The Hindi heartland is witness to an intensifying print battle. Bhopal has emerged as the latest battlefield for readership with NavDunia from NaiDunia Group, Patrika from Rajasthan Patrika, and now DB Star from Bhaskar launching in quick succession. Following the Bhopal launch, DB Star is eyeing an Indore launch. This would be followed by forays into markets like Amritsar, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Raipur, Bilaspur, Jaipur and Jodhpur.
DB Star is the fifth title from DB Corp, which calls it the ‘general entertainment channel’ of newspapers. The other brands from DB Corp include Dainik Bhaskar, Divya Bhaskar, DNA and the forthcoming Business Bhaskar.
Sanjeev Kotnala, AVP & National Head, Communication, DB Corp, explained, “Readers’ tastes are changing and their expanse along with the hunger for news itself is being accentuated. DB Star captures this latent unserviced need of a reader in Tier II towns. DB Star is a result of Bhaskar research and understanding of the changes that are taking place in the interests and reading habits of readers in Tier II towns. Its launch is part of Bhaskar’s plans to launch in urban cities.”
Denying that DB Star’s launch was in reaction to the launch of NavDunia and Patrika in the market, Kotnala maintained, “If it was a reaction, then it would have restricted itself to just Bhopal.”
Commenting on leverage operations with DB’s existing brands in Bhopal, he said, “The distribution for DB Star rides on the distribution strength of Dainik Bhaskar, but the edit team is totally different. Currently, DB Star is being given complimentary to Bhaskar readers, but would ultimately be a stand alone product.”
Kotnala further said that the content of DB Star was vastly different from Dainik Bhaskar. “It has aggressive, niche front page stories. The content tonality is different and has a youth focus. It has extended news coverage of happenings that may not be finding detailed coverage in Dainik Bhaskar. Research shows that after news, astrology section has a huge following, and hence, that section gets importance. The detailed Astro page covers the subject from all angles – numerology, colour sense, Zodiac signs, and so on. The paper also has a detailed listing of the happenings in and around the city. Music and entertainment also play a dominant part,” Kotnala added.
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