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Marketing Research On Newspapers
PROJECT DONE BY STUDENTS OF USHA PRAVIN GANDHI COLLEGE OF
1. INTRODUCTION OF NEWSPAPER INDUSTRY 5
2. HISTORY OF TIMES OF INDIA 10
3. CRITISISM ON TIMES OF INDIA 11
4. INTRODUCTION ON DNA 13
5. COMPETITION BETWEEN TIMES OF INDIA AND DNA
6. INTRODUCTION ON HINDUSTAN TIMES 18
7. MARKET SHARE OF TIMES OF INDIA 21
8. 4 P’S OF TIMES OF INDIA 22
9. MARKETING STRATEGY 23
10. SURVEY 27
11. SWOT ANALYSIS 41
12. FUTURE OF NEWSPAPER 44
INTRODUCTION TO THE NEWS PAPER INDUSTRY
The newspaper industry has traditionally functioned as a free press in India. The freedom
of expression and independence for print media has been ensured in the Indian
constitution and the newspapers zealously guard this independence. The Gujarati Daily
Bombay Samachar, started in 1822 AD, is the oldest existing newspaper in Asia.
The findings of the National Readership Survey (NRS) 2005 show that India's print
media readership base has expanded by 10 per cent over the last two years. Since the last
NRS survey in 2004, the print media have acquired 17 million more reader’s .The data
may indicate that different media need not necessarily substitute one another. According
to the NRS estimates, India's vast media industry reaches 180 million readers, 383.6
million television viewers, 189 million radio listeners and six million Internet users.
Despite the growth in readership, a majority of India's 428 million literate adults do not
read any periodical publication. Besides India's vast illiterate adult population (252.5
million), there are 248 million literate adults who are unexposed to newspapers and to the
180 million who do read publications. Readers from nearly six lakh villages make
magazines, in comparison up only 48 per cent of the readership base, although rural India
is home to 62,6 per cent of the country's literate population. This could be due to the
urban-centric nature of most publications, which may not cater to the interests of rural
THE LITERACY LEVEL IS UP....
2001(in crore) 2004(in crore) % Change
Population (12+) 70.0 71.6 2.28
Literate Population 42.2 44.8 5.21
SSC & above 13.6 15.1 11.03
.... BUT THE NUMBER OF CASUAL READERS
2001 (in crore) 2005 (crore) % Change
Any publication 23.4 23.7 1.28
Any Daily 22.0 22.6 2.7
Any Magazine 11.7 9.5 (18.8)
.... AND REGULAR READERS ISNT
2001 (in crore) 2005 (in crore) % Change
Any publication 16.0 15.8 (1.25)
Any Daily 14.2 14.5 2.11
Any Magazine 7.3 5.8 (20.5)
INDIA'S TOP FOUR ENGLISH (change this bcoz v comparing TOI HT N DNA)
2003 2004 2005
TOI 5388 5950 6220
The Hindu 2973 2678 2980
Hindustan Times 2325 2316
Deccan Chronicle 790 962 1165
According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers' study, Global Entertainment & Media Outlook
2004-2008, the Indian newspaper market will grow from $1,869 million in 2004 to
$2,404 million in 2008 at a CAGR of 6.9 per cent.
The government had changed its media policy in 2002 and relaxed foreign ownership
restrictions in the newspaper category. Today, 26 per cent foreign equity holding in
news-related print media is allowed, though editorial management must remain Indian.
History of Times of India
TOI was founded on November 3, 1838 as The Bombay Times and Journal of
Commerce, and served the British residents of western India. It adopted its present name
in 1861. Published on every Saturdays and Wednesdays "Bombay Times and Journal of
Commerce" was launched as a bi weekly editions. It contained news of Europe, America
and the sub-continent and was conveyed between India and Europe via regular steam
ships. The daily editions of the paper were started from 1850 and by 1861 Bombay Times
was renamed as "The Times of India". By 19th century this news paper company
employed more than 800 people and had good circulation in India and Europe. Originally
British owned and controlled, its last British editor was Ivor S. Jehu, who resigned the
editorship in 1950.
It is published by India's largest media group, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. This
company, along with its other group companies are more popularly known as The Times
Group, which also publishes The Economic Times (a leading financial broadsheet),
Mumbai Mirror, the Navbharat Times(a Hindi daily broadsheet), and the Maharashtra
Times (a Marathi daily broadsheet).
CRITICISMS OF TOI
The modelling of sections of the newspaper upon fashion tabloids is a case in point. The
group has also been attacked by other media houses in India for its management
interference in editorial policy and the policy of selling paid news. The Time Group has
drawn some amount of flak for a scheme called "medianet", which other firms can use to
purchase editorial coverage in the daily. The ethical problems for the group have been
further compounded by allegations of extortion by a journalist employed by the group.
The newspaper has at times been panned for its unabashed promotion of inhouse brands
owned by its parent company, M/s Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd, (such as Femina, Radio
Mirchi, Planet M, Times Music).
The newspaper has also been accused of overly sensationalizing news stories. An
infamous example being the Rift in powerful biz family article, which detailed a rift
within the Ambani family. Interestingly, the newspaper was the first to break the news six
months before the feud became public knowledge.
Their new Mumbai Mirror, an unabashed tabloid parading as a newspaper, is one of
today's finest examples of the increasing tendency to glorify sleaze even when real news
Though the Times has traditionally tried to portray an image of political neutrality, it has
been by and large viewed as a pro-Establishment paper. It tends to vary in its support
between the BJP and Congress Party, depending on who holds the reins of the Central
Government. Its whole-hearted approval of Indira Gandhi's excessive repression
measures during the internal Emergency in the 1970s is not lost on political observers.
Since the 80's and early 90's, the Times of India has consistently produced some of the
country's finest journalists.
INTRODUCTION FOR DNA
DNA, the second major newspaper launched in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2005, is an
initiative of the Bhaskar Group of Publications, better known for the Dainik Bhaskar - a
Hindi language newspaper popular in the central and northern states of India. It is also
counted as one of the top five most-read newspapers in the country.
Daily News and Analysis was launched on July 30, 2005, after a much-talked about
advertising campaign that continued for four months. It is notable that it was launched
when the city was in the aftermath of the July 26 deluge, which submerged almost all of
Mumbai which received 94.4 cm of rain on just one day.
DNA has a strong Editorial Board comprising some of the most respected names in
Indian media. Starting with Gautam Adhikari, the editor, the Board also has India's
leading cricket writer and analyst Ayaz Memon as the paper's Associate Editor. Memon
handles the Sunday edition, along with DNA Sport (daily) and the daily entertainment
supplement DNA After Hrs.
B Venkat Rao, former resident editor of Indian Express (Mumbai) is the other Associate
Editor. He handles the daily newspaper's main edition. R Jagannathan is the Business
Editor, and is in-charge of DNA Money.
Noted film critic and Hindi film director Khalid Mohamed is the Roving Editor, and
handles DNA Glory (the glazed entertainment supplement on Fridays) and Lime Lite (the
two pages of movie stories and reviews on Sunday.
Sidharth Bhatia is the Opinion page Editor, and is also in charge of the two "Edit" pages
on Sunday called Viewpoint and Signature. Bipul Guha is the art director, while Vinay
Kamat is the Editor for Special Projects. Arati Jerath is the Delhi Bureau Chief, and is
also part of the Editorial Board.
Sathya Saran handles Me, a weekly women's magazine that is distributed free with the
Sunday edition of DNA. Malavika Sangghvi is the person in-charge of Life 360, a travel
and lifestyle supplement.
Diligent Media Corporation, which owns DNA (Daily News & Analysis), is a joint
venture between two industry majors – the Dainik Bhaskar Group and Zee TV. With a
reach of more than 120 countries and access to more than 250 million viewers globally,
Zee TV has created a strong brand equity and is the largest media franchise serving the
South Asian diaspora with presence in major global markets, including Asia-Pacific, the
Middle East, the UK, the US, Canada, the Caribbean and Africa. The Group has
transformed itself into an integrated media conglomerate with operations spanning the
entire media spectrum.
The Dainik Bhaskar Group has soared to the top of the print media industry in India with
its flagship Hindi daily, Dainik Bhaskar (India’s No. 1 Daily Hindi Newspaper), and the
Gujarati frontrunner, Divya Bhaskar. While Dainik Bhaskar has a big presence in
Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chhatisgarh and Uttar
Pradesh, Divya Bhaskar is the largest circulated regional daily in Gujarat.
Targeted at a young readership, DNA is the voice and soul of Mumbai. Through news,
views, analyses and interactivity, DNA provides readers with a composite picture of
Mumbai and the world. Its interactive platforms seek to bring the reader and surfer at the
centre of its news activity.
COMPETITION BETWEEN TIMES And DNA
The battle has been joined; the assault on Bennett, Coleman's citadel has begun. Last
week, the Dainik Bhaskar group (which is partnering Zee) kicked off a Rs 60 crore (Rs
600 million) outdoor campaign ("Speak up, it's in your DNA") in Mumbai for its yet-to-
be launched English daily, unusually called "DNA." It plastered Mumbai with 150
hoardings and 500 kiosks with advertisements, and mounted a campaign on FM radio
But the publishers of The Times of India, The Economic Times and other dailies and
magazines had not exactly been sitting idle either. Bennett, Coleman was readying
to launch a newspaper of its own called Mumbai-Mirror on May 15 and quickly
started hiring journalists from newspapers in the city.
Disappointment for DNA
DNA, the paper launched with so much advertisements recently in Mumbai (you can find
billboards all over Mumbai with ads for this paper, they have come a couple of times to
my colony to offer subscription to it, etc, etc). I was very disappointed at it. Well, the
paper is cheap, 2.50 rupees for more than 100 pages. But the content, at least the news
parts, leaves you quite unsatisfied. The international news consisted of very few items,
the two longest about some news in Canada and UK (if I remember correctly) related to
India, and a few short items of hardly any importance.
The fact that news from abroad are always related to India is something common to many
papers here, or at least that is what I feel. A couple, at most three, news items about some
Indian achieving something, or some government abroad that has taken a decision related
to India, and that’s all you need to know from what happens in the world (according to
the papers editors). You can’t find anything about what happens in, for example,
Venezuela, or the corruption in Brazil, or …. it just does not exist.
Introduction of Hindustan Times
The Hindustan Times is a leading newspaper in India. It has its roots in the independence
movement of the first half of the twentieth century. It was edited at times by many
important people in India, including Devdas Gandhi (the son of Mahatma Gandhi) and
Hindustan Times (established in 1924) is the flagship publication of HT Media Ltd. It is
has a nation wide reach in India (barring Southern India), with simultaneous editions
from New Delhi, Lucknow, Patna and Kolkata. It is also printed from Bhopal,
Chandigarh, Jaipur and Ranchi. HT has also launched India's first youth daily HT Next in
2004. The Mumbai edition was launched on 14th July 2005.
Other sister publications of Hindustan Times are Hindustan (Hindi Daily), Nandan
(Monthly children's magazine) and Kadambani (Monthly literary magazine).
HT Media Limited is a major player in the print media in India. It has a leadership
position in the English newspaper market in North India and the second position in the
Hindi newspaper market in the North and East.
The group now intends to consolidate itself as a vibrant and modern media powerhouse
through strategic partnerships, ever-increasing scope of operations and a consumer
Hindustan Times, the flagship publication from the group, was inaugurated by Mahatma
Gandhi in 1924 and has established its presence as a newspaper with editorial excellence
Today, Hindustan Times has a circulation of over 1.2 million and is the fastest growing
mainline English newspaper in terms of readership. Hindustan Times, Delhi, is India’s
largest single-edition daily. In July 2005, Hindustan Times made a successful entry into
the commercial capital of India – Mumbai.
Hindustan Times has continuously evolved itself to meet the needs of the global Indian
consumer. Changing with the times, it introduced the compact web-width format that has
now become a norm in the industry. It has recently undertaken a complete redesign to
sport a new, international look.
Hindustan, the Hindi daily from HT Media Limited, is one of the leading Hindi dailies in
the country with a readership in excess of 10 million. This makes it the fourth largest read
daily in India.
The group's news portal HindustanTimes.com, with over four million unique visitors and
90 million page views per month, is one of the largest news portals in the country. It has
consistently been ranked amongst the top 10 news sites in the world by Forbes and offers
in-depth coverage and analyses to its users.
The group recently entered into an MOU with Virgin Asia to enter the emerging radio
space in the country.
MARKET SHARE OF TIMES OF INDIA
According to the survey of year 2005, Times of India holds the highest market share i.e.
(35%) amongst the newspaper industry. Both DNA and Hindustan Times are essentially
competing for the No. 2 slot in the market. The Times of India is too old and established
to be overthrown in the short term. With a six lakh circulation, it was far ahead of earlier
competitors like Indian Express (58,000). In fact, it was The Economic Times (1.47
lakhs) and Mid-Day (1.40 lakhs) that trailed in second place after The Times of India in
Mumbai. While there are varying estimates on how the new newspapers are doing,
market sources estimate that DNA sells around two lakhs and Hindustan Times 1.40
lakhs. However, DNA claims that it is printing 2.90 lakh copies and Hindustan Times
says it sells 2 lakh copies.
Though The Times of India claims that its circulation remains the same, a newspaper
agent says that its counter sales have reduced by 40,000 to 50,000 copies from last 2
years.” It’s probably because other newspapers are half the price, while the content is not
"In the next few years, Mumbai's market will expand by up to 75 per cent, with even The
Times of India growing," says Meenakshi Madhvani, Managing Partner of Spatial Access
media solutions. "Delhi has a slightly lower population than Mumbai, but there are 12
lakh [copies of] English newspapers sold there as compared to only 7.5 lakhs [copies] in
Mumbai. There will be dramatic market expansion in Mumbai in the upcoming years.
4 Ps of TIMES OF INDIA
Newspapers cannot be called totally a product but its a service product which provides
Its supplement products are as follows:
Bombay times, times international, times accent, times drive, education times(Tuesday
and Thursday),times classified, times matrimonial(Sunday),Westside plus, times
property, times wellness, Rouge(Sunday).
Rs 4 Monday-Saturday (including free mumbai mirror of Rs 2 )
Rs 5 Sundays
10 cities mainly……
The Times of India is a very well established brand. Though, every successful or
unsuccessful brand requires continuous advertisements to remind people of their
It mainly promotes itself in theatres & print ads(newspapers).
Why has Mumbai's lethargic newspaper industry suddenly become a `hot market' for new
competitors? First, because it has the country's largest advertisement revenue of Rs.1,000
crores, of which only one player - The Times of India - has the lion's share. The new
entrants are vying for a piece of the pie. The Times of India's advertising rates are the
highest in the country. For long, advertisers have felt that they have been held to ransom
as they have no choice but to pay exorbitant rates to The Times of India in order to reach
Mumbai's upmarket consumers. Now, there are other platforms, but they will have to
prove themselves before advertisers start considering them an option.
"Advertisers are happy that there will be competitors. But, there won't be a dramatic shift
in ad spend in the short term. Only when any of these newspapers cross 50 per cent of
The Times of India readership, will they claim a place in any advertiser's media plan,"
says Himanshu Shekhar, Investment Director of Mindshare Fulcrum, a leading media
planning agency. At present, DNA and Hindustan Times' advertisement rates are around
one-fourth that of The Times of India.
Months before DNA and Hindustan Times launched in Mumbai, The Times of India went
on the defensive and started a new `compact' newspaper, somewhat like a tabloid, called
Mumbai Mirror. But it did not sell much, so The Times of India started distributing it free
with the main newspaper. Now, for Rs.4, The Times of India reader gets more than 100
pages. "We always knew that there was space for a second newspaper in Mumbai, and so
we started an alternative to broadsheets - a compact. By including Mumbai Mirror with
The Times of India, we are improving the price performance ratio of our brand," says
Bhaskar Das, executive president of The Times of India group. "The Mirror is a
newspaper for the new generation who want news-on-the-go like McDonalds. It's for the
supersonic age where people want to scan news without going into too much depth.
is essentially a `blockading' strategy - you flood the reader with so much that he/she does
not feel the need for another newspaper. "A normal reader spends 20-25 minutes on
newspapers. Do you think he/she will spend more time reading just because there are new
newspapers?" asks Das.
The Times of India readers are suddenly seeing a lot more news in a paper that once gave
news a back seat to fluff. "The TOI has also taken a lot of rear guard action by beefing up
its coverage. New competitors have raised the bar," says Das. Moreover, both The Times
of India and Mirror went on a massive recruitment of journalists and media executives at
high salaries, mopping up manpower and making it more expensive for their
competitions to recruit. But advertisement rates are as expensive as ever, around four
times that of DNA or Hindustan Times
What seems inevitable, however, is that circulation will expand. "Around 40 per cent of
Mumbai's population speak, read and write English, of which only 20 per cent are buying
English newspapers," says Shekhar. As Girish Agarwal, Director of the Bhaskar group
that owns DNA, points out, "We believe in widening the market, like we have in all the
cities that we have launched newspapers and become the leader. Since the time we started
Divya Bhaskar in Gujarat, readership there has increased by 49 per cent in two years and
ad revenue also increased by 40 per cent."
Why has Mumbai's newspaper industry been stunted for so long? "The demand for
newspapers is extremely price sensitive. Until now, The Times of India was way ahead of
the competition. So, it had a high cover price and didn't push for greater sales, because
that would increase their costs (since the cost of producing a newspaper is much greater
than its market price). They didn't need to increase circulation, since they anyway milked
all the ad revenue," says Madhvani
THE new newspapers are priced much lower - Hindustan Times at Rs.2.50 and DNA at
Rs.2 - which have boosted initial sales. "Generally, the price of an English newspaper in
every city is around Rs.2, only Mumbai was an aberration where The Times of India was
priced at Rs.4. However, now they have tried to increase their value proposition by
adding a second free newspaper to The Times of India," says Sandip Ghose, Vice-
President, Marketing, Hindustan Times. DNA's vice president, Sales, N.B. Verma, says:
"We want as many people as possible to sample our product, so we have kept the price
The Bhaskar group, which has established several successful Hindi editions and the
Gujarati Divya Bhaskar, has always followed the strategy of reaching out to readers
through surveys, flooding the market, distributing freebies. Surprisingly, DNA's counter
sales are giving the afternoon tabloid Mid-Day a run for its money. But, as a newspaper
agent points out, a vendor stands to earn 45 paise more per copy if he sells DNA in the
raddi (recycled paper) market, rather than selling it at the counter at Rs. 2.
So, are the new newspapers really offering the reader anything different? Hindustan
Times says it is targeting the `discerning' reader who wants more than `regurgitated
headlines' and page 3. "We are trying to engage people in a dialogue, and create a product
that is uniquely Mumbai. Hindustan Times takes up Mumbai's issues without dumbing
down the content or making it tabloidish," says Ghose. With fewer pages than its
competitors, Hindustan Times' layout, more classical and less cluttered, does look
DNA, with different business, sports and lifestyle sections, says it is trying to make
newspapers more accessible to readers. "Ours is a family newspaper that offers value for
money. In our paper, we clearly differentiate fact from fluff. Readers want both, but they
are not mixed together. We have recruited the best journalists for our team," says
Agarwal. "We have a lot of city news which reach out to the younger but informed
audience. In fact, we even have a page called `Speak Out' where readers can write in,"
says Gautam Adhikari, editor of DNA.
The Indian Express is emphasising its USP - `Journalism of Courage'. As part of a
campaign called "India Explained, India Empowered", it has got several prominent
leaders including the President, Prime Minister, former Prime Ministers and film actor
Shah Rukh Khan to write columns on the front page describing their idea of an
The Times of India, while maintaining some of its fluff, has become far more news-
oriented and also more colourful. "Our newspaper is aimed at empowering the reader. We
are not into crusading or agenda journalism, but are still doing investigative stories on
issues that matter in our reader's life," says Das. "With all the new newspapers coming in,
the reader is the ultimate winner because everyone is splurging to gain his/her attention."
THE SURVEY DONE BY US:
A survey of 60 people has been done by us on Times Of India. The following are the
1. Which newspaper do you read?
TOI - 35
ET - 20
MDY - 18
M M 20
DNA - 4
OTHERS - 3
2. In which language do you prefer the newspaper?
ENG - 42
HND - 6
RGNL - 5
3. Do you read Times of India?
4. Are you satisfied with the news content of Times of India?
NOT MUCH- 18
5. On what topic should Times of India emphasize more?
6. Do you want Times of India in tabloid form or the way it comes?
7 Your take on advertisements in Times of India?
8. Do you want prefer b/w or colourful newspaper?
9. Do you want news with more pictures?
10. Do you like supplements or everything in one main paper?
11. Do you think Times of India provides accurate facts and figures compared to others?
Can't say- 19
12. How many people in the family reads Times of India?
13. Is the price of Times of India reasonable?
14. Rate Times of India on a scale of 10?
6 to 7
7 to 8
Strength Weakness Opportunities and Threats
Strength of Times Of India over DNA and Hindustan Times
sells at Rs 4 in Mumbai
40 per cent – or, around Rs 1.60 – goes to the hawkers
Because of the above two reasons DNA and HT have to follow the same strategy
Subscription drive of Bhaskat group- joint venture of DNA is very aggressive. It has
proved successful in states like Gujarat Rajasthan and Chandigarh
But TOI has the strongest distribution
TOI charges Rs.5 but gives many supplements with the main paper for free
DNA and HT false short here as nobody will be ready to pay the extra supplements
along with the main paper which is for Rs.5
The other papers can’t even lower their price tags as the publishers pockets will be
TOI has a very good customer loyalty. TOI spends a lot in advertising space but it
delivers results too
DNA and HT will have to try hard to get this kind of customer loyalty
Mumbai is the biggest ad market in the country.
English language publications account for about 70 per cent of the Rs 815 crore
market and The Times of India bags almost half this sum.
AD revenue from Mumbai’s point of view:
Strength Of Times Of India In Comparison To MID DAY
Mumbai Mirror is India's first compact newspaper being more of a tabloid than anything
else in the city of Mumbai
Whereas Midday has ‘classifieds’ which consumes quite a portion of the paper.
The news paper was launched at the gateway of india by vilasrao deshmukh, chief
minister of masharashtra on 29-5-2005
The Mumbai Mirror was launched by The Times Group after Hindustan Times and DNA
announced plans to enter the Mumbai market
TOI offers Mumbai Mirror free of cost. So Midday has a big dilemma here
Mumbai Mirror was a total flop but TOI with its good marketing strategy is taking over
Midday’s market share
Total revenues 815
English 568.50 (70%)
Vernacular 246.50 (30%)
Newspapers 717.20 (88%)
The future of newspapers:
Now there’s a question that effortlessly divides people into one-and-a-half groups with
the first group – the overwhelming majority till now – refusing to let go of the ‘feel’ and
‘texture’ and ‘crinkleness’ and whatever the hell else there is that contributes to the
overall tactile fluency with which news emerges out of newsprint. Of course there’s no
doubt that the reading of papered information is a deeply associated emotional experience
that cannot easily be replaced by some digital gimmick, no matter how portable, handy or
This is true. Just like digital readouts on wristwatches, which, even after making an
enormous initial fashion statement, ultimately failed to overthrow the older and more
traditional analog timekeepers. That’s because to the first group, hours, minutes and
seconds had always been associated with hands. However, here’s something frequently
overlooked: typists didn’t go out of style with the electronic keyboard revolution. Sure,
they didn’t take to mice as effortlessly at first but keying in stuff was seamlessly
incorporated into their fingertips without a murmur. The reason? It was an all too obvious
improvement on clackety-clack.
Similarly, some newfangled handheld laptop-like gizmo – no matter how slim or chic – is
never going to be able to defeat a tradition. Only an enhancement will. When the
broadsheets you hold between your hands as you sit on your favourite throne, feel and
crinkle with familiarity yet are actually large wafer thin monitors that are permanently
online and therefore continuously updated, will you accept it with grace. Especially since
this will not spell the end of the newspaper industry at all because people from reporters
to rewriters will still have to be around to process the feed being sent to your output
device. It will, however, spell the end to cutting down trees to make paper.
(And get this: touch on an automobile ad and every model the maker produces comes on
view – with full streaming video and audio. Touch the one you want for complete specs,
options, warranties and pricing preferences. Test drive it right there on speciality tracks to
your specifications like in video parlour game rides. Like it? Enter your credit card