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Chandran

ISOJ 2009

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Chandran

  1. 1. Are we tryingAre we trying hard enough?hard enough? 10th International Symposium10th International Symposium on Online Journalismon Online Journalism By Premesh ChandranBy Premesh Chandran CEO malaysiakini.comCEO malaysiakini.com April 2009April 2009
  2. 2. Malaysiakini – how we startedMalaysiakini – how we started  Duality in media legislationDuality in media legislation  Print & broadcast media tightly controlledPrint & broadcast media tightly controlled through licensing, owned by governmentthrough licensing, owned by government political partiespolitical parties  Internet free of censorship due to government’sInternet free of censorship due to government’s pledge to foreign IT investors – “Multimediapledge to foreign IT investors – “Multimedia Supercorridor” initiativeSupercorridor” initiative  1998: Arrest of deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim,1998: Arrest of deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim, huge demand for independent news,huge demand for independent news,  Raised US$ 10,000 from friends and thenRaised US$ 10,000 from friends and then in $100,000 grants. Malaysiakini launchedin $100,000 grants. Malaysiakini launched on Nov 20on Nov 20thth , 1999, 1999  Internet penetration about 20% but hitInternet penetration about 20% but hit 100,000 unique readers a day within 10100,000 unique readers a day within 10
  3. 3. MissionMission ““To use the Internet to provideTo use the Internet to provide independent and balancedindependent and balanced news to the Malaysian publicnews to the Malaysian public and to set new standards inand to set new standards in journalism as well as tojournalism as well as to support the development ofsupport the development of freedom of speech, socialfreedom of speech, social justice and democracy injustice and democracy in Malaysia”Malaysia” Value PropositionValue Proposition  Independent news withIndependent news with accuracy, credibility, balanceaccuracy, credibility, balance  To be the first in newsTo be the first in news  Plural and incisive ViewsPlural and incisive Views
  4. 4. ReadershipReadership  35 editorial staff produce 50 stories per day in35 editorial staff produce 50 stories per day in English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil & 3 videosEnglish, Malay, Chinese and Tamil & 3 videos per dayper day  1.8 million absolute unique visitors per month,1.8 million absolute unique visitors per month, 250,000 unique readers per day,250,000 unique readers per day,  Ranked 13 by Alexa and Google, No 1Ranked 13 by Alexa and Google, No 1 Malaysian site, top 12 being global sites.Malaysian site, top 12 being global sites.  Charge $40 for reading English newsCharge $40 for reading English news
  5. 5. ImpactImpact  Broke through state control of mediaBroke through state control of media  March 8March 8thth 2008 - Key role in democratic2008 - Key role in democratic breakthrough, ruling party lost in 5 states,breakthrough, ruling party lost in 5 states, winning federal government only by slimwinning federal government only by slim majoritymajority  ““Underestimating the Internet was our biggestUnderestimating the Internet was our biggest mistake” – PM Abdullah Badawimistake” – PM Abdullah Badawi  Major swing among young and urban votersMajor swing among young and urban voters
  6. 6. The business of Malaysiakini (2008)The business of Malaysiakini (2008) IncomeIncome  Subscriptions: $600,000Subscriptions: $600,000  Advertising - $200,000Advertising - $200,000  Grants - $200,000Grants - $200,000 Total - $1,000,000Total - $1,000,000 ExpenditureExpenditure  Editorial – $420,000Editorial – $420,000  Admin– $150,000Admin– $150,000  Marketing - $80,000Marketing - $80,000  Technology - $50,000Technology - $50,000 Total – $800,000Total – $800,000
  7. 7. Subscription businessSubscription business  Challenges:Challenges:  Convincing our staffConvincing our staff  Creating an online payment system which workedCreating an online payment system which worked  Fighting the notion that Internet is all for freeFighting the notion that Internet is all for free  2002 - 100,000 unique readers, conversion 1%2002 - 100,000 unique readers, conversion 1%  2009 – 250,000 unique readers, conversion 5%2009 – 250,000 unique readers, conversion 5%  (Malay, Chinese, Tamil and part of English still(Malay, Chinese, Tamil and part of English still free)free)  Generates 60% of incomeGenerates 60% of income  Other independent websites drawing audienceOther independent websites drawing audience but little revenuebut little revenue
  8. 8. Key success factorsKey success factors  UniqueUnique in its independence and speedin its independence and speed  Very limited free content (high wall)Very limited free content (high wall)  Political developments in Malaysia generatingPolitical developments in Malaysia generating interestinterest  We drive the message subscription = support forWe drive the message subscription = support for independent media = democracy & justiceindependent media = democracy & justice  We thank our subscribers for their supportWe thank our subscribers for their support  Tried to model around pay TV – single subscriptionTried to model around pay TV – single subscription multiple websites, not enough paid contentmultiple websites, not enough paid content
  9. 9. Does Media Industry = Journalism?Does Media Industry = Journalism?  Fragmentisation of media & advertisingFragmentisation of media & advertising  Loss of advertising to search and non-mediaLoss of advertising to search and non-media websiteswebsites  Media Industry = Profitability = EntertainmentMedia Industry = Profitability = Entertainment  Driven by ownership, advertising, stateDriven by ownership, advertising, state prioritiespriorities  Divergence between journalism and mediaDivergence between journalism and media industry (Do journalists belong in the media?)industry (Do journalists belong in the media?)
  10. 10. Strategies & Future PlansStrategies & Future Plans 1.1. Increase content but not costsIncrease content but not costs  Crowd sourcing, citizen journalism, “top of theCrowd sourcing, citizen journalism, “top of the blogs” “malaysiakini 2.0”blogs” “malaysiakini 2.0” 1.1. Push content to new platformsPush content to new platforms  Home TV, Mobile, WebHome TV, Mobile, Web 1.1. Leverage on existing audience:Leverage on existing audience:  Voize.my, Earth247.tv, Find it All, othersVoize.my, Earth247.tv, Find it All, others 1.1. Home market media InnovationsHome market media Innovations  Digital Ink devices, retail screens, innovate printDigital Ink devices, retail screens, innovate print
  11. 11. Future of Journalism?Future of Journalism?  Some journalism has to be funded by publicSome journalism has to be funded by public funds (individuals, foundations, taxes),funds (individuals, foundations, taxes), distributed by the media industrydistributed by the media industry  Some non-advertising revenue (subscribers,Some non-advertising revenue (subscribers, foundations etc) keeps media honestfoundations etc) keeps media honest
  12. 12. Facebook Email: prem@malaysiakini.comFacebook Email: prem@malaysiakini.com Yahoo MSN Skype: premeshchandranYahoo MSN Skype: premeshchandran Thank You!Thank You!

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