In another attempt to increase its share of the Karnataka English daily circulation pie, Vijay Times has launched a late night edition. The edition, which is currently sold off the stands, is hoping to gain a reasonable circulation by year-end. The latest introduction comes in a long series of changes the daily has initiated, including a revamping of its layout and an alteration of its business section.
Set to hit the stands at 9:30 am, the edition targets people interested in reading about news that a regular newspaper missed. “We studied our audience and found a pattern where most of our readers are late risers and find time to read the paper only when they reach their workplace. While the regular paper is out at 4:30am, it is read only 9:30 am. A late night edition like ours is designed especially for these readers who don’t want to miss the developments occurring overnight,” says Ramanand Bhat, Director, Vijay Times. The edition collects news generated overnight.
Sold at Re. 1, it is a 16-page, six-day offering with no supplements. As of now, morning edition advertisements are repeated in the late night one at no extra charge. The new edition is promoted through hoardings, a door-to-door campaign and advertisements in Vijay Karnataka, the group’s Kannada daily. Despite this, the response has been lukewarm. Says Girish Menon, GM, MindShare (Bangalore and Chennai), “Ideas such as these are potentially ahead of their time. When cable TV came in, we questioned whether people would accept it! A late night edition is meant to cater to a certain section of the audience. If the concept is marketed right, it will certainly be successful.” When asked about the reaction of advertisers, he states, “We follow the consumer. If the consumer takes to the offering, we will certainly recommend the vehicle to our clients.”
Despite the lack of advertisers and a non-existent circulation figure, Bhat is positive about the fortunes of venture. “We have been the first to explore this concept and agree that it will take time to be accepted.” The newspaper is spending an estimated Rs. 5-6 lakh monthly on the enterprise. According to Bhat, positive results are expected in a year’s time.