Business publications – from dailies to periodicals – have been witnessing increasing interest. The genre has seen growth over the years and advertisers see this it as a strong platform. exchange4media finds out from industry experts how hot a property business publications really are…
Speaking on the growth of business publications and the growing interest amongst the readers, Sandeep Lakhina, COO, Starcom Worldwide, said, “I think there is a growing curiosity in a large segment of people for business news and what is happening around it. There is a lot more awareness and a lot more interest. I don’t think it is a replacement to the mainstream newspapers, but it is additional information that people yearn for. Nobody will stop reading the regular newspaper which is their habit, but they also want to read what is happening in the stock market and on the business front. More and more people are getting into the work force, they are getting educated now and they want to be aware. That is why you are seeing growth in this area.”
According to the IRS 2010 Q2 results, Economic Times was the most read business daily, followed by Mint and Business Standard. Businessworld was the most read weekly, whereas Business Today was the most read fortnightly. According to the IRS 2010 Q2 figures, four out of the top 10 dailies in Mumbai were business publications, whereas in Delhi, as many as five out of the top 10 dailies were business publications.
In the IRS 2010 Q1 data, three out of the five business dailies had shown a positive growth in readership. The Economic Times was at the No. 1 spot and had seen an increase of 0.40 per cent. Placed at the second spot was Mint, which showed a minimal decline of 0.63 per cent in AIR. Magazine as a genre has seen decline (or at least that is what the perception is), but in IRS 2010 Q1, only two out of the six English business magazines had seen decline.
According to IRS 2009 R2 data, three out of the top five magazines had shown positive growth in readership. In magazines, only two out of the top five magazines showed a positive growth.
Some see-saw too
In the year 2008, a general decline trend was seen. While Economic Times and Mint had shown positive growth, most publications faltered. The story in Round 1 was no different and was grim to say the least, as majority of the publications, including those from the big publication houses, saw a decline trend.
While the fate of business publications has been swaying to and fro over the past few years, slowly and steadily business newspapers have carved a niche for themselves. One can clearly see that the performance of business publications has improved, however minimal, since 2008. Most importantly, business magazines and newspapers were hot property amongst advertisers. Today, high end business magazines like Forbes and Fortune, too, are available in the Indian market, which are coveted platforms for several advertisers.
Changing face of business readership
Bhavna Jha, Associate Vice President, TME, said, “Typically, we associate strong business readership in Delhi, Mumbai and Gujarat. Business publications are definitely very strong in these sectors, but that shouldn’t deter the newspapers from doing well in the mini-metros too. The television viewership of business channels have gone up in mini-metros. I see no reason why the newspapers can’t do well and leverage their product in the semi-urban regions. From an advertiser’s point of view, business publications are an ideal platform to reach a specific target audience. Business newspapers are ideal for advertising in areas such as corporate, financial, automobile, etc.”
Even as Economic Times leads the pack of business dailies, the success story is that of Mint. Launched in February 2007, Mint has seen noticeable growth in this industry. According to the industry, Mint has made business news accessible to the common man and is packaged in a user-friendly way.
Surbhi C Murthy, GM, Branch Head Delhi, Allied Media, noted, “It is true that people are getting more and more interested in business news these days. Therefore, we see an increase in numbers and in market share of the business publications. One of the main reasons for this is that our economy is back on track and the Sensex is booming. People want to know more about the economy, business and growth prospects. Mint has had a strong role to play in this development. It has made business news easier to understand and user friendly. Also, advertisers find business publications to be a great platform to advertise.”
Speaking on how attractive the genre is for the advertisers, Lakhina said, “I think the advertisers look at readers of business publication of a certain kind and they are certainly interested in them because they influence a certain kind of category, they buy a certain kind of category, they consume a certain kind of category. So, there is not a single kind of TG reading it – it’s a combination. So, in the media mix, the business genre is an important ingredient for a certain category.”
Business publications as a genre certainly shows promise when literacy levels in India is constantly increasing and the common man is becoming aware about what is happening in the business domain. For the advertisers, the business genre seems promising with a focused TG.