If people see value, they will pay: N Sathyamurthy

DDB MudraMax’s President and Head states how digital is overshadowing print media, both in terms of readership and advertisers

e4m by Surbhi Bhasin
Updated: Jul 23, 2012 4:37 AM
If people see value, they will pay: N Sathyamurthy

The Indian Newspaper Kongress (INK) 2012, held on July 20 in New Delhi, put the spotlight on newspapers. Organised by exchange4media Group, the annual event aimed to understand what the future holds for the newspaper industry, as stakeholders contemplated on how to bring about further growth for the medium. INK 2012 was presented by Dainik Jagran. Business Standard was the print partner.

Sathyamurthy Namakkal, President and Head, DDB MudraMax lists six pointers for innovation. Giving an overview of the media consumption scenario, he noted that 10 per cent of urban India accessed Internet in some form. This 10 per cent is estimated to go up to about 35 per cent by 2015-16. He further said that 30 per cent of advertising in newspapers or magazines are targeted as social classification.

There is a threat to print industry from digital. Of the 75 per cent of readers who read a newspaper daily, 50 per cent access the Internet. Interestingly, they spend more than an hour accessing some kind of digital content through their smart phones.

Globally, several news publishers have grown substantially in revenues by adopting paid plus combo business models. For instance, New York Times has adopted a subscription-based model to earn revenue from its digital content.

Sathyamurthy noted that today most of the categories are getting commoditised. A customer might go to a retail outlet and end up buying a product if there is any interesting offer. Why digital poses an even greater threat to the print industry is that for advertisers digital offers media options that are affordable in terms of experimentation.

Online access of print media has shown substantial numbers. He cited the case of The Times of India, which has reported one crore unique visitors to its website as per common data in a month. This number is a little more than the paper’s daily readership. Even a language publication like Navbharat Times claims to have 10 lakh unique visitors surfing the website.

Sathyamurthy pointed out that if people see value, they will pay money.

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