The year 2014 though was not the best for all the print players due to various issues such as the wait for the new IRS findings, global downturn, change in government and policy and so on. But, 2015 is expected to be a better one with the implementation of the plans done in the last six months by the new government, new IRS data, e-commerce becoming a larger spender and the upsurge in retail industry, which is expected to spend more in the regional print industry especially in South India.
Another reason of the slowdown of print industry is also due to the speed of change in consumption of media and information. Every other player is trying to hitch readers online and get the maximum traction online. In general, print players feel that digital content will be the way forward but newspapers will still have their relevance for the loyal readers. After all the morning tea without a newspaper in hand is still considered as incomplete.
Print goes Digital
With deeper penetration of the internet and smart phones, print industry’s eyes are on the digital platform. Print industry is making huge strides in strengthening its digital presence. Every player is looking at getting the subscriptions of their online editions a step higher. In fact some of the regional magazines have already got their online subscriptions equal to their offline ones. Digital campaigns have played a major role in increasing online readership for some publications in South India.
Concentration on districts
With the metros and larger cities increasingly witnessing intense competition, marketers, advertisers and publishers are looking for expanding into various districts. Every player is getting more editions out. Also niche special editions are released and have content targeted to specific audience.
Decline in retail and local advertising spends
The general elections were supposed to bring in a positive change in the market. But, ‘acche din’ which promised to bring a revival in the industry and economy have not yet taken off as expected. South India especially Chennai being a retail centric market did not see huge spends even during festive season. Government ads have also decreased this year. National advertisers ruled the roost and helped the print industry sustain. Publications are trying to make for the absence of advertising by increasing cover prices and their circulation numbers.
Increase in banking and insurance ad spends
Major revenues came from the bank, possession and auction notice ads. This segment grew close to 30 per cent over last year.
New IRS creates fresh hope among publishers
Print industry is expecting a fresh round of numbers. The publishers are expecting the methodology process to be more transparent. For instance, in the last finding Karnataka had only one magazine. Error free data with larger sample size is expected.
Battle between newspapers
TOI vs HT and TOI vs DC had been in the news for quite some time now. Allegations of TOI stealing ads and placing it after in its editions have been made by DC.
Good tidings are yet to be seen. All hopes for the print industry are on 2015.