Digital News Publishers Association formed

Indiaís biggest media companies get together for digital media

Digital News

Ten of India’s biggest media companies, who claim that they collectively reach 70% of India’s online audience, announced on 22 September 2018, a new group or collective called the Digital News Publishers Association. The organization says it is committed to providing the most credible news in all languages to the Indian audience, to self-regulation and to promoting the business and editorial interests of all members.

At this point, one can only wonder if one of the intentions or purposes of the new association is to take on Google and Facebook for a better revenue share, but the WAN-IFRA conference in Hyderabad should be a good place to question some of the founders whether this is the case. However, don’t hold your breath for a straight answer, which could be an answer in itself.

Stating that the digital media space in India is growing exponentially, the group says that the DNPA has been formed to find ways to cooperate in maximizing the current and future potential of the industry. The 10 founding members of the DPA are – Dainik Bhaskar, India Today Group, NDTV, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Times of India, Amar Ujala, Dainik Jagran, Eenadu and Malayala Manorama. The DNPA is self-funded with a nominal joining fee contribution from each publishing house. The organization says it is open to any online news publisher and that all memberships will be cleared by the board, although no criteria have been given at this time.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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