Tamil daily Dinamalar has taken an e-paper avatar, almost 10 years after it went online. The e-paper, to which access is free at present, claims to have recorded 15,000 registrations within 10 days of its launch.
“The e-paper is something we have been contemplating for some time now. The response has been very good so far. We have received feedback from readers saying they wouldn’t mind paying to read the e-paper, even. As of now, nothing has been decided on to make it a paid access e-paper,” said R Rangarajan, Advertisement Manager, Dinamalar.
The registrations only reflect the number of people who have chosen to view enlarged versions of the individual stories or ads, and the total number of people reading the e-paper would be higher. The newspaper’s site claims hits of between 2.5 and 3 lakh per day. With the e-paper, there is no need to download Tamil fonts to read the news, and the feel of reading the print edition is recreated to a higher extent.
The response to the e-paper had ‘surprisingly’ been from all across, including Tamil Nadu, said Rangarajan. “People reading the e-paper are as many from the US and UK as from Madurai, Coimbatore and Chennai. We started with the main paper and are gradually incorporating the supplements now on the e-paper. We want to ensure that all the supplements and booklets which are available with the newspaper are made available to the e-paper readers also,” he added.
The publication is in the process of introducing ‘a lot of value additions’ to its website as well. A lot of thought and discussion had gone in to related aspects, Rangarajan explained, adding, “We are in the process of zeroing down on partners with whom to enter the e-commerce space. We will look at e-commerce on the site by December this year.”
While the set of advertisers for the paper’s website and the print edition are very different, the ads are reproduced as they appear in the print edition on the e-paper, at no extra cost. The spokesperson said that the publication will look into ‘various combinations’ before freezing on a structure for advertising on the e-paper.
That the publication is actively contemplating going pay with the online versions is apparent. “No time frame has been fixed, but we eventually we see the online version going pay,” said Rangarajan.
At present though, the focus is on stabilising the e-paper, which reaches out to Tamilians the world over at 5.30 am IST. Dinamalar claims to be the first Tamil newspaper from Tamil Nadu to have launched an e-paper.