Das ka Dum with Dr Bhaskar Das | It’s been many months since the lockdown was lifted, but the English newspapers in the metros have still not fully recovered in terms of advertising? When do you expect things to improve for the metrowallahs?

28 Jan,2021

BhaskarIt’s a question a lot of people are asking. So we asked Dr Bhaskar Das the same. Presenting the Jan 28, 2021 edition of Das ka Dum. Read on…

 

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Q. It’s been many months since the lockdown was lifted, but the English newspapers in the metros have still not fully recovered in terms of advertising? When do you expect things to improve for the metrowallahs?

 

 

A. English being a habitual mindset for buyers of media in the metros, we conflate the page level of the leading players as indicative of the state of health of the economy. It need not be. There are number of factors which might be contributing to this. First, the pre-Covid circulation of English dailies hasn’t come back in  the metros. This may be due to habit change of consumers or for restrictive entries of newspapers  for fear of Covid in large housing complexes. These affects response for advertisements. Thirdly, increasing adoption of digital versions of news has caused migration of readership (I presume, as no official data is available as of now) and consequently reallocation of advertising investments to a more performance-oriented medium. But the same isn’t true for Indian language editions in non- metro markets where both circulation and advertising have reached 90% of the pre-Covid levels.

 

Of course, life in the non-metros is/was not so badly impacted as in the metros. Consequently, many categories have experienced growth in sales in those markets. Due to a skewed metro focus , non-metros remained underserved. Now for business imperatives, this development has come as a boon for the India Inc in many categories. As a result, indian language newspapers are doing better than English newspapers in the metros. So the new narrative is that Bharat (dominated by Indian language newspapers) is leading the India growth story. That must be causing a hierarchical change in the pecking order of English in favour of Indian language newspapers in the country. Marketeers must have discerned it too.

 

 

 

 

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