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Times Internet rolls out blog network; may launch paid news, iTunes like product for India

by Satrajit Sen

by Satrajit Sen

Times Internet, the company which owns Indiatimes.com, has started rolling out a network of niche blogs with the launch of TechnoHolik.com, GolfingTimes.in, Wine Society of India and a redesign of iDiva, which was earlier launched as a women’s portal.

Besides, Times Internet is also working on building an online music store on the lines of Apple’s iTunes. The service is yet to go live as the company is still working towards getting the rights of selling Indian music in the store. The company is also planning to overhaul the Indiatimes.com portal and introduce a new design of the website.

The company has also taken its first step towards foraying into online paid content and has launched TimesCrest.com, the online edition of The Times of India Crest, a premium weekend edition from the house. The content on TimesCrest.com is presently available on free registration but unlimited access to the TimesCrest articles can only be availed till October 10, 2010.

Times Internet has also launched SpeedNews for TimesofIndia.com where The Times of India group has given Blackberry smartphones to most of the newspaper’s reporters across India and a login to the ToI website that enables them to publish news updates (Twitter style) from different cities in the country. The service allows users to select any particular city they want to receive updates from. Initially, the service was piloted under the name of Raw News but later rechristened as SpeedNews.

These are some of the activities that are already out and some more are expected from the Times Internet stable. Recently, the company joined hands with Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi to make available live streaming of the games at Live.Indiatimes.com/CWGLive.cms.

All these initiatives are being taken when Rishi Khiani, who joined Times Internet as chief executive officer in August 2009, is at the helm of affairs. Incidentally, a report by comScore recently revealed that the Times Internet properties attracted 15.8 million unique visitors in August 2010.

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