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Prabhat Khabar halves its cover price in Jharkhand

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | June 16, 2010
The newspaper has slashed its cover price from Rs 4 to Rs 2 in all the four centres, from where the newspaper is published

Prabhat Khabar, the Hindi daily, has reduced its cover price by 50 per cent in Jharkhand. The newspaper is available now at Rs 2 from the earlier cover price of Rs 4, with effect from June 15.

The price cut is applicable to all four editions of the newspaper that are published from Jharkhand, namely, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad and Deogarh. There would be no change in the annual subscription or content of the newspaper.

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According to KK Goenka, managing director, Prabhat Khabar, "Jharkhand is an underdeveloped market; and we were unable to reach out to a very large section of people. Jharkhand has only 18 per cent readership, and through this initiative, we want to reach out to the untapped regions of the society."

He adds that it is for the first time in this part of the country that a newspaper has reduced its cover price to such an extent. "Also, it's for the first time that we are reducing the cover price of our paper," he affirms. However, looking at the success of this model in other parts of the country, the daily is confident that the reduction would turn out to be beneficial in the longer run.

The group is also hopeful of getting the first mover advantage. The other prominent Hindi players in the state, Hindustan and Dainik Jagran, continue to bear a cover price of Rs 4.

Goenka claims that on the first day of price reduction, the daily sold an additional 75,000 copies in the state. "As of now, we have a circulation of 2.30 lakh, as per ABC figures. We expect to witness an increase of 30 per cent in a period of three months," he adds.

To promote the price reduction, the newspaper has launched a campaign titled 'Ab padhega pura Jharkhand'. The 360-degree campaign relies heavily on outdoor, banners, radio and print. The daily has taken 100 hoardings across small and big towns in the state. Apart from this, it also has taken up 12 publicity vans all over the state. About Rs 50-60 lakh will be spent in the next three months on this campaign.

Goenka is hopeful that other players in the market would follow suit and reduce their cover prices; thereby increasing the overall circulation of newspapers in the state by 50 per cent.