The Indian Newspaper Kongress (INK) 2012, held on July 20 in New Delhi, put the spotlight on newspapers. Organised by exchange4media Group, the annual event aims to understand what the future holds for the newspaper industry, as stakeholders contemplated on how to bring about further growth for the medium. INK 2012 was presented by Dainik Jagran. Business Standard was the print partner.
Doing a reality check on the newspaper industry in India, Pawan Agarwal, Director, Dainik Bhaskar Group, highlighted some challenges and issues facing this industry.
The first challenge is that of finding the right talent across verticals. This is more critical in the case of editorial. Lack of the right talent can hamper the product offering.
Another issue of concern is that of subscription value. Agarwal said that circulation revenue in the country is quite low since titles are offered to readers at highly subsidised rates. This has adverse impact on the revenues of newspaper players.
In a changing and fragmented media scenario, retaining readers is a major challenge for print players. It is not about readers who merely glance through the publications, but retaining a loyal readership base, an effective readership.
He noted that new patterns in readership are emerging and there is need for print players to adapt content to the changing habits and needs of readers. This also means taking into consideration the emerging use of digital medium and making the titles available across all platforms accessed by readers.
Readers and advertisers form two major stakeholders for print players. Jain stressed on focussing on the interests of these stakeholders and maintaining a balance between the two.