An English monthly covering the film industries in the four southern states is set to launch in the Bangalore and Chennai markets during Dussehra this year. The promoter, SMS Impact Media, which is into events and PR, is also confident of entering the Hyderabad, Trivandrum and Cochin markets soon.
“It will be a premium magazine that can be read by the masses also. It is intended for the multiplex audiences as well as the cinema loving masses, and we feel the time is right for such a product offering quality content and not just filmi gossip,” said Prathibha, who runs SMS Impact Media.
The concept of a pan-South magazine would go well with stars transcending languages, and an evolving and intelligent audience, felt the young entrepreneur. Working towards the launch, the company is currently focusing its energies on setting up an editorial and marketing network in Bangalore and Chennai. The magazine will be priced at Rs 25 per copy.
An initial print run of around 10,000 copies is being planned for the November issue, which will go on stands in Chennai and Bangalore. From December, the count is expected to go up further, with Hyderabad, Cochin and Trivandrum joining the target market list.
“Down the line, we are looking at establishing a market presence in Delhi and Mumbai also. But the content would be purely South Indian. Even for crossover films, we’d like to focus on films that are made by South Indian film makers,” added Prathibha.
Prathibha, a former Worldspace RJ and TMG Channel’s Corporate Communications head, attributed the publication to the need for a magazine in the slot. At present, there are no English periodicals on cinema dedicated to South India. She further said that there would be no content on Hollywood or Bollywood in the new magazine.
A team of six people is embarking on the project, and this number is slated to rise with new additions coming on board. The attempt is to create a ‘fresh’ team. “We’re not looking at established people who will come in with mindsets. The team is growing, and by March 2006 we hope to have 25 hands on board in the South alone,” said Prathibha.
A series of promotions across malls, multiplexes and popular ‘hangout’ places are on the cards. The publication house has a distribution tie-up in place for Chennai and Bangalore, and is working on the other cities as well.
It is not the movie bug alone that has bitten SMS Impact Media, more magazines are on the anvil. The movie magazine, the name of which was not disclosed (pending RNI clarification), will be the first from the company that was set up in April 2005. The events and PR activities will continue as a separate division.