Publishers are a relieved lot after having received additional time from the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) for the e-filing of their annual statements. Previously, the publishers were supposed to furnish the same by May 31 but now they have been granted extension till June 30. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one publisher noted that RNI’s notification extending the deadline was a significant development owing to the importance of the annual statement.
“The volume of the Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity (DAVP) advertisements which a publication receives is often dependent on it,” said a source. Terming the ongoing quarter as a “lean season” for “ad revenue”, the source added that the print industry is in an apprehensive mood owing to the rollout of the Goods & Services Tax (GST) from July 1. Under the new tax regime, print advertisements are slated to be taxed at 5% with the same rate applying to newsprint.
Nevertheless, there has been talk of publishers trying to convince the government to refrain from taxing newspapers. Sources confirmed to exchange4media that attempts are underway to persuade the government to rollback the GST levied on the print industry. Besides that, the market is also swirling with rumours around DAVP’s supposed new ad policy.
As per a publisher claiming to be in the know-how of internal discussions, 75% of the advertisements routed via DAVP could soon end up in the kitty of large newspapers. Such publications should necessarily have a circulation of more than 75,000 copies per publishing day. However, exchange4media could not confirm the same from DAVP even as other publishers denied knowledge regarding it.
A nodal agency of the Government of India, DAVP publishes advertisements on behalf of union ministries, public sector undertakings and departments funded by the central government. According to the print media advertisement policy enacted by DAVP on June 7 last year, 50% of the classified and display advertisements go to the big newspapers.
Apart from that, 35% advertisements are directed towards medium-sized newspapers/journals whereas the smaller print publications end up with 15% central government ad share. While big newspapers are classified as those publications with per publishing day circulation of over 75,000 copies, the circulation range of medium-sized publications is between 25,001-75,000 copies. Newspapers/journals publishing up to 25,000 copies fall into the category of small publications.
As on March 31, 2016, 1,10,851 publications were registered with the RNI. Out of these, 16,136 were newspapers whereas 94,715 happened to be periodicals. Recently, the member publications of the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) recorded an increase of 2.37 crore newspaper copies over a ten-year period from 2006–2016. Betraying the trend witnessed in the west, the publications generated a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.87% in terms of circulation.