South Premium Publishers launch combined digital ad pack

South Indian language dailies take on the digital challenge

Four major language dailies of South India combine the digital ad sales efforts into the South Premium Publishers platform
Four major language dailies of South India combine the digital ad sales efforts into the South Premium Publishers platform

Four major language news dailies in each of the four South Indian states have put together the South Premium Publishers digital advertising platform. Their newly launched SPP offers the digital media of Dinamalar in Tamil, Eenadu in Telugu, Manorama in Malayalam, and Prajavani in Kannada with a single digital advertising plan and package to reach premium digital users in one of the most vibrant news consuming regions in the world. 

With a reach of 37 million unique visitors and 715 million page views, and an average time spent on the news sites from 3.36 to 8.09 minutes, the four news organizations have combined their digital marketing and sales efforts. They seem to have understood that the best way to monetize their growing digital audiences is to collectively sell the digital possibilities to brand owners and advertising planners. 

The SPP news platforms’ combined audiences include 73% in the 18 to 44 age group, from young consumers to high net worth individuals (HNIs) whose primary source is digital news. As reported by Exchange4Media, the SPP digital advertising package delivers a stunning three billion ad impressions each month. (Source: GA report, Combined Monthly Average, April 2020 – September 2020). The newly launched consortium website,, contains the relevant information.

Mariam Mammen Mathew, the CEO of Manorama Online, the Malayalam news platform, says, “South Premium Publishers offers advertisers credibility, digital brand safety, and increased awareness, with more control and ease of access to premium digital inventory from all major publishers of South India. This is the only premium digital publishers’ network that delivers. At Manorama Online, we are happy to be part of this pioneering platform in Indian Digital Publishing.”

While SPP’s single digital advertising package offers what is claimed to be “a robust value proposition which makes a good business sense for the advertiser,” each advertiser will get a customized digital ad solution based on each of the digital news platform’s reach and performance. The idea is to target and leverage a compelling value proposition with a single release order.

Single digital ad package with a single release order

“We are the market leader in the Tamil digital market,” says L Adimoolam, director of Business and Technical of Tamil daily Dinamalar and its digital platform. “In 2019-20, of the total Indian ad market of more than Rs 70,000 crore, 21% has been contributed by digital. Given the current digital growth prospects, its important that we give the best and the most convenient platform to the advertisers and agencies to connect with South Indian digital audiences.”

Arpan Chatterjee, COO – Digital of The Printers Mysore, publishers of Kannada daily Prajavani and, said, “South Premium Publishers has its own uniqueness in enabling advertisers to target quality digital audience across South India through a single interface for brand and content campaigns. With more than three billion ad impressions every month to a very engaged audience in their own language, it is a strong value proposition from SPP. Prajavani is glad to be a part of SPP.”

The combined SPP digital ad platform offers flexible advertising packages with sales support across India providing a media mix with CPD/CPM options. Digital advertisers can choose from roadblock ads, display banner ads, and native advertising to reach their target groups. Speaking about the fundamental idea behind launching the alliance and combined digital ad platform, I Venkat, director of Telugu news daily, Eenadu says, “Our group is known for value creation and value innovation. This combination is a step towards creating value for our esteemed digital advertisers. We need to recognize that the market dynamics are evolving, which demands innovation in our existing business model, and collaboration is one of the solutions. This combination will help advertisers to reach out to Southern Indian premium digital audiences in a very credible, secure, and highly engaged environment.”

It is about time that the Indian news platforms confront the digital opportunity more seriously for subscriptions and digital advertising, especially after their digital investments for more than two decades. Digital advertising is still new. The most comfortable paradigm so far has been to surrender to the big tech companies. The revenue share is not commensurate with the cost of news gathering, publishing, and reaching one of the most enthusiastic and tech-savvy audiences in the world. The four South Indian language newspapers, each a strong brand in its own right, have grasped that this is an opportunity that will require combined investment, creativity, and learning. 

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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