“Indian magazines should practice cost discipline”

Cost discipline is necessary for publishers for a sustained profitable model; as GDP shrinks, so does magazine advtg, says Gruner+Jahr’s Dr Torsten-Jörn Klein

e4m by Abhinav Trivedi
Published: Feb 18, 2013 2:08 AM  | 2 min read
“Indian magazines should practice cost discipline”

Rather than cutting costs, magazines should focus on bringing in cost discipline, this is the advice given to Indian magazines by Dr Torsten-Jörn Klein, President, International Magazine division, Gruner+Jahr, part of the Bertelsmann International group.


Klein stressed that solid bases should be looked at in India and added that market understanding is very important for a publication. He compared the real GDP global growth with the advertising market and established a relationship that they are proportional to each other. As the GDP shrinks, so does magazine advertising.

“So, digital cannot be ignored for the future,” he added. On the digital platform, he envisages strategies that include diversifying revenue streams, offering additional services and products, leveraging the existing assets, and using strength of position in the verticals. Some of the avenues for digital revenue generation include e-commerce, paid offerings, and advertising. Klein also has special advice for the digital format, which is having strong engagement on social networks through video and other digital formats, e-commercialising, reaching on mobile, and big data, among others.


He also mentioned that cost discipline is very necessary for publishers in order to have a sustained profitable model and warned that decrease in print advertisement will hit the print business. He further said that the identification of key assets for digital in terms of content, brands and the target group is inevitable. In addition, he also mentioned that for a brand to be versatile, it should anticipate the consequence of mobile devices.

Klein’s five mantras for magazine industry in India are:
• Your brands are king
• Work on cost workflows for sustainable business
• Develop towards a multi-channel content provider with technology as basis
• Change your strategy of online first to mobile first
• Attract talent


Dr Torsten-Jörn Klein’s presentation was part of the 7th Indian Magazine Congress. Bernd Klaus Buchholz, CEO, Gruner+Jahr International spoke on behalf of Dr Klein. The session was moderated by Maheshwer Peri, Chairman, Pathfinder Publishing. The two-day conference was held in Mumbai on February 14 and 15, 2013.

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