“Magazine industry should look at collaborations more seriously”

Pradeep Gupta, Tarun Rai, Mitrajit Bhattacharya, R Rajmohan talk about the need for the magazine industry to come together & work in tandem

e4m by Saloni Datta
Published: Feb 12, 2013 8:43 PM  | 3 min read
“Magazine industry should look at collaborations more seriously”

With just a few days left for the seventh edition of Indian Magazine Congress (IMC), the annual conference of the Association of Indian Magazines (AIM), to be held on February 14 and 15 in Mumbai, we spoke to a cross section of magazine publishers on their expectations from the magazine fraternity. Here is what they have to say…

Pradeep Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director, Cyber Media
The fraternity should address common concerns and share experiences.

Tarun Rai, President, AIM and CEO, World Wide Media
Magazine publishers together have to raise the profile of our industry. AIM (Association of Indian Magazines) tries to create platforms where the fraternity can come together, network and share ideas. We also take up issues that concern the entire industry – whether it is lobbying the government or persuading advertisers about the superior efficacy of our medium. Our focus is also on exposing our fraternity to international trends in the magazine world. IMC is an excellent opportunity for professionals in the magazine industry to listen to some of the best speakers from India and around the world. Seats are filling up fast and I would encourage publishers to register immediately. These two days will be the most important days in any magazine professionals training calendar.

Maheshwar Peri, Publisher, Careers 360
Taking example from The Frontline in UK where all the magazine publishers have come together to create this one venture, we should all collaborate too. Taking inspiration from such works, one needs to look at collaborations more seriously.

Amrit Rai, Publisher, ELLE India
The magazine fraternity needs to look at each other as business partners with common interests and objectives. We all need to work together and have a united front with advertisers on market rates. It’s suicidal for the magazine fraternity if each magazine starts to under-cut the other on rates. The challenge and threat that faces the magazine business is not from advertisers but from within.

Mitrajit Bhattacharya, Vice President, AIM and President and Publisher, Chitralekha Group
We should all embrace digital as they complement print versions very effectively and should work on the brand, as it’s easier to leverage when you extend to new media. We should all develop depth of content, as more and more specialisation will be rewarded.

R Rajmohan, General Secretary, AIM and Publisher, OPEN Media Network 
I have always been saying that we magazines can compete amongst us but it is the other media that we need to tackle first. Magazines have enormous strength as a medium and collectively we need to propagate the cause of magazines.

We are in the business of monetising content; delivery mechanisms will change dictated by changing technology. Print is here to stay; but we need to seriously look at the new opportunities technology offers and extend our business domain. So, digital is a new avenue and not a threat. Print and digital will coexist, though digital will not give us immediate returns. However, digital /tablet editions have been generating huge traction, across markets and age groups. And it isn't free. Also the web content, which is free currently, will go and will have to go pay. Great content can't be free forever! If the content that we are producing is exclusive and stimulating, price it; there are discerning readers on the net as well willing to pay.  Hence, the opportunities are multiplying

Maneck Davar, Proprietor, Executive Editor and Publisher, Spenta Multimedia
We should certainly have more cooperation in the fraternity. A good beginning has been made with the establishment of Association of Indian Magazines and there are a few issues, especially those faced by smaller publishers, which require to be addressed. I am sure this will gradually happen.

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