Content on the internet is usually considered as free. On the contrary, a whole magazine has to be purchased even when we need to read a single article. The misconception that content on internet is free and no one wants to pay for it has to be changed. Patterbuzz is here to do that.
Amit Goel is the founder of Patterbuzz. He worked as an intrapreneur in NDS (now acquired by Cisco) before starting Patterbuzz. There he worked to create innovative concepts for pay television industry. Back in 1999, after finishing college Amit launched a website named devidarshan.com (now defunct). The websites enabled devotees to make donations to the holy shrines of goddess Durga in north India.
About Patterbuzz and the story behind
Patterbuzz is a content discovery platform that enables the consumer to access unbundled premium content. Through Patterbuzz, the consumer can read articles in a rich and interactive way. There are 70,000+ magazines in India but only a few of them are able to reach consumers on their devices. Consumers no more prefer bundled content. Patterbuzz enables them to pay for the specific article which they want to read.
By downloading the Patterbuzz app on Ipad, customers will have access to its channels. Along with the free content, users may choose to read premium articles by paying for them right away. Patterbuzz provides an option of purchasing credits which can be used to access premium articles. Extra credits can be earned by liking and sharing an article. As an intrapreneur for NDS, Amit Goel (founder) tried to study consumer behavior towards content consumption on Television. At a Startup event, he heard people talk about how paid content consumption by users is no longer a viable option. But, he believed that people don’t pay because no one asks them too. This lured him to create Patterbuzz.
Journey so far and Marketing
The application was launched on 25 March 2014. So far, 35 magazines are registered with 120+ issues and 3000+ articles. Patterbuzz has collaborated with 20 Publishing houses and is growing rapidly. As for marketing, Amit explains, ” One of the best things which worked in our favor is our SEO. We have put out our whole content catalogue on our website in an organized manner. And people discover us when they are searching on the internet for some related content. For example: we have got people searching terms like ‘volvo bus market india’ and ‘latest on akrama sakrama’ etc. This is due to the fact that all the related premium content can be previewed on our website.” The startup effectively uses LinkedIn Groups to reach out to publishers.
Plans to earn money, First 5 magazine sign-ups and Competition
Patterbuzz works on a revenue sharing basis with the publishers. It charges a small share on every transaction that takes place. It was quite easy for the Startup to convince publishers. The startup closely works with publishers and helps them in all aspects of publishing value chain.
As for competition, Amit says, “We classify our competitors in two categories: either they are news aggregators or they and PDF retailers. We acknowledged the fact that people like to read in a rich, enhanced and interactive way rather than reading PDFs. We work only with premium content separating it from the news and noise. We have taken the approach to unbundle the premium content which is not available today on any platform and let the user pay only for what they wish to consume and also, making it available in device screen friendly formats.”
Can iTunes make Patterbuzz redundant by launching single article payment and reading, we ask Amit. “Patterbuzz might look like just a mobile app to users but there is a significant backend content system is put in place. Publishers use our backend systems to enable single articles. Also, Patterbuzz not only allows the sale but enables the reading experience and will be available across all devices. iTunes is a system specifically designed for music industry and if apple wishes to enter the publishing segment, either they will need to build a system like ours or they’ll need to buy a company like ours. In fact, we believe that even if any other company like Magzter or flipboard wants to do single article sale, they will have to solve the challenge of unbundling content which we have solved effectively.”, he explains.
Challenges faced, funding and future plans
Every single day is challenging for an Entrepreneur. Amit believes that building human relations immensely help businesses in long run. He maintains good relations with clients by helping them in technology related issues. “My only suggestion to fellow entrepreneurs is on the same line. Get out of your chair even if you are in technology business. Help people showing a genuine concern without expecting anything in return. Believe me, a good human relationship pays back in some way or the other.”, says Amit.
Patterbuzz is funded by Angel Investors. In the initial days, Amit was able to convince one of his managers from the previous job to be his investor and mentor. As for future plans, Amit explains, ” With in next few weeks, we’ll enable the purchase of single article on our website. We are about to close our discussions with potential payment gateway partners for micro-payments. Once launched, This will enable people to pay for a single article using SMS. Our Windows app family with be released very soon , in a couple of months or so. In a similar timeframe, our iPhone app will also be released.”
The idea of Patterbuzz sounds refreshing and unique. So far, it has received a very good traction with 35 magazines on board. Already backed with good funding and leadership, Patterbuzz would be a startup to watch out for in the coming days. A lot will depend on the most popular magazines coming on board with unbundled content. We wish Amit & team the very best!