It will be fair to say that reporting on media companies doesn’t happen a lot in India. There is no justification why that should be the case. It is stating the obvious but then it must be said, again and again, till the point is driven home — Internet has been disruptive for the media business. More number of people are consuming stories online than ever before. In text, videos, snaps…add to that pressures of advertising revenue, money flowing in digital media businesses and you have an industry in transition. The search for who will pay for stories and how will they pay — is a prospect both frightening and exhilarating. YourStory is a case in point.
YourStory Media Private Limited
As per MCA records
Qualcomm Asia Pacific Pte
What has YourStory been upto, the last year?
Post its funding announcement, mid last year, YourStory seems to be chugging along. The company has moved beyond English to publish stories in other vernacular languages; 12 of them. There is a vertical strategy of creating specific domains, like Her Story and Social Story. YourStory is also trying to build a community; with an idea that anyone can publish their story on what they’ve called, What’s Your Story? And then of course, there are events. Quite a few of them.
Rs 8.7 crore: That’s the total money YourStory made. Service revenue is about Rs 8.3 crore. It is made up of money earned from native advertisements, banner advertisements on the website, money made from events and research related services. YourStory made about Rs 2.1 crore from doing events and about Rs 72 lakh from sale of banner ads on the website. It is a long held belief in some media circles that events can be a good, profitable source of revenue, when ad revenues are under pressure. YourStory spent Rs 1.5 crore in event hosting charges to earn Rs 2.1 crore.
Rs 5.4 crore: That’s the total money YourStory made from native advertisements. What are native ads? Native ads can take various forms but its guiding principle is content paid for by brands. In its most basic form, it can look like a sponsored post. Like this. Its more advanced form can be this piece from The New York Times. If you do visit that page, you will see the terms ‘paid post’ and ‘Brand Studio’. To know more about native advertising and Brand Studio, do read this fascinating story from DigiDay. Year on year, native ads grew about 2X at YourStory.
Rs 3 crore: That’s the total money YourStory spent on freelancer expenses. Pretty tidy sum, this one. In the media business, freelancers are people, employed by organisations in addition to staff. They can be journalists reporting from the ground, columnists, opinion writers; whole gamut of folks not on the payroll. Let’s say YourStory puts out freelancer stories 350 days in a year. That math would work out to Rs 85, 714 spent in freelancer expense, every day. Tidy sum. The company’s freelancer expense, shot up, from Rs 54 lakh in the previous year to Rs 3 crore as of March 2016.
Rs 2.3 crore: That’s the total money YourStory spent on technology expenses.
Rs 5.9 crore: That’s the total loss for the company as of March 2016. A significant jump over the previous year, where it recorded a loss of Rs 19 lakhs.