Indian Internet Content Business in 2010 – Flat Traffic growth [Have We Hit the Ceiling?]

In India Online by Ashish Sinha5 Comments

Last year, we carried an article covering the near-flat growth rate of content portals in India and it’s the time of the year, when we revisit the same stats for 2010 [2010 recap].

What has significantly changed in 2010? Apparently, nothing!

Take a look at the Comscore (* ) data (India traffic/Unique Users only) – the only portal which has shown some decent sign of growth is Yahoo, while Rediff, etc seems to have settled down at their respective levels.


That brings us to a core question – is there a ceiling to content business in India? (if yes, then Yahoo seems to be almost there?)

If no, then are these content players just not innovating enough?

I’d like to believe the latter, as most of these companies do not offer any fresh perspective or insight (most of the content sites in India are news aggregators).

Of course, the traffic is a function of Internet penetration in India and consumption habits, but the reality of the matter is that very few content sites in India offer compelling content (i.e. beyond bikini pictures).

What’s your take on the content business in India? Do we lack content creators? With the advent of new media, do you feel the winds of change?

* Please note: One might say that comscore data for India is not reliable (as Comscore doesn’t track cybercafe data), I’d argue that content sites like these are mainly visited by professionals during office hours and data is representative of the reality (and should be used for guesstimating relative traffic).


  1. Geetanjali

    My feeling is that content anywhere / everywhere is an issue. Right from an online shoe store, to a handicrafts store to a laptop price comparison site, or even say a website building company for SMEs; they all need better content. Anyone who writes a blog knows what a tough task it is to create content. I think we are just about realizing that depth of content for all online sites after a point is a far big a task than we typically plan for.

  2. Ravi

    By focusing on the big portals alone, you may be missing on the smaller/mid size blogs/content sites. With more niche content sites like yours, there may be a increasing trend that big portals may be overall loosing market share (thus flat growth).

    Other thing to consider is online advertising spend on content sites. (dont know if you can find that date). It is a fuel for more content creation and consumption, so it it has gone up, the content consumption of indian readers has gone up.

  3. Subhash

    Definitely not. The traffic surge is now on social sites, blogs and media (aka facebook, youtube, etc) and not the 8 content providers you have mentioned. Year after year you are going to see the same graph unless someone understands the shift and makes the changes.

  4. Mrutyunjay

    Thanks for sharing this…

    If only around 30million are visiting Yahoo then how come some people throw 80million internet user base in the country? What are the rest doing :)

  5. Anupam

    Three of the six sites mentioned (Indiatimes, HT, have grown UVs by at least 50% year over year. Thats not bad at all.
    Additionally, what we are seeing is verticalization, socialization and hyperdifferentiation of information on the web – i.e. people are spending increasing amounts of time on social media and vertical specific sites. Most of the sites mentioned in this post (portals) haven’t adapted all that well to these trends.

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