what would increase is the amount that we have to put in to innovation and

learning, newer technologies of distribution, integrating newer apps,

integrating newer engines, how those things play out we don’t know, but you

will certainly have to do all of that, because the pace of innovation in this

medium is amazing, new personalisation, algorithms, all of those things will

have to keep on integrating, something will work, something will not. What is

the cost we don’t know.

Before launch, the Quint’s two founders visited the US and looked closely at

start-­‐‐ups there. ‘We realised that there was an absolute revolution that’s

sweeping digital media’, says Bahl. BuzzFeed, Mashable, Vice, and Vox are

amongst the digital start-­‐‐ups that have influenced Quint’s vision and strategy.

The inspiration – adopted to the Indian market – from these players is clear in

how Quintillion and the Quint operates. The content strategy is, like that of

sites like BuzzFeed and Vice, oriented towards younger people and

emphasises a mix of hard and soft news. The distribution strategy is social

and mobile first (supplemented later by websites and apps, and then in

addition parallel partnerships on television). Both content and distribution

strategies are tied in with developing technologies that the company may in

the future wish to sell or license to others, as Quintype develops tools for

publishers to manage editorial workflows, publish to various channels,

formats, and platforms, and integrate predictive analytics for scheduling

articles, reader management, social media integration, content

recommendation, and ad placement. The business strategy is premised on

rapid growth in audience reach and volume and built in large part around

advertising. Brands like Microsoft, Coke, Audi, Motorola, Asian Paints,

HDFC, ICICI, Standard Chartered are already on the Quint’s client list. 28

Currently, the Quint carries traditional display advertising and engages in

partnerships around editorial content (Motorola sponsored coverage of the

2015 Bihar elections, for example). In the future, the site wants to develop a

separate team for content marketing, in parallel to what sites like BuzzFeed,

Vice, and Vox have done in the United States. Speaking to Manisha Pande

from NewsLaundry, Partho Ganguly, business head at the Quint, explains:

‘We want to create compelling content that resonates with the brand. The

content, even if it is weaved around a product, will bring some value to the

reader.’ 29 So for the Quint, the editorial strategy is digitally native news for

younger people, distribution is built around a social-­‐‐first and smartphone-­‐first

approach, and the business on digital advertising, expansion into

television, and in the future perhaps content marketing.


Bahl, interviewed by Arijit Sen.



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