News You Can Use
    Category: E-Gang By : Ulisari Eslita Read : 4305 Date : Monday, February 17, 2014 - 01:09:52


    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    Indonesia's biggest entertainment news site, KapanLagi.com, had a modest start and came close to bankruptcy in its early days. Steve Christian, now chief executive, co-founded the site with his partner Eka Wiharto in 2002 in Malang, with an investment of Rp 2 billion. The original idea was to create content for mobile devices. For three years, KapanLagi offered news, ringtones and wallpaper. Unfortunately, competition at that time was fierce. KapanLagi had to compete against larger portals such as Detik.com and Kompas.com. Eka and Steve considered declaring bankruptcy at one point as the company was bleeding money.

    So Steve and Eka decided to reposition KapanLagi to specialize in entertainment news. “In order to make us more competitive, in 2005 we decided to transform KapanLagi into an entertainment news portal,” says Steve, now 40. In a niche with no competitors, KapanLagi took off, and became profitable by selling online content by 2007. The next year, it started selling music online from 14 major labels in the country, such as Warner, EMI and Universal. 

    Now KapanLagi has 3.3 million unique visitors as of November 2013. It creates 20,000 new items of content per month (videos, photos, articles) across its five brands. With 320 staff, KapanLagi is going strong. KapanLagi is the third most visited site and the most read entertainment news site in the country, according to Internet research firm Comscore. KapanLagi's channel is the fourth-most watched channel on YouTube Indonesia. It is no surprise that Yahoo was said to have looked seriously at acquiring KapanLagi in 2009 and continues to have the site supply content to its entertainment site, Yahoo OMG.

    About 70% of KapanLagi's revenue comes from online ads, while the rest from sources such as sponsored content. KapanLagi's content, such as creative writing, videos and newsletters are sold to corporate clients. KapanLagi's strategy for successful expansion is to carefully analyze user behavior. “Our visitors stay between 20-25 minutes per each visit. So we decided to offer other vertical news in order to make them stay longer,” says Steve. So, in 2009, KapanLagi set up kapanlagi.com/bola, later splitting it off into the separate site Bola.net. A year later, KapanLagi changed a related site, mobil.kapanlagi.com, into Otosia.com, which works with 1,000 auto dealers in 18 cities.

    At KapanLagi, most traffic comes from an equal mix of male and female users who are younger than 30 years old. In order to attract more female visitors, in 2011 the duo converted another related site, woman.kapanlagi.com, into Vemale.com, where visitors are offered content such as beauty tips, recipes and relationship advice.

    Then Steve had one of his biggest brainstorms: to take KapanLagi back to its roots as a general news site. After a major investment by Sugiono Wiyono from the Trikomsel group in 2011, KapanLagi launched Merdeka.com. Within 12 months of its launch, Merdeka.com had phenomenal growth to become the sixth most- read news site in the country with 2.1 million unique visitors last November, according to Comscore. That traffic means Merdeka.com is ahead of older and more-established sites from Tempo and Antara.



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