News in Shorts (NIS) is a mobile based service which guarantees to deliver news within 60 words. The NIS team believes people today do not have enough time to read lengthy news articles. Hence, their team of editors reads news from all the sources, handpicks the best
stories, and summarizes them so that users can get themselves updated within minutes. The aim is to make news so consumable that it no longer is a separate task during the day; instead it blends into a user’s daily life. Azhar Iqubal, Anunay Arunav, both from IIT-Delhi and Deepit Purkayastha from IIT-Kharagpur, have started News In Shorts are the three smart minds behind the new force that might change the face of news reading. They have taken a break from their respective colleges to pursue their entrepreneurial dream.
What was the trigger to start News in Shorts?
We ourselves were not news readers. After coming to college we found that we did not know about what’s happening in and around the world just because we found the current sources of news too overwhelming. With that we started observing the reading pattern of people who claimed to be reading news. What we observed was that, people browse through headlines and if interested read the first 3-4 sentences of an article and then move on. And there it was – News in Shorts took birth.
What is the USP of NIS? How is your product different from other similar services like Summly, etc?
We promise to deliver news within 60 words. Our USP is the articles are manually summarized; hence the quality is upto the mark. The summaries provided by Summly etc are automated, hence are not really coherent and readable.
How much traction have you gained so far? How many downloads a day?
We have received more than 10,000 downloads so far. At present we are receiving more than 250 downloads/day.
We expect to cross 300,000 downloads by 2014 December.
Q) What are the opportunities that you see in India in this space?
A) With India all set to become the world’s first truly mobile digital society, most of the internet activity of the Indian internet users is going to be via their smartphones. This clubbed with the fact that news consumption is a need, there emerges a huge opportunity. As such there is no news app which caters to this opportunity and serves the need of the people to get updated of the news within minutes.
Q) What business models are you planning to introduce?
A) We aim to monetize via some form of native mobile advertisements which are not as intrusive as the current banner/interstitial ads. But our primary focus right now is to deliver the promised news consumption experience.
Q) What is your marketing strategy?
A) As of today we are primarily growing by word of mouth.
Q)What is the total addressable market?
A) With 378 million smartphone users by 2016 (report by Avendus Capital) and 37% of them reading news on their smartphones (report by Nielsen) the total addressable market stands at 140 million users by 2016. The space of news apps is already much cluttered. So the primary challenge right now is create a place for us as fast as possible.
Q) What is the total number of employees?
A) We are total of 3 founders, 2 full time content quality analysts, 2 technology interns and an editorial community of 20 editors.
Q) How do you plan on competing with your peers such as Summly?
A) Though at the surface level we seem similar, the fundamental approach is very different.
Summly’s aims to engage users with the long-form content by initially giving a glimpse into the complete article! Unlike Summly, at News in Shorts we aim to engage users with our content and focus that users consume content with us as their primary news source.
So in a brief, Summly acts a news aggregator while we aim to become a point of consumption of news.
This article is adapted from coolage.in