As we live in a busy world, we aim and hope to have everything in that little device in our pockets called ‘mobile’. This one device in our hands can literally do the job of a number of gadgets that would fill a big room 15 years back.
If you have ever visited any news website, you might have observed that these websites are cluttered with a humongous amount of information that is not for someone who is not much a newsreader.
This made it difficult for most youth to keep up with all the latest national and global happenings.
Inshorts saw this problem and decided to solve it by making an app for mobile users that covers news from every industry in an interesting yet simple format.
From sports to entertainment, business to politics, and science to travel; Inshorts covers everything in just under 60 words.
In this post, let us understand the Inshorts business model, how much do Inshorts make, and what is its revenue model.
A quick look into Inshorts journey
Like the app, I will aslo try to explain their story in as less words as possible.
By the end of their second year Azhar Iqubal, Anunay Arunav, both from IIT-Delhi, and Deepit Purkayastha from IIT-Delhi were dealing with a problem many engineers go through during engineering — they were completely bored and there was no challenging work as such.
They somehow realized there were a lot of people in their peer group itself who were not aware of what’s going on in the world besides the technology sector. They felt that there is lots of scope for innovation in the media sector. Hence they spent one and a half years exploring and analyzing the media sector.
To fill the gap, the 3 Not-So-Idiots started with a minimum viable Facebook Page called ‘News In Shorts’. This is also how InShorts works now.
They manually curated the top news from various sources within 60 words and posted them on the page. The page garnered 1 lakh followers within a short period of time.
Within a few days, they launched the website. And after a month a prototype app with some beta users was launched. They finally launched the full version app on the 4th of September, 2013. Today the app has 10 million+ downloads.
You might also find our post on how Zomato makes money interesting.
Inshorts business model
Inshorts monetises through B2B channels through advertising. The brands typically sign up for ads and sponsored content together through annual contracts, and pay on the basis of impressions (views) and engagements (likes and shares).
Currently, Inshorts is working with more than 300 advertisers. Their client list includes brands like Vodafone, Oneplus, Mercedes, and Myntra.
Inshorts posted the first ad on its platform in July 2016. The company was operationally profitable from the last quarter of 2017.
The Inshorts business model includes providing non-intrusive ad formats that fall under three main categories:
1. Designer cards
You must have seen a full-screen ad having images, gifs, or videos of popular companies promoting their products or services. This is the major source of InShorts revenue. These ads sometimes work wonders for the brands.
2. Banner ads
These are the ads that show up above or below the news article on the platform. Unlike the usual banner ads, Inshorts uses banner ads in such a way that user experience is not affected in any case.
Banner ads are generally used for launches as they guarantee a lot of visibility and it forms a decent source of revenue for InShorts.
3. Sponsored posts
The third and most profit-making type of ad for Inshorts is the sponsored articles that are shown in user feed. Advertisers can share their ads to Inshort’s reader base in 60 words along with an embedded picture or video.
These ads are listed as ‘Powered by’ along with the advertiser’s name. This kind of advertising not only improves the reading experience but also the visibility of the brand being promoted.
The 1st funding for the company was from T Labs, a Times Internet Ltd. initiative. It is followed by a Rs 25 crore series A funding from Tiger Global and Rebright Partners.
Recently, the company bagged Rs 127 crore in Series B funding round led by Tiger Global.
What’s in store for Inshorts
The company plans to invest heavily in video content and expand its news offering to other regional languages other than Hindi.
The startup is also planning to launch a service that will give news in audio, and that too depending on how much time the user has to spare.
For example, someone has just come back from a holiday and has not been updated on all the happenings in the past week. So he will just turn on the app and tell the app that he has 15 minutes, which is the driving time to his office.
The app will give him the top news of the last week that will be done in the 15 minutes time-frame and it will be in audio. He can just plug in the earphones and listen to all the updates of the past week as he drives to the office.
Inshorts recently launched a product called ‘Public’ – a location-based, video-first, hyper-local social platform for stringers, publishers, and brands to report the news. The app has so far been downloaded for 50 million+ times.
The biggest challenge for the startup is its scalability. However, with the Inshorts business model, the company (which started in 2013) successfully made its journey until today.
Today, the company houses employees of up to 500 and made a revenue of Rs 27 crore in 2017 compared to Rs 3 crore in 2016. Awesummly, Viral Shots, and Time Inc. are some of the InShorts major competitors.
The company produces about 1,000 shorts per day and an Inshorts consumer spends an average of 12 minutes a day and manages to consume almost 86 shorts.
Thanks for reading. If you are already using the application, share your thoughts in the comment section below.