Mid-Day Multimedia is well aware that the competitive landscape in the Mumbai market is changing. The organisation has geared up to take the challenge. A few steps that it has planned to combat the battle include joining forces with the Express Group on matters like selling and distribution. The group is looking at replicating the Mid-Day model in other metros as well. Also, it will ease out in sectors like Outdoor, which hasn't paid off for the media house.
Putting it in Managing Director of Mid Day Multimedia Tariq Ansari's words, in great threats, the organisation sees great opportunities. Addressing an analysts and media meet, he shares his plans for the year, which Mid-Day calls the 'Year for reckoning' and 'getting their act clean'.
The key points of the group's strategy include optimally utilising the tie-up with the Express Group. The two entities are launching a combined package for the advertisers next week. The papers in this package include Mid-Day, Loksatta, Indian Express and Gujarati Mid-Day. "This will give us in excess of two million readers and no advertiser can afford to ignore such an offering," said Ansari.
The game plan is simple - offer volumes and be in the advertising budget and hence this combo-deal. The nature of the rate card would be like the Mid-Day rate, which charges in tandem with the quantum of the specific TG that the paper delivers to various advertisers.
Also, this will allow Mid-Day and Express to draw more strength in their weaker advertising revenue sectors. Citing an example, Ansari said, "In tender advertising, Express takes almost 70 per cent of the market and Mid-Day has only over 2 per cent. We are strong in retail and they are not. So it is a win-win situation for both."
Ansari emphasised that the partnership with Express Group would be on various levels, which includes aspects like distribution and promotion as well.
Another area where Express would be of help to Mid-Day is in the media house's intention of venturing into the other metros as well. Given the fact that Express has print plants across the nation, the facility would assist Mid-Day in executing its own expansion plans in a cost effective manner. Ansari said that work has already begun for entering in the other metros the aim is to launch in this year itself.
While 'strategy '06' implies concentration on news media for Mid-Day, the other sectors where the paper is present will also see action. To begin with Mid-Day is taking the exit route for Outdoor. A 50:50 JV is being discussed with US based Clear Channel, with which the media house already has operational tie ups but beyond that Mid-Day is ending all contracts in the outdoor segment.
Ansari also voiced Mid-Day's interest in the television business, "More on the lines of news-based programmes." The intention however is of a low risk venture. In regards to its radio business, the strategy doesn't differ much from what it has always been, given government's execution of a revenue sharing structure, the media house will decide on its role in the segment.
There is a decent share of optimism on that front however and Ansari did express the intent to venture into other cities if this works out.
Details were also shared on the fourth quarter results, wherein Mid-Day registered a net loss of Rs 93 lacs, garnering a 28 per cent rise in net sales at Rs 9.7 crore over the previous year.