It's been six weeks that the much-hyped print media battle in Mumbai has been raging. Mid-July saw the launch of the Mumbai edition of Hindustan Times, followed two weeks later by the debut of Diligent Media's DNA. The stakes are high. After all, Mumbai is the city where the ad revenue pickings are highest in the country, and it has always been a market dominated The Times of India. HT is no pushover either, and DNA has the backing of two powerful media houses – the Dainik Bhaskar group and Zee group.
So, how they have stacked up till now? And what have been their strengths and strategies on the advertising front? TAM's AdEx India, which has been closely monitoring the launch of these two newspapers, has just come out with the first ever study on the advertising patterns in each of these newspapers. (The study is based on August 2005 data for the Mumbai editions only.)
Said Atul Phadnis, VP, TAM Media Research, "The situation in Mumbai is very competitive at the moment and tactical and strategic moves are visible almost on a day-to-day basis by each of the key players in the English general interest newspaper space. Our endeavour will be to spot some of these moves and highlight best practices that will help future media launches and media studies. The study is also critical as Mumbai accounts for 16 per cent of the total newspaper ad revenue of Rs 48 billion."
The AdEx India study has undertaken this comparative analysis of TOI, HT, DNA and Mid-Day across various parameters. It broadly touches upon three crucial aspects of marketing – Pricing, Product/Content and (Returns on) Promotions.
As far as the share of advertising types is concerned, the AdEx study found that close to 75 per cent of advertising volume in DNA and HT is accounted for by Display Advertising. In contrast, the share of Display ads in TOI and Mid-Day is 59 per cent and 51 per cent, respectively.
As high as one-third (35 per cent) of the ad volume in Mid-Day is accounted for by Classifieds. The share of Classifieds for TOI, HT and DNA stands at 16 per cent, 20 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively.
What has been the impact of fresh competition in the Mumbai market on the ad categories, that is, the share of advertising volume of each of these four newspapers? The AdEx study found that there is not much of a difference in the contribution of Display ads between the two new players – DNA contributes 75 per cent against HT's 73 per cent. The next biggest category is Classifieds: for DNA it is 20 per cent against HT's 13 per cent.
In the Appointments category, HT is clearly ahead with 10 per cent against DNA's 2 per cent. Lastly, in Tenders/Appointments section, DNA is at 3 per cent and HT at 4 per cent.
When one considers the average advertisement size in each of these newspapers (Display ads only), the study interestingly finds that the size has been larger in the two new newspapers. Hindustan Times leads with an average ad size of 373 sq cm; and DNA comes second at 312 sq cm. In contrast, the average ad size in TOI is 230 sq cm while for Mid-Day it is 180 sq cm .
For the complete study, see Industry Omnibus section. Click Here