HT Media updates production with ppi Media software

HT Media puts workflow on a new technological footing

Hindustan Times 2 November 2021
Hindustan Times 2 November 2021

HT Media is one of India’s leading media companies which publishes the Hindustan Times in English with a combined countrywide circulation of about 1.6 million copies and other broadsheets including the Hindi daily Hindustan and the financial daily Mint and several magazines. The Delhi-headquartered company is now embarking on a comprehensive overhaul of its production and editorial solutions infrastructure to enhance and optimize its media production using ppi Media’s software solutions. A current version of QuarkXPress for editing editorial content will also be integrated into ppi Media’s production workflow.

Similar to several other larger publications and publishers in India, Hindustan Times uses ppi Media’s integrated solutions to produce daily newspapers, including the central planning component PlanPag, and AdMan to manage ad production and additional elements. All the components are currently working together seamlessly as part of a comprehensive production workflow. However, many of the software solutions installed are being replaced by the latest product versions as part of a shift by the Hindustan Times to a current Long Term Support Release (LTSR) from ppi Media, for providing a state-of-the-art technological foundation going forward.

Within the framework of the Long Term Support Releases, the ppi Media solutions provide clients with regular, extensive technological and functional innovations, with a fixed update and support schedule for the integrated product versions to ensure a secure production environment. In addition to the update to a current LTSR, ppi Media is also integrating a new editor to design ads, and a workflow for magazine production at HT Media.

Integration of QuarkXPress into the ppi workflow

Along with InDesign, QuarkXPress is often a crucial production tool for publishers in India in terms of layout and editing. For the first time, ppi Media’s XML interface will be integrated into the current QuarkXPress versions so that HT Media can implement QuarkXPress in ppi Media’s established production workflow to guarantee a structured exchange of data.

Kapil Arora Group head of Publishing Services at Hindustan Times Photo HT Media
Kapil Arora Group head of Publishing Services at Hindustan Times Photo HT Media

Group head of Publishing Services at Hindustan Times, Kapil Arora, states, “We are delighted to be working with ppi Media to place our production environment on a new technological footing. The deep integration of the workflow components and ppi’s highly client-oriented service are vitally important to us. So we can already look back over many years of successful cooperation.”

“Our solutions are deeply integrated into InDesign in various ways, but QuarkXPress also plays a central role in the newsroom, particularly in India. Therefore, not only are we delighted that HT Media has chosen ppi solutions for a comprehensive update, but this project is also taking us a step towards deeper integration of QuarkXPress with ppi Media solutions,” says Dr Hauke Berndt, CEO of ppi Media.

Based on a press release from ppi Media on 2 November 2021.

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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