for potential investments in sectors like news.
Sharma said Helo has posted phenomenal growth since its launch. “While we understand that long-term revenue model will be a combination of in-app advertisements, we believe these are still early days, therefore, our focus is on developing the in-app user experience,” he said. “Having said that, we have started experimenting with some ad formats in app.”
Source: Economic Times