‘India Today’, the flagship weekly magazine from Living Media India Ltd, is increasing the cover price of its English edition from Rs 15 to Rs 20, effective from the September 16 issue. The price of its Hindi edition will remain at Rs 12 per copy.
When contacted Ashish Bagga, Executive Director and Publishing Director, India Today Group, confirmed the news saying that the increased input and production costs had forced the magazine to raise its price.
“We have kept the price at Rs 15 for more than three years. The publishing costs have gone up significantly, hence, the price hike is timely,” he added.
When asked about the low prices of its competitors like ‘The Week’ at Rs 10, ‘Outlook’ at Rs 15 and ‘Frontline’ at Rs 15, Bagga said, “We don’t compare ourselves with any other magazines. We are completely on a different league. Our competitors are very small in circulation as well as readership as compared to us.”
Recently, India Today had came out with a print campaign “Ahead of the Times”, claiming that its combined readership of Hindi and English editions had outnumbered the readership of The Times of India and Navbharat Times together.
When queried as to how it would convince the reader to buy a weekly magazine at Rs 20 per copy, Bagga said, “We don’t produce a magazine with a bunch of information, rather we produce a unique experience every week. We have faith in the content that we are producing with an eye for constant innovation. We are also doling our special supplements like Simply Delhi, Spice and Money Today and more such line-extensions are in the pipeline. Hence, we are convinced that the content will be worth the price.”
On whether the group was exploring new markets through the fresh supplements with India Today, Bagga said, “The possibility is always there, but for now they will be distributed free of cost with India Today.”
When contacted, officials of Outlook magazine declined to comment on whether they had similar plans to raise the price of the magazine.
Living Media India Ltd started publishing ‘India Today’ as a fortnightly in December 1975. Already a market leader in its category, its Hindi edition started in 1986 and topped the magazine section in terms of readership, surpassing last year’s leader ‘Saras Salil’, according to NRS 2005.