Hindustan has become the first all-colour newspaper in Bihar. Hindustan Media Ventures, the hived-off Hindi business arm of HT Media, has also set up a new printing facility in Patna, the state capital, to churn out the first all-colour edition of Bihar.
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Earlier, Hindustan had six colour pages, in an edition of 20-22 pages. With the new Hiline printing facility, the paper now has the capacity to print 24 colour pages.
Though sources at Hindustan revealed that the company plans to introduce a new rate card; media planners are of the opinion that the Hindi daily would gain an edge over its competitors, only if the B&W ad rates are maintained.
Media planners also see it as a positive move for the entire industry, as they expect other players to follow suit soon. In fact, they see this development as a win-win situation for the advertisers.
"No one wants a B&W page these days, and the same can't be continued till eternity. The change will bring an excitement in the market; and it's good that Hindustan has made the first move," says a senior media analyst.
Besides, the Hindi daily has also introduced a four-page daily supplement, titled Hindustan Yuva, with the Patna edition. The supplement has a mix of education, youth and glamour- related news.
"The supplement Hindustan Yuva makes us different from the competition, as they don't have anything in this space. We are the first one to launch a daily youth-centric supplement," says the source at Hindustan.
Talking about the future plans for Bihar and Jharkhand, the source says, "The two states are important focus areas for the daily; and the group is making significant investments in the state, in both infrastructure and people. Advertisers are looking at Bihar with avid interest. One of the best printing presses has been set up in eastern India, our Hiline facility being the first one in Bihar."
To announce the development, the newspaper has launched a campaign with the theme, 'Pragati Ke Rang Ab Hindustan Akhbar Mein'. The daily has used outdoor, radio and point-of-sale heavily to announce the change.