Customised papers: Time is right, more focus needed – Part 1

Customised newspapers, though still few, have started hitting newsstands in India. Though the industry is positive about them, there are some rough edges to be smoothened. e4m takes a look at how this sector is progressing.

e4m by Nitin Pandey
Updated: Mar 8, 2011 7:50 AM
Customised papers: Time is right, more focus needed – Part 1

In an age of information overload by various sections of the media, can customisation of newspapers be one way to keep print media relevant for the readers? In the case of television, this has worked out well. Media experts share with exchange4media how they view the future of segmented content in India.

Recent times have seen the newspaper industry in India garnering higher revenue growth as well as attracting more readers. Expansion was not just in geographical terms, but additions of newer editions and more supplements as well.

In an interview with exchange4media, DD Purkayastha, MD and CEO, ABP Pvt Ltd, stated, “I think that niche will be the way to go in the future. One-size-fits-all strategy will not work in the times to come. Publishers have to be more focused and customise their product for a specific target audience.”

Over the years, audiences that marketers seek, along with the media and various ways to reach them, have become increasingly segmented. Advertising and promotional tactics have become more regionalised and focused on specific audiences. Despite that, while along with TV magazines have also targeted readers with customised content, there have been very few examples of segmented newspapers in country. That too when newspapers on youth and targeted at the agriculture industry have been able to attract readers and advertisers.

Sushma Y Jhaveri, Senior VP, Carat Media India, observed, “Like TV, there is need for specialised content for each reader. If print wants to increase its appeal in low reading segments like youth and women, they need to have specific offering from them.”

Along similar lines, Rajiv Gopinath, COO, Madison Media, believed that like TV content, newspaper should have customised content as per the need of the readers. He stated that a newspaper was like a TV channel. “You pick the channel you like to watch. Similarly, you pick the section of the newspaper you like to read. You prioritise the section you want to read first. So, if I can identify the need of a particular TG and offer a better product for the section he/ she picks first, there is then a market,” noted Gopinath.

Mohit Joshi, Executive Director – North, MPG, also believed that there was a need for segmented newspapers in India. He also noted that for that, business as a segment was an important case study.

As a segment, business has taken off very well in India in the newspaper industry too. However, another popular segment – youth – is still elusive for some newspaper owners.

In Part 2 of this special report, e4m will seek to decode youth as a segment for newspapers. Keep reading.

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