The Hindu may revise upwards their ad rates this May 2017 as well. “The advertisement card rates went through a change in the last fiscal, and it will happen this fiscal as well,” Shankar Subramaniam V, Head Advertising - South Accounts and Business Head – The Hindu Tamil said while talking to exchange4media.
“Last fiscal, the new rates came into effect from May 1, 2016,” he added. During the previous financial year, advertisers had witnessed an increase in the ad rates of The Hindu during the month of May 2016.
When asked about the estimated percentage increase of the ad rates this year, Subramaniam said, “The increase in rates will vary depending on the editions/markets. In dominant markets, the increase will further vary with platforms – The Hindu main edition, Metro Plus, Property Plus, etc. Growth in circulation will also be a key determinant. Overall increase is likely to be in the same bracket as the last fiscal – 5 to 10%.”
While speaking about the rationale behind this change, Subramaniam said, “In addition to the increase in circulation numbers of a few editions of the Group publications, the rationale was mainly the rise in input costs. Almost over 90% of our publications are printed using imported news print. The price of this news print increased globally, and adding to that, were fluctuations in the dollar-exchange value. Against this backdrop, the paper mills producing re-cycled paper began to close down. This also meant that there would be an impact on the price of procurement, going forward.”
“Any increase in rate is met with initial resistance from clients/agencies. The onus is on us to explain to our business associates the reasons for the increase in rates, and ensure that the inflation is appreciated and acknowledged, either as a whole, or in parts. The negotiated settlement is determined by the volume of business that clients have placed with us, and their potential business in the months ahead. Transactions continue even while negotiations are run in parallel,” said Subramiam, when asked about the resistance of the advertisers after the revision of ad rates.
Major print players in the south do not seem to be entirely following in the footsteps of national market leaders or other newspapers in the north. Newspapers in various languages have devised differing approaches as far as their ad rates are concerned. Exchange4media team spoke to some of the other major publications in the South, out of which Mathrubhumi, The Hindu and Sakshi readily responded with the details. Whereas Karnataka daily, Vijay Karnataka, did not want to respond to the questions asked.
Mathrubhumi has also revised their ad rates this fiscal. It has increased its ad rates effective from April 1, 2017. When asked about the reason behind the increase in ad rates in Mathrubhumi, Kamal Krishnan, National Head – Media Solutions (Print) said, “It has been our constant endeavour to enhance reader experience with comprehensive coverage, incremental local news and pioneering campaigns against proliferating social evils, all of which requires quality manpower. In addition, we have been consistently and heavily investing in cutting edge printing technology, mail room and online systems to deliver value for money to our advertisers on par with industry leaders.”
While the advertisers and clients of Mathrubhumi were understanding and helped in accommodating the increase in the ad rates, The Hindu faced a slightly different reaction from its advertisers. “We experienced an initial resistance from the advertisers. It required us to explain the rationale to them so they could buy in. Of course, the entire inflation could not be borne by the advertisers, and therefore, we have had to shift focus to our readers as well, through cover price moderation” added Krishnan.
Sakshi, the only newspaper down south out of the ones who participated, which did not hike its ad rates, said that it did not do so after looking into the prevailing market conditions. While talking about the reason behind not revising the ad rates, KRP Reddy, Director - Advertisement and Marketing at Sakshi said, “There has been a severe setback in the retail market industry, mainly due to demonetization. Hence, it is felt that the market is not ready to absorb any further increase of rates at the moment.”