Bhaskar reacts with DB STAR in Bhopal

By Dhaleta Surender Kumar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | June 02, 2008
After Patrika and NavDunia, Bhaskar reacts with DB Star in Bhopal; Indore next destination

The print & #BANNER1 & # industry in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) is just heating up. It is Dainik Bhaskar's own fort, and with the launch of NavDunia (a Hindi daily from Naidunia group) and Patrika (from Rajasthan Patrika house) in the city, the industry thought that the heat was on the Bhaskar group to defend its fort. However it had an ace up its sleeve. On May 25, 2008, Patrika was launched. Bhaskar reacted with the launch of DB STAR, a six-day (Monday-Saturday) Hindi compact in the city.

However, Sanjeev Kotnala, AV-P & national head, communication, DB Corp, denies that the launch is a reaction to the launch of Patrika and NavDunia in Bhopal. "DB STAR is a result of Bhaskar research and understanding of the changes that are taking place in the interests and reading habits of readers in Tier-II towns. It is launched under the plan for all Bhaskar urban cities launch. After Bhopal, Indore too would soon have its own DB STAR, followed by other cities. If it was a reaction then it should have restricted itself to just Bhopal," he clarifies.

So how's DB STAR different from the group's main daily, Dainik Bhaskar? Kotnala offers an interesting anecdote. "DB STAR is the "GEC of the newspapers," he says. It has the youth- young at heart focus. The content tonality is different and has an aggressive niche front page stories. It has extended news coverage of happenings that may not be finding detailed coverage in Dainik Bhaskar. It has a detailed Astro page which has it covered from all angles - numerology - colour sense - zodiac signs, etc. This is not there in Dainik Bhaskar in such detail. It has detailed listing of the happening in and around city. Bollywood -Hollywood and masala from music and entertainment plays a dominant part.

He's sure that DB STAR will appeal not just to the youth but to a wide cross-section of the society. "Yes, it has a 'Young at Mind' readership design, but we are sure that DB STAR will find a lot more readership within the families as it has that on the pulse reading available for the cross section," Kotnala says.

Sanjeev Kotnala
DB STAR has a claimed print-run of over one-lakh copies and rides on Bhaskar's existing distribution network. Though bearing a cover price of Re 1, it is being given complimentary to Dainik Bhaskar readers, currently. "It will ultimately be a standalone product," Kotnala says.

With DB STAR, the Bhaskar group is hoping to rope in a new set of advertisers as well - particularly from the retail segment. "It is also a vehicle for many advertisers - new and old - who may not find Dainik Bhaskar affordable. The response is great - we already have confirmed year agreements for the Front and Page 3," the AVP says.

Kotnala sees no competition for DB STAR, as of now. "If there will be some in future, we will welcome that. We believe that competition has always helped Bhaskar grow stronger," he says.

The group kept the launch of DB STAR under wraps and caught everyone by surprise. It did not do any outdoor activities to promote or market the paper.

DB STAR is the fifth title from the group in the daily space. It already has Dainik Bhaskar, Divya Bhaskar, and DNA and soon to be launched Business Bhaskar.