India’s Times Internet Launches Tablet App With Genwi

PJ Gurumohan, CEO of tablet publishing startup Genwi, likes to talk about creating unique experiences tablet, rather than just porting over an existing website. A good example of what he has in mind: Tweek, a new app that Genwi (pronounced “Gen Y”) has created with Times Internet Limited.

TIL is the Internet and mobile arm of Times Group, which publishes the Times of India. It already offers iPad apps for the Times of India and other publications, but with Tweek, TIL CEO Rishi Khiani says the company is trying to do something different — use “smart, interactive packaging” to reach a young, urban audience.

Now, when I think of a big media company creating a publication exclusively for tablets, I think of The Daily from News Corp — something that hasn’t exactly been a smash hit. But aside from embracing tablets, TIL’s approach is almost entirely different from News Corp’s expensive, subscription-based approach.

For one thing, it’s not sinking huge amounts of money into the project by hiring an entirely a new staff. Instead, it’s curating content that was already created for the Times Group’s online and offline publications, then laying it out for the tablet — sections include lifestyle, fitness, technology, travel, and shopping. On top of that content, it’s adding features like e-commerce and a playlist of the top Bollywood music.

The Tweek app is free, and Khiani says he’s sees big advertising opportunities on the tablet — particularly the fact that it’s a “captive experience” for display advertising, rather than a banner that readers can ignore if they want.

Khiani says TIL partnered with Genwi because it offered a fast, affordable way to build something optimized for tablets with unique, interactive features. And if the iPad version does well, TIL will actually launch a print version too.

The app is available internationally — including India, of course. Khiani says TIL properties draw 4.5 million unique monthly visitors from the US, so it was important to make this “a global application for anyone who wants to find out what’s happening.” You can download the Tweek app here.