Indian Dailies

WSJ writes that the newspaper business is booming.

Propelled by a new generation of young consumers, widening literacy and a spurting economy, India’s print media are booming, even as newspapers and magazines in most developed countries struggle to maintain profits and compete with the Internet and television.

Indians have always been avid newspaper readers. The almost 300 dailies published here generally cost less than five rupees (11 cents) a copy. But the last few years have seen fast readership growth and unprecedented competition between established titles and upstarts eager to get in on the action.

Newspaper and magazine readership in 2005 hit 200 million across the country, an increase of 12% over 2003.

Microsoft’s Challenges

The Economist writes:

The business and regulatory challenges facing Microsoft are related, because the firm needs to be free to compete against rivals in nascent markets on the one hand, yet almost anything it does will invite antitrust concerns on the other. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer holds roughly 85% of the market, while the rival Firefox browser boasts 10-15%. But Microsoft lags behind in search. Worldwide, Google has around 50% market share, Yahoo 28% and Microsoft’s MSN 13%. The stakes are huge: online advertising in America, today estimated to be worth $12.5 billion, is expected to double by 2010.

At the same time, revenue is starting to emerge from new areas. So PC vendors are able to earn income from software firms for pre-installing their code on machines; web-browser firms can sell to search engines the right to be the default setting (or favour their own brand, as with Microsoft). This should be allowedit’s a free market, after all and Google, not Microsoft, is dominant.

TextPayMe

[via Payments News] John Cook writes:

Text Pay Me Chief Executive Philip Yuen…spent some time talking about how Text Pay Me is trying to compete against PayPal, the 800 pound gorilla that introduced its mobile payment technology in March.

“The way we see ourselves being different is being more open with users,” said Yuen, who declined to say when the service would officially go live. “We take the cue from our users… We have a better pulse of where our users want to be and we are going to use that to our advantage.”

By being nimble, Yuen said the 3-person company hopes to evaluate emerging business models and quickly implement them before the competition arrives. One of the ideas that has been discussed is a business that allows people to conduct mobile payments among friends for free, with a transaction charge occurring if a payment is sent outside that social network. He also said the company has been toying with the idea of subscriptions and possible partnerships with financial institutions.