Deccan Herald, from The Printers (Mysore), has registered a growth of 17,987 copies, to reach a circulation of 172,914 (ABC; July-December 2005). This helps Deccan Herald retain its No. 2 position in Karnataka among English dailies, still ahead of Vijay Times, which registered a circulation of 160,962 copies in the same period.
Speaking to exchange4media, D B Dutta, VP-Marketing and Circulation, The Printers (Mysore), said, “I think the reason for growth is the huge influx of people into Bangalore. And this influx includes all kinds of people – from students to middle management to the top management. There is a growing demand for news content, and we see that the growth is more in urban centres like Bangalore, Mangalore and Mysore.”
The market has seen a boom, with The Times of India growing to a circulation of 377,157 copies (July-December 2005; ABC), up from 344,834 in the previous six-month period. Vijay Times, too, had climbed from 132,265 copies in January-June 2005 to 160,962 copies.
Deccan Herald’s July to December figures have been steady through the period, from 179,866 in July to 170,812 in December. In comparison, Vijay Times’ circulation stood at 136,243 in July, and rose to a high of 196,750 in December 2005, according to the ABC. The pricing of Vijay Times (Rs 1.50) is admittedly an advantage (See ‘Vijay Times confident of breaking even this year; inches closer to No. 2 in Karnataka’).
Said Dutta, “There is a segment of readers for whom the pricing may be a factor. But we see that even at our price, there is steady growth. And with the influx into Bangalore being from across segments, we will see further growth.”
The competition in the English daily space in Bangalore is bound to get intense, with Mid Day reportedly gearing up for launch, and Deccan Chronicle, too, eyeing the Bangalore market.
Meanwhile, conscious efforts have been undertaken to fight the summer drop this year, and Deccan Herald is confident of bucking the trend. The publishers have also launched the sixth print edition of Deccan Herald, and Kannada daily Prajavani, in Mysore. Two more editions are on the cards in the current financial year.
The launch was accompanied by a lot of activities around the brand, not a norm for The Printers (Mysore). Mysore, Mysore rural, and Chamraj Nagar areas that were previously catered to from Bangalore, will now be addressed by the Mysore editions. The initial print run in Mysore is set at 9,000 copies for Deccan Herald, and 25,000 copies for Prajavani.
On the day of the launch, April 30, 2006, the publishers had organised roadshows, with processions by cultural troupes (Dollu Kunita) across Mysore. This was followed by a motorcycle rally on May 2, and a bicycle rally on May 3. Hoardings and banners were also used to the hilt, while the publications reached out to Mysore with a four-page ‘multi-colour power jacket’ that included rare photographs, stories and snippets on the history and culture of Mysore. Along with the Mysore edition, the issue also had a 16-page special feature in both Deccan Herald and Prajavani, covering several aspects on Mysore – a ‘collector’s item’.
Over the next few days, extensive cultural and outdoor activities have been lined up to keep the citizens of Mysore entertained, and to create a sense of bonding with the publication.
Vijay Times confident of breaking even this year; inches closer to No. 2 in Karnataka