The print market was under pressure last year, with the magazine industry witnessing closure of some of the international and national titles. In such a scenario, print players are increasingly banking on the subscription model.
In the last few months, some of the leading magazines such as India Today, Outlook, and so on, have increased their cover prices in order to match the market dynamics. However, experts suggest that 2014 will be a trendsetter year to consolidate the subscription base model for the print industry.
Talking to exchange4media about the recent increase of cover prices by magazines, Anant Nath, Director, Delhi Press said, “I think we are trying to ensure a definite balance between advertising and subscription. We think readers should pay what are they getting, they should not consume the magazine for free of cost; it will also allow them to respect the magazine. It also signifies the quality and quantity of readers.”
He further said, “Increasing the cover price will be an important step to a more robust subscription model. In the years to come, we will enhance this fundamentally and economically.”
Commenting on the price hike, Ashish Bagga, Group CEO, India Today Group said, “The presence of very loyal readers on our brands and an increase in input costs makes it logical to boost up the subscription side of revenues. Loyalists are not very affected by minor changes in price and we believe most of our brands enjoy absolute leadership, given the quality that a discerning reader has always appreciated.”
The magazine owners are also upset with the distribution platform, and believe that paid subscription revenue is one of the trends that the industry is looking forward to this year.
Expressing his views, Manas Mohan, COO, ACK Media, and Publishing Director, National Geographic Traveller India said, “Let me say that many magazines have tried increasing prices. The fact is most magazines make huge circulation losses by selling at a price that doesn’t even cover the cost of printing. Of course, exceptions exist. So, any price increase attempted by a magazine will bridge the gap between cost of publishing and revenue from product sales and reduce the burden on ad sales.”