Keeping tune with leading national players such as The Times Group, Marathi media giant Sakal Times has also revised its advertisement rates. Informing exchange4media of the group’s decision, Sakal Media’s CEO Pradeep Dwivedi said, “We have also revised the ad rates with effect from April 1 by an average of 10%.” But the hike is not uniform across editions as Dwivedi noted that there might be a few variations in place.
Explaining that “pricing is based on two factors,” he mentioned that is greatly influenced in the first place by “cost inputs” in terms of distribution, newsprint and employee salaries. At Sakal, the observation was that these costs had escalated over a period of time. Secondly, Dwivedi opined that there had been “significant volume drops” in the “overall financials” of various companies courtesy demonetisation.
“Revenues have taken a hit,” he mentioned highlighting the necessity of an increase in ad rates to make up for the fall. On the other hand, Sakal has decided to not revise the cover price of its newspapers. “As of now, we are holding firm,” Dwivedi stated. He further pointed out that it was in conformity with what is happening in the industry.
Maintaining that the cover prices will remain the same for at least “another quarter,” he was quick to emphasise that Sakal’s pricing was “1.5-1.7 times higher than the industry average” since the company did not hand out any unreasonable discounts. He did, however, not rule out the possibility of going up on pricing concerning weekend or special editions.
The flagship product of Sakal Media Group is a Marathi daily named Sakal. As per the Audit Bureau of Circulation (January-June 2016), Daily Sakal is the highest circulated Marathi newspaper selling 12,81,449 copies every day. The group also publishes Sakal Times, a popular English-language daily in Pune and reaches out to Goans via Gomantak and Gomantak Times.