From a post written a year ago:
The Internet portals business is about three things:
- Reach: the raw numbers for a basic free service (on desktop and mobile web)
- Ads: how can we monetise the free services attention via ads
- More: how the free user can be monetised either through premium products (subscriptions) or via transactions (commerce)
On the Internet, portals have mostly focused only on 1 and 2. By itself, just web ad revenue is not good enough to cover the costs or to scale operations. This limits the portals capability to scale. The challenge in India is to also think about how to build 3.