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Davos 2020: We Are Surgical On India Expansion Plans, Says Verizon Media’s Gowrappan

Verizon Media has been taking a calculated move on expanding its presence in India as it tries to emulate the success of fantasy sports and its Makers platform in the country, according to its Chief Executive Officer Guru Gowrappan.

“We have been surgical in a way in India and not going there and do 20 products at a time,” Gowrappan told BloombergQuint on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum 2020 in Davos, Switzerland. “We know cricket does really well and we are trying to apply our fantasy sports product [to cricket].”

Last October, Verizon launched an Indian version of Makers—a digital platform that hosts short videos and articles on women empowerment. “We play a big role in influencing society in the right way and Makers is a brand that came out of that,” he said.

‘Business Model Is Transitioning’

Going forward, the U.S.-based media conglomerate plans to split its overall revenue stream into three equal streams—advertisements, subscriptions and transactions. The company, which has its own ad platform, launched a premium subscription service for its TechCrunch and HuffPost news websites. It also launched betting through its Yahoo Sports platform.

“It is not that advertising stream is going to decline but the key is model is changing and transforming. Ads is a massive market but it will still be core part of it but the idea is growing the other two [subscription and transaction models] as well. “-Guru Gowrappan, Chief Executive Officer, Verizon Media

In November, the company announced plans to let U.S. customers make wagers on the Yahoo Sports app using BetMGM, an online-gambling platform. The companies were also working on live events and other experiences for fans.

Verizon Media also plans to be a part of the value chain the provides both content and media services and the 5G services to enable its usage. “We are powering sports stadiums [in the U.S.] and the next layer is to bring in betting and real-time content that gets integrated.”―Bloomberg Quint

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