How are Bengali magazines reaching their readers despite lockdown challenges?

While there are many commendable stories of print players going all out to ensure their readers don't miss a single edition, there is the story of ABP Group which deserves a separate mention

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Apr 23, 2020 9:17 AM
ABP Publications

While the lockdown has brought most businesses to a grinding halt, media houses have been agile to find ways to stay connected with their consumers.

The challenge has, however, been unique in terms of print players. With the lockdown in place, the distribution network of the publications has been badly hit. Readers who couldn't do without their morning newspapers or weekly magazines are now finding solace in the digital versions.

While there are many commendable stories of print players going all out to ensure their readers don't miss a single edition, the ABP Group deserves a separate mention.

Throughout the lockdown period till date, the latest issues of all popular Bengali magazines - Sananda, Desh, Boier Desh, Anandamela and Anandalok published by ABP Pvt Ltd - have been made available to the readers as free e-magazines on the magazine app - ABP MAGS.

All of these publications have a dedicated readership and once the publishers decided to temporarily halt the print version, the next big challenge for them was to find a quick alternative.

The idea was to continue offering the readers their most sought-after content without a miss, including novels in continuity - one issue after another, as well as set special focus on situations pertaining to topical relevance with respect to the present context for the extremely connected readers of ABP Bengali magazines.

Another big hurdle, according to the publishers, was to get readers accustomed to the digital way. “We have now started providing training and set up dedicated telephone numbers to help our readers get used to the e-magazines,” said a company spokesperson.

Sharing how the management at ABP went out of their way to keep the readership served, the spokesperson for the group said, “We were unable to print during the lockdown period. So as a result we still wanted to reach out to our readers. All these magazines are very popular and have content that continues from one issue to another.”

When asked how the digital consumption would play out in the post-COVID phase, the spokesperson added: “Post-COVID may be a combination of print and digital formats. We have to wait and watch.”

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