Posted by EeGhim Chua on Fri, Feb 13 2015

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Truly India

Newspaper stand in Delhi

Truly India
With a population of 1.2 billion people, India boasts the largest newspaper industry in the world. In an age where print media has declined, India provides a refreshing contrast with a growing print and digital media industry, coupled with rising revenues and readership.

The State of Print
According to the Indian Registrar of Newspapers, India has more than 94,067 registered newspapers and 12,511 dailies - doubling in a decade. In a country with 780 languages , there are 3 times more Hindi newspapers compared to English titles.

Overall, the print industry is performing strongly, growing 8.5% in 2013 and expanded 11.5% from 2012 to 2013, according to KPMG . The industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9% for the next 5 years.

The majority of the print industry continues to derive its revenue from newspapers, currently worth INR230 Billion (USD 3.6 billion). In contrast, annual revenue for US newspapers in 2013 saw a decrease of 2.6%, reaching USD 37.6 billion according to the Newspaper Association of America .


So what makes India such an exception?
One potential reason for the strengthening print industry may be the growing literacy rate in India. This has risen to 73% in 2013 compared to 64.7% in 2001, according to government numbers.

The gap in literacy between urban and rural areas has also declined.
With a middle class projected to reach 200 million by 2020 , more and more companies turn to newspaper advertising to reach out to the masses.

Newstand in Delhi

Going digital
India currently has low penetration of the internet. With a reported figure of 300 million internet users , it is still a fraction of the 1.2 billion people in the country.

However, growth in smartphones continues unabated with an appetite for social media apps such as Twitter and Facebook.

The print industry, far from being static, is evolving to keep up with the trend. Many key media have focused their efforts to provide greater digital content. One example is Mint, a financial daily owned by the Hindustan Times group. When Apple’s iPad was first launched in India in 2011, Mint was the first Indian business daily to introduce an iPad application to test the tablet market.

Newspapers

What are some of the key financial media outlets to note?
• Economic Times
Printed on salmon pink paper, the Economic Times is the top financial daily owned by the Times of India group. The same group also published The Times of India, which continues to be the most widely read English-language newspaper in the country with a circulation of 3.32 million.

• Mint
There is Mint, a financial daily published by HT Media that also publishes Hindustan Times. Business Standard is another financial daily that is majority-owned by the Kotak Mohindra Group, India’s leading banking and financial services group

• Press Trust of India
When it comes to newswires, the Press Trust of India is the largest news agency in India. Headquartered in New Delhi, it commands 90 per cent of new agency market share in India, according to their website.

That just scratches the surface without even mentioning Business Standard, Financial Chronicle and Financial Express.

Delhi Station

Conclusion
For communicators, India has a fascinating print and newspaper industry that is bucking the global trend. The industry has been quick to recognise opportunity, adapting strategies to cater to digital consumption, which will increasingly play a greater role in the years to come.

(Photographs taken by @EeGhim)

Topics
Asia, Cognito Asia,
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