The Outlook Group has signed an agreement with ‘Newsweek’ to bring the facsimile edition of the US based magazine to India. The group will handle the advertising, marketing and distribution of ‘Newsweek’ in India. The first issue of the magazine will hit the stands on April 3, 2006.
Interestingly, the magazine will be printed in Singapore and will be shipped to India. By not printing the foreign news magazine in India, the Outlook group will bypass the government norms, which do not allow local advertisements in facsimile editions of foreign news publications.
“By printing it in Singapore, we are confident to attract lumpsum local advertisements so that we can subsidise the cover price of the magazine and keep it at par with local magazines,” said Maheswer Peri, President and Publisher, Outlook Group.
Speaking about the agreement and choice of ‘Newsweek’ magazine, Peri added, “We will have much broader control over the matters of the magazine than any other Indian publisher publishing foreign magazines. We have the power to decide the pricing of the advertisements, pricing of the magazine and providing advertisements to the parent ‘Newsweek’ magazine from this region as well.”
“The agreement also provides for the possibility of Outlook licensing Newsweek when the government gives its permission to this effect,” he further said.
When asked about the pricing of the magazine, without committing anything, Peri said that it would be at par with the Indian magazines. But industry sources put the price at Rs 25.
Peri is hopeful that they would beat all competition in the foreign news magazine space in India. “We will beat all our competition in this space in India. We will double the subscription of the magazine within a year’s time,” he asserted. At present, the magazine has a subscription of around 13,000 in India.
Meanwhile, Outlook has also declared its plans to launch a business magazine as well as bringing international women’s magazine ‘Marie Claire’ to India. “The fortnightly magazine will be named ‘Outlook Business’. It will be available from April 15, 2006 and would be priced competitively with other magazines in the same genre.” Previously, Outlook had plans to price the magazine at Rs 50.
He also confirmed that ‘Marie Claire’ would be launched in June this year.
Speaking on the strategy of the group while going for the international magazines, Peri said, “We will do everything necessary to become a big magazine brand in the true sense. We are also looking at a couple of other opportunities in this direction. By March 2007, we must have at least 10 magazines in our kitty.”
At present, Outlook is publishing five magazines – ‘Outlook’, ‘Outlook Money’, ‘Outlook Traveller’, ‘Outlook Saptahik’ and ‘City Limits’.