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Bangalore-based Verse.in, a mobile platform for news magazines and vernacular e-books, is planning to bring ‘sachet marketing’ to books by introducing chapter-wise billing through its mobile app Dailyhunt.

‘Sachet marketing’ refers to a pay-per-chapter model. It provides users with bite-sized chunks of content to be consumed through the mobile screen.

Previously known as Newshunt, the company plans to introduce this feature to over 6000 books in the next few weeks. “Sachet pricing has been a great innovation in India. With medium of content consumption shifting, the way content is produced and presented also has to start changing for mobile,” said Virendra Gupta, founder & CEO of Verse.in.

The pay-per-chapter model comes after the company tied up with Tata Group’s Westland. The idea is to sell and deliver books directly into mobile phones at an affordable rate to 26% of mobile phone users in India who happen to be smartphone subscribers.

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There are two kinds of readers in India as of now: one those who love to read, but have no access to content and second there are the first-time readers who can develop a habit of reading with affordable content, one segment at a time. With the new ‘sachet marketing’ strategy, Dailyhunt hopes to create a new kind of readers.

The company hopes to take part in the new wave of high penetration of smartphones in India. While consumers find it convenient to listen to music and watch videos on their mobile screen, reading habits will take time to develop. Which is why, pushing for smaller portions of content at a time seems to be a logical way of moving forward, according to the company.

The Dailyhunt app has about 100 Mn downloads and 25 Mn monthly active users who read around 3 Bn pages on the platform. However, while segmenting non-fiction content is convenient, fiction still remains an untapped market.

Dailyhunt will launch the chapter-wise billing through author Amish Tripathi’s ‘The Shiva Trilogy’. Each chapter is priced at INR 15. Initially, the book will be launched in nine regional languages including Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and Gujarati, and will in the future, expand to 16 languages.

For payment, the company has partnered with mobile operators like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Aircel and Reliance. The payment can be processed through prepaid balance or on the mobile bill.


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