Print media to get back on its feet sooner than expected

Advertisers should be leveraging hyperlocal communication it offers

NEW DELHI: While print media lost around 80 per cent of its advertising revenue during the Covid2019 period, it made for the lost monies by reducing the number of pages in its supplements, thus minimizing the bad impact on business, shared Dainik Bhaskar Group promoter director Girish Agarwal in a live discussion with Motivator managing partner Radhika Ramani organised by The Advertising Club Bangalore. The discussion titled Reimagining Print with Siva & Girish, also saw the presence of BCCL chairman executive committee, Sivakumar Sundaram. 

Agarwal highlighted, “Advertising used to amount to about 75 per cent of our earnings, which went down to 12-13 per cent during the Covid2019 period. Now, we used to subsidise our cost for our readers by Rs 2-3, and by reducing the number of pages, we have made that subsidy almost zero without increasing the cost for subscribers. Now, the advertising revenue stood very low relatively and that helped us.” 

Both Agarwal and Sundaram showed great positivity towards the future of print as a medium to disseminate news and advertising in the coming future. Agarwal dismissed all the rumours of print publications shutting shops by saying, “The circulation which went down to almost 60-65 per cent of the regular in the month of March, touched 70-75 per cent in April. If we look at the shift in the following months, till the first week of July, most of the Indian language publications have already crossed the mark of 80 per cent.”

He added that the rest 20 per cent circulation is at places like railway stations and offices, which will commence by the month of August and soon the circulation will reach the 100 per cent mark. Agarwal also insisted that advertisers should be active on print now, as those who won’t take the opportunity will anyway lose sales in the coming weeks. 

He said, “Most of the advertisers have started advertising already with us. The local advertisers are very much active and the big brands are coming up too. And those who are not advertising will surely lose out on sales and business.”

Sundaram highlighted that brands should be leveraging newspapers for hyperlocal reach and should be working on more regional content to benefit out of it. He highlighted that most of the national level brands see India as a homogeneous cluster, or divided into north and south India, which needs to be changed. 

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