Today where I read this piece from Danny Sullivan about Forbes CEO Jim Spanfeller’s comments on Google, I was wondering about Indian state of affairs. Act two came easy for me when I read this from ContentSutra’s article where Aroon Purie (Chief of India Today) said that he is no more interested in investing in Digital Media because he can’t perceptibly see any returns.

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Let me dissect some of statements from the article:

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Act 1. He has decided to not spend any more money on digital media.

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Act 2. He said that we’re not going to spend any money on this digital business because I don’t see any money coming in right away and I want to monetise things.

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Act 3. Purie sees the real potential in mobile, citing that there are around 320 million mobile phones in India and we add 10 million every month. That for us is the future.

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Act 4. ...the advantage of being in a developing country is that you can go to the future and come back (commenting on state of developed countries’ traditional media); I can see what’s happening in developed countries and imagine it will happen to us.

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Act 5. The digital model that is being followed in developed countries is a pretty dumb model. You have… one monopolist newsstand like Google who is giving your content out free and then competing in selling digital advertising. Where is the business model in this?

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I guess that would be enough. I don’t how much Mr. Purie spends time with digital advertisers to understand the business model and right there when he said that the digital model being followed in developed countries is a dumb model, I’ve my doubts really.

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To put in black & white – you produce content, let Google index it – Google benefits from it and in the process drives hurdes of traffic to your site and eventually you make money too. Now thats the digital business model in a nutshell, straightforward. Now he should understand couple of things before stating such dubious comments:

  • Entry barrier for digital business model is low. Period. So monetization will come hard since audience has plethora of choices to choose upon.
  • Stop Google from indexing your content. Now I don’t know why these top media bosses (till now I was seeing only western publishers annoyed with it, but now Indians too have join the herd) are so annoyed with the whole Google thing.
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Welcome to the new era where audience is not dumb enough to be directed where ever you guys have been doing for decades. Now content is free and mobile. Audience has the choice to select whichever mode is convenient for them. You can’t control them. But yes, you can definitely be where you audience is i.e. Digital media. So control spends is only a good strategy when you’re trying to cut back or remove the flab from the system and not when you are thinking to move ahead with times and crib in disillusionment that Google is killing your business.

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