HT Next, from the Hindustan Times group, touted as India’s first youth newspaper targeted at the early to mid-teens audience, has undergone a revamp to make it more appealing to the target audience.
“The new, revamped HT Next is far more youthful and appealing to kids. With the relaunch, more copies of HT Next will now be available on stands,” said Anand Bhardwaj, VP, Marketing, HT Media Ltd.
HT Next has a unique subscription and distribution model. It is sent to schools where it is distributed among students who subscribe to it. Though the newsstand price is Rs 1.50, it is provided to students at Re 1 per copy. “The paper has a 2-2.5 lakh circulation in schools and 15,000 open market sales,” Bhardwaj claimed.
“There was always a vacuum for a newspaper catering to the 12 to 16-year-old students. That’s why we launched HT Next in May 2004. Youngsters in this age bracket are usually averse to reading newspapers as they don’t find them catering to their interests. So, we designed this newspaper which will have little coverage of politics and more of technology, academics, sports, games, fashion, etc,” Bhardwaj explained.
To publicise the revamped HT Next, a print and outdoor campaign with the theme ‘I am next.’ Has been launched. HT’s ad agency O&M has executed the creatives for the campaign.
When asked why advertisers should put their money in a product that targets an age group that has no buying power, Bhardwaj said, “Kids have grown as a strong age group that has considerable amount of decision-making power in a family. We will be making a strong pitch to the food majors like Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Bournvita and gizmo companies to advertise in HT Next.”
On why the paper is called a youth newspaper when its target audience is children, Vipul Mudgal, Editor, HT Next, who started the newspaper, said, “Children don’t like to be called kids. That’s why we have resisted from calling them kids. Youth, in this case, has been redefined for this particular age group and the content is also packaged accordingly.”
Besides Delhi, HT Next has an edition in Chandigarh. Other markets are being explored for launching HT Next.