Internet firm Webdunia expects to split revenues equally between advertisement revenues and services in 2008, said president and chief operating officer Pankaj Jain.
Webdunia has Internet portals in 9 Indian languages and hopes to cash in on a trend that has seen Indian advertisers slowly warming up to advertising on vernacular language portals in India. As usage increases advertising would also grow faster, added Jain.
The firm has 1.5 million registered users of which 20-25 per cent log in around once or twice every week. Talking to the Hindustan Times, Jain said: “The resistance to advertising on vernacular websites is weakening. The industries that advertise most are travel, telecom and financial services.”
Jain explained that services offered to other websites and mobile phone content companies have been the mainstay of the business, often making up 70 per cent of its revenues, while advertising would add up to only 30 per cent.
Jain pointed out that since all online advertising is mainly paid on a pay-per-click basis advertisers who come in feel satisfied about what they were spending and the clicks that are generated.
Among the most important, and popular, content on its websites constitute an ABC for the Internet, Jain said. “A for astrology, B is for Bollywood and C is for cricket.”
He said that there was a huge amount content available in Hindi with more than 80 million pages, followed by Tamil.
“The other languages are also fast catching up. We are also trying to launch or web portals in other languages too,” Jain added. He ruled out seeking any investment in the company at the moment.