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After IRS, India Today Magazine is on the same level as TOI: Kalli Purie

15-February-2018
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After IRS, India Today Magazine is on the same level as TOI: Kalli Purie

Aroon Purie has been the custodian of the India Today Group for 42 years now, which has diversified news assets across Print, Television and Digital. Last year he passed on the baton to his daughter Kalli Purie, now the Vice Chairperson of the company and months later they have acquired the leadership position for their flagship brand as per the IRS 2017 survey. In a conversation with exchange4media, Purie talks about why magazines have a crucial space in the news ecosystem today, despite the onslaught of real time news coverage on TV channels and websites.

Aroon Purie, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, India Today Group, says, “Looking at the way the news environment has developed, I can say magazines have a very secure place. Because 24/7 news channels have become more like event runs, they are just like the FIR of news. They simply go from one event to another and there is no time to really analyze the news or give a perspective. If you look at newspapers today, they basically reflect the headlines of the 24/7 news channels. There is very little added there except for the editorial columns.”

Talking about how the role of magazines become important in the world of fast news, Purie says, “Now, magazines have a place, especially in the digital ecosystem, wherein people are getting information from anywhere and everywhere. It has become a tsunami of information which leaves you completely confused at the end of the day. It’s like indigestion. On the other hand Magazines give you a curated meal on what is important for you, gives you context and perspective. We have the time and the ability to present news to you with pictures, graphics and so forth. Magazines have now found a place in the consumption pattern of people. Those who really want to be well-informed are reading magazines. And there is a certain loyalty factor attached to it, especially with the amount of fake news that digital world is bombarded with. So, getting a trusted brand like India Today to give you information becomes crucial.”

Having said that, TV and Digital have been growth drivers for the company, especially with the Digital revenue having grown by 50 per cent in 2017 for the India Today Group. So far the company, like most other magazines, was struggling owing to a lack of a standard metric on readership in the past four years to show advertisers, a void which IRS 2017 has filled. With magazines overall showing a 95 per cent growth over the 2014 survey, magazine owners clearly have something to leverage as far as advertising is concerned.

Kalli Purie, Vice Chairman, India Today Group, says, “There was a time when we used to literally refuse advertising because there just wasn’t enough space in India Today magazine. Those were the golden days when India Today was compared with The Times of India. And this survey has actually brought us back at the starting point, where India Today Magazine is on the same level as a TOI. For me it’s like a complete circle and it’s fantastic that it has happened now.” India Today has become the second most read English publication after TOI as per IRS 2017.

Signing off, Aroon Purie adds, “Magazines to my mind have always been underleveraged. Most of these earlier surveys have been attuned more to newspaper readership. And I think now the new IRS methodology has captured the real value of magazines. Magazines have readership, loyalty and the increase in magazine readership is really the truth.”
The India Today Group runs four news channels namely Aaj Tak, India Today TV, Tez and Dilli Aaj Tak. Aaj Tak has been topping the TRP charts in the Hindi news segment for close to 52 weeks now. Meanwhile India Today TV, which has largely been seen trailing Republic TV and Times Now, has this year in the overall BARC ratings, pipped Times Now to grab the number two spot in primetime slots for five weeks now (Source – BARC, Market- Megacities, Time Band – 19:00- 24:00 Weekday, TG – 22+ MAB, Market Share based on seven English news channels.) However its counterparts Tez and Dilli Aaj Tak don’t enjoy the same popularity and are relatively underleveraged.

Tags Aroon Purie India Today Kalli Purie Times of India IRS 2017

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