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Business – Hindustan Times goes live on Kindle; BCCL to follow

Kapil Ohri

Hindustan Times has become the first newspaper from India to be available on the electronic paperless reading device called Amazon Kindle.

Prominent international newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times, The Daily Mail and Shanghai Daily are already accessible on Kindle.

“Called the Hindustan Times Kindle edition, news items or stories will be specially packaged in the specified software code suggested by Amazon Kindle,” explains a spokesperson from HT Media. It will be delivered automatically only on the Kindle device at 6 am daily and will comprise of more than 90 per cent of the stories that appear in print.

Unlike the e-paper, which is an exact replication of the print edition, the Kindle edition of Hindustan Times will have only content, supported by an index page for the content discovery. There will be no ads.

With no ads, the revenue model of the Kindle edition of Hindustan Times will be solely based on a monthly subscription fee, which is fixed at US$9.99 (Rs 460). The international newspapers mentioned above charge more than US$20 for the same duration.

Is it actually for the Indian market? The spokesperson clarifies that the Kindle edition will be primarily targeted towards non-resident Indians (NRIs) and high net worth individuals in India. Amazon Kindle, although officially launched in October 2009 in India, is still not very popular in India and is priced above US$250.

The online edition of Hindustan Times receives more than 1.2 million unique visitors per month from outside India.

HT Media is also set to make available its business newspaper, Mint, on Kindle in the coming days.

Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited (BCCL), too, plans to launch the Kindle editions of some of its publications.

When contacted, Rishi Khiani, chief executive officer, Times Internet Limited, says, “We are also gearing up to launch the Kindle editions of our newspapers.” Although Khiani is not ready to divulge the names of the titles which will be offered on Kindle, he indicates that it will most probably be The Times of India and The Economic Times.

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December 8, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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