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Deccan Herald launches e-paper; news via SMS to be made available soon

16-December-2005
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Deccan Herald launches e-paper; news via SMS to be made available soon

Deccan Herald has taken the e-paper route after recently effecting changes in the size of its print version. Sister publications, daily ‘Prajavani’ and magazines ‘Sudha’ and ‘Mayura’, are also expected to take an e-avatar soon. Currently, there is no charge to access Deccan Herald’s e-paper.

K N Shanth Kumar, Editor, Deccan Herald and Prajavani, said, “We see a value proposition in the offering. For now, the e-paper is being offered free, and we don’t see it going pay immediately. We are going by others’ experiences of having reverted to the free format after experimenting with the pay model. Hopefully, at some point it will become pay.”

“It would be difficult to predict when the e-paper concept can be taken forward as pay. It has to happen sometime, because people have invested in the same and need to get the returns,” he added.

The website of the publication is also seeing some action, and a tie-up with Fab Mall for e-shopping took shape recently. The publication is looking at delivering news content through several modes, which include mobile phones and palmtops.

At present, the hits on the website are mostly from outside the country, especially the US. Of the over 900,000 hits, 34 per cent are from the US, while only 14 per cent are from India.

The other publications from the group, including Kannada daily Prajavani, will also see the launch of e-publications soon. And the group expects a good response to Prajavani’s e-paper version too.

“I think the response to Prajavani, too, will be good. There is a large audience that wants to read Kannada across the globe. And every paper is unique in some way, and we believe we have our own strengths,” asserted Shanth Kumar.

While news via SMS is expected to happen in some time, the publication also believes that there is a possibility of advertising on the e-paper to take off as well. However, no time line has set been set for this so far.

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