The Indian Newspaper Kongress (INK) 2012, held on July 20 at 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.
DD Purkayastha, MD and CEO, ABP Group does not believe in all those doomsday predictions regarding print as he believes there is still room for growth. According to him, evolution of technology and consumer behaviour has resulted in two different outcomes so far for the print industry globally – while the industry has seen a steady fall in the West (the US, UK), it has remained fairly resilient in the Asian markets.
The characteristics of the South-East Asian markets that aid growth in print industry are the young population, with about 45-55 per cent of the population is in the 15-44 age group, a high mobile penetration of 95 per cent and high internet penetration – 800-1000 (per thousand) in Malaysia, Singapore and 300-400 (per thousand) in Vietnam, Thailand. Compared to this, India has an internet penetration of only 50-100 (per thousand).
Purkayastha remarked that while digital technology and alternate channels are growing rapidly in India and will continue to maintain pressure on the print industry, due to a few structural factors, “the print industry is likely to remain more resilient and will continue to grow surely for the next five years, and very likely for the next 15 years, albeit at a lower pace”.
He cited some underlying drivers that will allow print to sustain for a longer time in India. These include significant room for further penetration of print in tier II and III towns as well as rural India, digital and electricity infrastructure will take time to develop, further room for advertisement growth driven by growth of sectors that dominate in print advertising, and innovations will drive print advertising since print format is best suited.
“We are creating hyper local content for the tier II and III and rural markets. More national advertisers are becoming interested in advertising in local mediums at a much lower cost. This is giving print medium a boost in these markets,” Purkayastha said.
He noted that FMCG advertisers, who had been missing from print for the last three years, are returning to the medium.
He sees a strong opportunity for print to tap advertising growth since India’s overall advertising intensity is lower than most markets. He further said that the sectors that dominate ad-spend in print are likely to grow. These include sectors such as service, financial services, education, automobile and retail.