With an aim to take on the market leader The Times of India’s Ascent appointment supplement, three leading newspapers Hindustan Times, The Indian Express and Mid-Day, announced an alliance to provide advertisers a common platform to release their appointment ads with a greater reach at almost half the cost. The arrangement to be effective from the third week of March offers 66 per cent higher reach for Delhi and Mumbai markets and also claims that the quality of readership in every relevant demographic segment is also substantially better than Ascent.
The alliance between the three publications is meant to leverage on The Hindustan Times' overwhelming presence in the north, The Indian Express and Loksatta's reach in Mumbai and Pune, and Mid-Day's leadership in the day-time market in Mumbai and Pune. The three groups will now provide a common platform for advertisers to release their appointment advertisements.
Under this scheme, the three media groups have worked out packages for advertisers, depending on the markets they wish to advertise in. For instance, if a job/appointment advertiser opts for a package with advertisements in HT Careers, Delhi; Headstart (IE), Mumbai; and Mid-Day, Mumbai, simultaneously, the common tie-up rate offered is Rs 1,500 per cm per column. This is against stand-alone rates of Rs 1,020 for HT Careers (Delhi); Rs 900 for The Indian Express (Mumbai); and Rs 550 for Mid-Day (Mumbai).
To make an impact on the market, The Hindustan Times is relaunching its HTCareers segment as a comprehensive careers package with a mix of advertising and careers. Similarly, The Indian Express group is relaunching its appointments supplement, Headstart. The supplement, which is now being distributed with The Indian Express, Mumbai, will now be distributed along with group publications Loksatta and The Financial Express, Mumbai, also. Mid-Day too is strengthening its job supplement - The Big Break - which will now focus on youth readership.
Although not much was said about the revenue-sharing arrangement between the three media groups, it's clear that the alliance is meant to be mutually beneficial.