Publish or perish: Indian Magazine Congress 2013 to discuss future of mags in digital era

21 Jan,2013

By Ananya Saha

 

The digital era is turning up the heat on print publications, especially magazines. One of the most prominent of titles to succumb was probably Newsweek, which has gone digital-only. (More here: http://www.mxmindia.com/2012/10/could-indian-mags-go-the-newsweek-way/) For most publications, it is a choice between moving ahead with technology or perishing. ‘New Directions. New Opportunities’ is thus the theme for the 7th Indian Magazine Congress, which will be held in Mumbai on Feb 14-15.

 

Maheshwer Peri

Maheshwer Peri, Chairperson, Programme Committee, IMC and Chairman, Pathfinder Publishing, explained, “Increasingly, the tablet has made magazines earn revenue through digital also. Similarly, metrics have come up measuring circulation on the tablet, and hence lot of magazine publishers are also monetizing it for advertising. The revenue model supports zero-cost. This year’s congress will explore new opportunities that arise out of new media.”

 

Mr Peri added, “Last year, we did not dwell too much on the tablet even though we focused on digital a lot. Now, we want on focus on the tablet revolution. There is a lot of research and groundwork that has happened where magazine publishers have monetized this medium.”

 

The international list of speakers includes Andrew Duck, Managing Director, Audience Media; Arnaud de Saint Simon, CEO, Psychologies Magazine; Ashish Bhasin, Chairman India & CEO South East Asia, Aegis Group; Chris Llewellyn, President, FIPP; Fabrizio d’Angelo, Managing Director, Burda Holding International; Nicholas Brett, Deputy Managing Director and Group Editorial Director, BBC Magazines; Mike Lovell, International Director, Licensing, Meredith; Torsten-Joern Klein, President, Gruner + Jahr International, Germany; and Sandra Gotelli International Publisher and Head of Licensing, Mondadori, among others.

 

The Indian delegate list includes: I&B Minister Manish Tewari; Ambika Srivastava, CEO, ZenithOptimedia; CVL Srinivas, CEO, South Asia, GroupM; Indrajit Gupta Editor, Forbes India; Rajan Anandan, Managing Director, India, Google; Satyaki Ghosh, Director, Consumer Products, L’Oreal India; and Umang Bedi, Managing Director, Adobe.

 

“When I was putting in the content and structure for this conference, the underlying motive was to see what we can learn that we can implement in India. For me, it is all about what the speaker did and what I can learn. Speakers will shed light on distribution models, merchandising and branding as an added revenue stream, brain-mapping of readers that is not only scientific but also impressive, what India can learn from China from a person who is already present in that market and is about to enter India. We have a speaker to talk about multi-platform publishing and how to put and monetize content five times over. At the end of the two-day conference, if I implement even one of the things that are shared, it might be a turn-around for me as a publisher,” Mr Peri asserted.

 

Provocative discussions, interesting topics and an impressive line-up of speakers: IMC 2013 promises a lot.

 

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