Founded in 1975, India Today is one of the leading news magazines in India. For the past decade, over 1.1 million readers have subscribed to the publication with an overall readership of over 15 million. In addition to their traditional print business, which includes the Indian versions of Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, and Reader’s Digest, the company has grown into a multi-platform, diversified media group with a wide-reaching television, web, and mobile presence.

Solution

India Today first learned about AMP through online forums. With 77% of users visiting their site from mobile devices, the company sought to improve their mobile user experience.

Sanjay Nagpal, India Today’s Head of Technology explains, “AMP provides an open standard for publishers to quickly load pages on mobile. This improves the user experience by giving them a lighter version of the content.”

Nagpal engaged an in-house development team to implement the AMP framework on their mobile site. The development team found AMP pages to be “easy to build, light, and fast loading, which helps readers consume content,” Nagpal shares. The initial implementation took just 20 days, and further implementation was easy because, he notes, “our AMP pages are just a template with most of the tags already mapped.”

Results

After their AMP site was completed, India Today saw an almost immediate uptick in traffic. Hoping to capitalize on this, the team shifted their focus to monetization and decided to implement two ads per AMP page. From there, they worked on optimization.Nagpal explains, “Together, we discussed optimizing engagement by changing ad sizes and placements. We learned, for example, that 300x250 ads perform better than the 320x50 ads we were displaying previously.”

Since implementing ads on AMP pages in July 2016, they have quickly seen impressive results. The average CTR on AMP pages is 2X what they are seeing on non-AMP pages. As a result, their AMP pages are generating 23% more revenue per page than their non-AMP pages, despite having lower ad density. “Even though our ad density on AMP pages is lower, we are seeing much better monetization due to faster load times and up to 200% higher viewability. This makes the proposition very attractive.”

Nagpal is now a big AMP proponent. His advice for other publishers: “AMP has helped our brand reach a large untapped set of engaged users in addition to offering superior monetization. AMP is a must for any publisher looking to grow their digital business.”