The current slowdown in the economy is forcing print players to take various measures to rationalise costs such as increasing the cover prices and reducing the number of pages, and sometimes drastic steps such as closing down magazines.
Delhi Press is one such publisher that has decided to increase the cover price of all its magazines by 15-20 per cent. The new cover price will come into effect from October onwards. It may be noted that Delhi Press publishes 36 magazines in 10 languages, including ‘Caravan’, ‘Woman’s Era’, ‘Grihshobha’, ‘Champak’, and ‘Saras Salil’, among others.
Speaking to exchange4media, Anant Nath, Director, Delhi Press said, “We are increasing the cover price of our magazines over the next three months.” He further said that the cover price of automobile magazine ‘Business Motoring’, which the group acquired recently, will remain unchanged for now since it is “fairly high and the cost production gives some part of margin in profit”. “We may revisit the cover price after three months,” he added.
On the reason behind this decision, Nath explained, “Newsprint costs have gone up almost by 20-25 per cent in the last six months and it constitutes of 30-35 per cent of any print media’s cost calculations. This led to a direct increase in the overall production cost by 10 per cent, whereas revenue hasn’t increased at all; it is stagnant.”
Nath admitted that increasing the cover price will affect the readership and might chip away some readers initially, but “it’s an urgent call and there is no other way out”. “We have to manage our house and produce magazines profitably, rather than for the sake of keeping the numbers high,” he added.
He further said, “There is no media house that will escape the slowdown in the advertising side; it’s just how you manage things. We need to keep our costs under control, make sure there is no unwanted expenditure and that employment strength doesn’t put a strain on the organisation.”