CNNMoney new section will be about the fastest growing economy; MoneyStream app launched

MUMBAI: Attracting 1.8 million average monthly page views, witnessing a 37 per cent growth in video consumption and 16 per cent in unique browsers month-on-month from India in less than a year’s time is not smooth. In its ambitious plan of global expansion, CNN Digital is leaving no stone unturned to sustain its growth in the Indian market. Started as an experiment 12 months back, the team wanted to check out the appetite for additional coverage of India among their global audience.

After observing mammoth success, as its next step, CNNMoney International will develop a separate sub-section on India.

“We were very pleased with the results. So, when we relaunched CNNMoney International in February this year, we were committed to India. Having a sub-section devoted to a country on CNN International is a pretty big deal for us. This is a reflection of our commitment to tell the global audience about which is the world's fastest growing economy,” says CNN Money managing editor Mark Thompson.

Thompson admits that the growth is slowing in the developed world, in many emerging markets but it seemingly is not the case in India. “At least, the people I speak to suggest that these impressive rates of growth are sustainable for some considerable period of time which provides new opportunities for entrepreneurs. There is an increase in gaining attention of global companies who want to do business here and be successful. So, there is a fascinating story to tell about the dynamism, the momentum that exists in India,” adds Thompson.

The new section will launch by next month with more focus on young entrepreneurs in India, on imagining the economy of the country by 2020, and will dive deep in certain sectors of the Indian business.

With CNNMoney, the team plans to tell the stories of India. Thompson asserts, “We are still working on that. We are fortunate enough to have the support of CNN Network so that we have the bureau resources here. I am currently looking at how we can make sure we got the right level of resources and at right places to support the new content.”

Talking about its target audience, CNNMoney’s global audience would be younger than average; tends to be more educated than the average and are more affluent than average whereas the Indian audience is similar but it’s slightly younger than the global audience. The average of CNNMoney audience in India is 36, and the average age in global audience is 40. “We have very high representation of senior managers and top level executives as our audience. They are typically pretty aggressive toward investments in the context of their profession.”

The three areas that stand out with money’s audience are -- technology, economy and market content.

The business of technology, innovation, etc. is a huge thing which the team loves to do. The second most popular area for them is about the stories of the Indian and the global economy. The third area is their market content. “We have a lot of data on markets. We do quite a lot of reporting from New York, London, Hong Kong, etc. about how the big shifts in global market impact the economy, businesses and the investors. We are not into day-to-day market movements. We introduce some of that but typically what my international team tries to do is identify the trends and the big shifts like what happened to the price of oil since 2014 as its still resonating and reverberating the global economy. We look at the impacts these big shifts have in countries, businesses and investments.”

Thompson recollects his journey from the time he joined CNN in 2012. With the mission to build up CNNMoney International, the team has grown from two in London, to now reporters in Hong Kong, Delhi and recently in Dubai.

“Team-wise, we have grown to about five times, operating jointly. We are based across different time zones but we constantly share our ideas or stories. We operate as an integrated team," he said.

CNNMoney International follows the same process as other portals. The reporters pitch the story idea to the editor followed by a discussion about whether it has merit to be covered, and then how should it be told. “We work on the highest journalistic standards at CNN. Journalism drives our stories. Then, we have to think about how to promote the stories. Then, it comes down to the visual element of the stories which is with the design team that works with us to create fantastic images, illustrations and graphics. To maximize the impact of the stories, video is an incredibly important part of the proposition. “We are fortunate to have a wealth of video resources which we can use for digital purposes in addition to having strong and growing digital video team at CNN itself. We are always thinking about how best to present the stories on mobile and also on other social platform. So, there are lots of different processes to go into the final day that it is published,” he added.

With a majority of CNNMoney audience using mobile devices, Thompson expects a growth in consumption after complete 4G roll-out in India. “Well 4G in India is a fascinating story for us and we will follow it. I don’t know what is going to happen next. It is inevitable that, at some point in time, the infrastructure will develop. From a consumer perspective, India is the second biggest global market for active smartphone users, which can only grow. Since we relaunched CNNMoney, we saw steady growth in India. A 37 per cent monthly video consumption and a 16 per cent increase in monthly visitors, video is growing stronger. If you need to deliver video to mobile, you need that robust infrastructure and network to serve the audience,” Thompson said.

Talking about the importance of CNNMoney in its overall contribution to CNN, Thompson explained that it has received significant investments last year to flourish and grow as one of the top business websites in the world. “Reports suggest that our audiences are more than 'The Wall Street Journal' online or Bloomberg online. With 14 million unique visitors a month, we are a successful portal. We hope to replicate it across the world. India is a very important part of it. So far, it is so good,” adds Thompson.

When it comes to alerting the viewers about breaking news, CNNMoney uses a variety of ways to serve the need. Their CNNMoneyStream will replace CNNMoney’s existing app and is a personalized business news experience available to iOS and Android users. Inspired by Turner’s Team Stream, it enables users to follow companies, businesses, topics, and market data just like they follow teams and players through Bleacher Report’s app.

E*TRADE and SAP are the official launch sponsors of CNNMoneyStream.

“We use CNN alerts for the global audience. We have a new app, CNNMoney Stream, that allows user to personalize their experience of CNNMoney content. You can choose to follow streams of content which relate to a particular company or region; you can follow as many and as few. The app will generate content accordingly. Its crated based on the technology which Turner developed for sports app that we have. And, we are very happy with the response,” concludes Thompson.

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