India’s government is planning to put out a feed to all the RSS subscribers and readers in the country, including those who are on its ‘network search’ service.
The move would help India’s top news website, The Times Of India, expand its audience beyond the country’s vast, mostly rural audience.
India has more than 2.3 billion subscribers to the countrys leading news portal, which means the government is hoping to reach about 1.8 billion people by the end of this year, according to the Times Of Indian.
The government has been working on expanding its reach to the ‘network’ in order to boost its subscriber numbers and reach beyond its own borders.
India is a very digital nation, and its network search function has become an important part of this growth strategy.
The government wants to provide RSS readers in other parts of the country with a feed.
According to a government document obtained by Reuters, the feed would provide RSS subscribers with an option to access RSS content from other sources such as Facebook, Google Plus and WhatsApp, along with a link to RSS feeds for specific communities and languages.
The document also suggests a subscription to the RSS network could increase the number of RSS readers by 1 million to 1.9 million, or 5 percent, by the year’s end.
The Times Of India has an RSS reader, but the feed will not be available to subscribers in the next few weeks, a person familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.
The Times is a major English language daily newspaper owned by the Indian government.
The person said that a subscription of around $40 would cover the cost of the feed.
Reuters reported that the government’s plans to expand its network to include RSS subscribers could have far-reaching implications for how the country develops its media sector.
While the government has already taken steps to create a digital network, the network is meant to serve as a way to expand the governments media outreach, said Anirban Bhatia, a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research.
In the long term, he said, the government may want to expand this approach.
“India is facing the challenge of reaching a new and larger audience in terms of readership,” he said.
“It will need to take more steps to build up its digital footprint to achieve this.”