Currently debating the viability of something along the lines of Politico Pro in India. I first heard of this model back when PP started, and it looks like they’ve done great stuff with it since then.
The big challenge in India, from what I can see, would be getting subscribers to pony up prices that would support extremely close and high-quality coverage. I wonder how PP handled that equation in their initial days. Back then, they were catering to a niche audience of Hill staffers whose jobs depended on knowing the day’s headlines before they actually became headlines. This meant advance notice on votes, immediate reports on hearings, notes about shifts in opinion, etc. This is something that could really work in India, provided the content mix is good from the get-go and manages to effectively straddle the line between news and rumor.
In terms of competition, the wires aren’t really doing this, and newspapers tend to break big consumer stories and hold them for the front page (which means they operate on the equivalent of a tape-delay).
The trick would really be getting the news. It would take a dedicated corps of highly trusted staffers (trusted by those in power) who could write directly (or almost directly) onto the web – ie, extremely well-trained. Also, there could be some pay-for-performance component, in terms of getting exclusive stories.
The delivery medium would be mobile; Android and BB.