Radhika Shukla, regional business development director for News Republic, spoke about how content aggregators are helpful and harmful to the news media business model at INMA’s South Asia News Media Conference in New Delhi.

Shukla said that the way she looks at it, from the newspaper and media side, is what value do they see in the content aggregators? Because she has worked on the media side before, with the Hindu Group before her role with News Republic, Shukla has an understanding of that side of the business as well.

“I think the way I would look at aggregators is if they can provide me with four things: reach, revenue, recognition, and insights,” Shukla said. “If I get all of these, or at least three out of four of them, I would partner with the aggregator.”

The reach value she sees is that the aggregators help increase the distribution of the content — which may be something that traditional media companies cannot do as effectively themselves. 

“This distribution happens on mobile, not a Web site; and for mobile there are many platforms. Maintaining and creating many versions of apps is very challenging. It requires a lot of technical staff, which some media houses may have, but not all.”

This is where an aggregator that is strong in technology can come in and help a media company to create a sustainable app. Shukla pointed out that revenue is something else that everyone is looking at: “Until it makes a financially viable relationship nobody will continue with it.”

Insights relate to the other value other than content, Shukla said. “We do send the traffic back to them, as well as provide many more insights about their content such as what kind of reader you have in the app, what time is he consuming the app, is it different from the consumption patterns on your Web site.”