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.
The media scene has changed drastically in India and there is need for print players to innovate to develop audience expectations from newspapers, pointed out Mohit Jain, Executive President – Supply Chain, Times of India Group and Chairman, Newsprint Committee, INS.
Giving an overview of the entertainment and media industry in India, he said that it is worth Rs 75,000 crore. The industry generated advertising revenues of Rs 30,000 crore. Of this, print’s share is Rs 15,000 crore. And in print, English print contributes 50 per cent of the ad revenues, while the share of Hindi print is 25 per cent.
Talking about changing global baselines, Jain noted that culture change is the key driver. Given the growing significance of digital in the media sphere, he said that the digital revenue strategy should take into account scale, consumer-paid access, as well as videos.
An inverse in the consumer’s time spent on ads and ad revenues is seen. Change in media consumption habits has resulted in commoditisation of news. Today, there is a marketing shift to brand building as products proliferate different media platforms.
In a bid to gain readers as well as keep the current readers engaged with the medium, print needs to change its frequency and intensity, said Jain. For this, digital media cannot be overlooked what with 86 per cent people having mobile phones, while 33 per cent of the population having Internet connections. Social media platforms also cannot be ignored. He remarked that Facebook had a population size that was third after China and India. He urged on the need to leverage digital media.
However, the growing clout of digital does not mean that print has lost relevance. The medium can still be used for audience engagement given the wide base. Print can go multi-channel and be available in different avatars for different platforms. Thus, instead of a static it be more dynamic with browsing convenience and the ability to handle details as well as quick updates.
Media players need to follow a multi-media strategy which also includes print, instead of concentrating on a single media.
According to Jain, the fact that print in India still has relevance is proved from the fact that all major Indian print companies have been registering growth in terms of revenues and net earnings.