HT Media Limited (BSE, NSE), headquartered in New Delhi, is one of India’s largest media companies, with 2006 annual revenues of $186 million. Its flagship newspapers, Hindustan Times and Hindustan, with a combined base of over 14.49 million readers, enjoy strong brand recognition among readers and advertisers alike. Through an exclusive agreement with The Wall Street Journal, the company’s national business newspaper, Mint, serves as the exclusive international syndicated arm of The Wall Street Journal in India, both in print and on the livemint.com site.
HT Media, through its integrated online offering livemint.com, seeks to offer visitors a news portal that provides the latest business news and updates while maintaining a high-quality web experience that its global audiences expect and demand. With visitors from around the world logging in to livemint.com for business-critical news and information, website performance and availability became potential challenges. Add to that the site’s growing popularity among the global business community, and the company also needed to address scalability concerns—all without impacting its budget. HT Media turned to Akamai’s Dynamic Site Accelerator solution to address these issues.
HT Media’s business news portal, Livemint.com, needed to meet three key requirements to support the company’s objectives:
To empower its visitors with the latest business news and updates, HT Media needed a dynamic site that would deliver financial information on-the-fly such as stock performance charts and graphs, news and more. What’s more, it needed to ensure that the dynamic nature of the site did not affect website performance and the end-user experience.
To prevent problems related to website availability and web performance—such as slow loading or unavailable pages HT Media turned to Akamai for assistance. The company chose Akamai over other offerings due to Akamai’s extensive experience delivering rich media content along with its range of trusted and proven solutions. “Site performance and availability are critical for any online media company to building a loyal audience who will return again and again,” explains Rashmi Chugh, Head Internet for HT Media Limited. “Our move toward a more dynamic site presented very different challenges for us and Akamai’s Dynamic Site Accelerator solution helped us solve those.”
Previously, the rich, dynamic and graphical nature of Livemint’s homepage, including its various financial applications, caused it to download at a very slow rate which affected the web experience. “Post-Akamai, story pages, the home page and multimedia are delivered dramatically faster, allowing users to quickly access Livemint content,” says Rashmi. Using Akamai’s Dynamic Site Accelerator solution, HT Media reduced page download times by 51% and accelerated web page delivery by 104%. Furthermore, Akamai enables the company to ensure 99.9% site availability.
Akamai’s Dynamic Site Accelerator solution leverages proprietary software that runs across Akamai’s globally distributed EdgePlatform. Dynamic Site Accelerator uses this software to find an optimal path to retrieve Internet content, regardless of whether it is dynamic or static in nature. It also optimizes Internet protocols and uses ‘pre-fetching’ to retrieve content before it is served, all of which result in dramatic performance enhancements.
“We have been able to support an 88% increase in web traffic and a four-fold increase in web traffic from search-related page views— without investing in additional infrastructure,” explains Rashmi.
A well-performing website is critical to maintaining a loyal online audience. For HT Media, this can translate into an increased reader base and an enhanced geographical reach—which in turn offers a much more attractive value proposition to online advertisers who provide valuable revenue streams. “We’ve seen Livemint’s global reach grow,” says Rashmi. “Akamai’s optimization and advanced content distribution technology allows users to quickly access Livemint from wherever they might be. This, in turn, has allowed us to reach online audiences regardless of geographical boundaries.”
Service quality management, one of the key challenges posed by the Internet, has a direct impact on customer satisfaction. Customers have high demands and expect impeccable website performance. Companies that can satisfy those expectations are often rewarded with more site traffic and page views, which has been the case with HT Media. “With Akamai in place, we have seen a 39% increase in web page hits and a 33% increase in page views.
About HT Media Limited HT Media Limited is one of India’s foremost media companies, and home to two leading newspapers in the country in English and Hindi languages—Hindustan Times (the flagship English daily) and Hindustan (Hindi daily). Hindustan Times was started in 1924 and it has an 80-year history as one of India’s leading newspapers. As part of its strategy to expand its national presence and diversify into newer mediums, company recently launched business daily “Mint” and FM radio channel “Fever 104”. HT Media Ltd. has a significant online presence with HindustanTimes.com & livemint.com and also publishes two Hindi magazines Nandan and Kadambini. The company has 17 printing facilities across the nation, with a total installed capacity of approximately 1.5 million copies per hour. For more information, visit www.htmedia.in.