Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hindustan Times: Sadly stuck with status quo

As I keep writing about 2010 is Social Media, in this post I'd like to mention another important medium for businesses: The Mobile. As Indians keep breaking mobile subscription records with the total number of subscribers added in March'10 close to 20 million and a total subscriber count close of 600 million, there are still many (mostly archaic)  who refuse to take this into account. One such organization is Hindustan Times, owned by HT Media Ltd. To put it simply, they don't have a mobile site. Is it a blunder, sheer arrogance to refuse the fact that people read news on mobile or a tryst of their ex-editor with the 2G scam, it is hard to decode. Its even more pitiful since they are in the publishing business with a readership base of close to 35 lakh (India's second most widely read English newspaper), and have others (TOI) who are present on mobile. There are companies who generally go first, there are those who learn and closely follow and then there is Hindustan Times which still lives in its own sweet paradise. The irony is that they daily report news about mobile, reading or transferring links on mobile (pic below), but forget to understand its true essence themselves. Probably their ex-editors are more interested in pleasing the lobby or probably analyzing who gives them a better travel package (pun intended, no offences please).

I am writing this post not to denigrate HT. I really like their content and a person like me who is on the move and likes to read them without actually paying for the newspaper (with an intent to save environment, ya seriously), its a disbelief. I hope they learn, listen to their readers and launch a good mobile site. By the way, TOI mobile site is pretty good and useful.  To explain the importance of mobile, here are some statistics of my tiny little blog.
So I have approximately 2-5% of my reader base on mobile. (The above figures aren't aggregated). Although I can't really afford to compete with HT or other biggies, it about maximizing utility and getting maximum returns. By actually closing media options (and that too the growing ones), big businesses are actually letting their competitors (small and big) take advantage and snatch their loyal consumer base. As time passes by such businesses will eventually loose market share and won't see profits grow as compared to the efforts put in.