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When a top media house approaches Counterview for 'content subscription'...

By Rajiv Shah
I felt terribly awed, and somewhat strange, when I received an email from the “Hindustan Times Media Group, India”, one of India’s top corporate media houses, owned by  offering Counterview, a nonentity, run on a voluntary basis, and edited by me, offering what was called “content subscription business.” 
The email, by the Group’s “Content Alliances manager”, elated me somewhat – that a top media house has approached Counterview, suggesting, they seem to be closely observing what all is being published in Countervew, which essentially deals mainly with current affairs stories.
Addressed to me as “Dear Rajiv/Editor”, and greeting me on behalf of the powerful media house, the email from the person who sent it to me said, he wanted to “check” if we are “looking to subscribe to more Indian content” for “our website, print and magazine.” It underlined, “We can licence you our digital content. We have content from all genres – Politics, Entertainment, Business, Health and Lifestyle, Tech, Auto etc.”
I don’t know why it talked of “print and magazine”, which we are not, even though it seemed that they appeared to see our website closely. The email observed, “I have seen your website, and as per my observation, the text content of our below given portal will suit your platform and audience, please have a look and let me know if you are interested.”
I liked the criticism, one reason why I thought I should seek details of what the Hindustan Times has to offer, even though the list of offers included following areas:
National - https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/
Tech - https://tech.hindustantimes.com/
Entertainment - https://www.hindustantimes.com/entertainment/
Health- https://www.healthshots.com/
Lifestyle - https://www.hindustantimes.com/lifestyle/
Covid 19- https://www.hindustantimes.com/coronavirus/
Opinion- https://www.hindustantimes.com/opinion
Auto - https://auto.hindustantimes.com/
Desimartini - https://www.desimartini.com/
Outlook Money- http://www.outlookindia.com/outlookmoney/
The email continued: “Images Subscription: We have launched an image platform called content garden where you can search and download all the images of your choice once you buy a subscription. Please visit the content garden.”
It added, “If you don't want to buy a subscription then you can let us know the images which you want to use for editorial or any other purpose and we will provide you he original image and you can pay us on per images basis. URL - https://www.contentgarden.in/ht/#/”
It continued to explain why I should one subscribe the Hindustan Times content:
1- Well researched content written by experienced journalists and writers.
2- HT is one of the oldest media houses in India, so trustworthy and best quality.
3- Better than Agency content as agency content is available with every other news website.
4- You don't need to arrange the photo separately as the photo will be a part of Rss feed.
Just to check, I decided to send an email seeking “details on what HT has to offer”. I don’t know how it assessed the worth of Counterview, but the person concerned sent “pricing for text news from Hindustan Times”, whose “news will be shared with you through Rss feed,” adding, “Most of the stories will carry an image link also so you don't need to arrange for the images separately.”
The costing was as follows: Rs 18,000 per month for three stories per day; Rs 25,000 per month for five stories per day; and Rs 40,000 per month for 10 stories per day – all with text plus images and in English.
I was also told to note the following:
1- You will be given full access to our daily news base, you can choose and pick the story of your choice.
2- If using on website, proper credit line and canonical tagging is must.
3- Image link will also be provided along with the news feed.
“Please let me know your thoughts on this so that we can discuss and move further”, I was told.
No comments!
Postscript: I replied back stating Counterview is a voluntary site, which perhaps the Hindustan Times people didn't care to see... No reply thereafter. Not even thanks. 

Comments

A. K.. Luke said…
It was not an offer but a poisoned cup.

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