India Today, India’s largest magazine publisher is not going to spend any more money on digital media, they are not getting the returns they want. You can make money from content, but you have to keep your overheads really low. Most big Indian media companies have plush offices and highly paid employees( very important for “status” in India), with those expenses, it is very difficult to be profitable online with content websites.
The other thing the publisher has correctly pointed out (which you will rarely see mentioned in India’s digital media) is that Google has a monopoly and often uses the information available to destroy /damage any potential competitor. I have personally experienced it and at least two of the ad networks I work with have specifically confirmed it. When the demand for advertising space exceeds supply, Google is happy to have content publishers, but now when the supply exceeds demand, Google shows PSAs on content websites who use Adsense so that the advertisers spend their entire budget on advertising directly on Google’s own properties.
Smaller Indian content websites can make money online, but few have the imagination, motivation or exposure to really grow big, compete with companies worldwide and beat them. They are too worried about others stealing their ideas. Compared to a decade ago, people in their twenties have a lot of distractions and often do not focus or reinvest enough into their business.
From my personal experience, when you are very small, the damage the big companies can do is more. Once you learn to out maneuver them and are more careful, at least some of them will stop wasting their money and leave you alone. Others will continue their attempts to damage your business, but just treat it like a game of chess, a form of entertainment. Lets see who has the last laugh.