Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar has reduced its cover price in Bhopal. Earlier, the newspaper was available for Rs 2 to Rs 3.50, depending on the day of the week; now, with the revised cover price, the daily sells at Rs 1.50 for four days a week. The new cover price for the daily came into effect from July 20.
Commenting on the development, Vinay Maheshwari, vice-president, consumer sales, Dainik Bhaskar, says, "The price of the newspaper has been lowered primarily to generate additional trials and expand the readership base. We believe that there still exists an untapped market in Bhopal. Being the leader of the market, it is another step towards contributing to the growth of readership in the area."
Giving the rationale for the new cover price, Maheshwari adds, "The reasons for the revised cover price are multiple - from building on additional cash sales to inducing fresh trials. The differential day pricing has been based on various factors such as content composition, number of supplements, paper used, readership figures and circulation trend."
In fact, in June, Dainik Bhaskar reduced the cover price for its other publication in Bhopal - Jan Jagriti. For the record, Jan Jagriti is a Dainik Bhaskar variant and is similar to the daily -the only difference being that it is labelled Jan Jagriti on the right of the masthead and has fewer pages than Dainik Bhaskar.
According to Maheshwari, all these steps have come about from trends thrown by readership data for the market, which seems to suggest that there is a gap between 'can read Hindi' and 'subscribing a Hindi daily every day' in the market. Therefore, there is a scope for expanding the overall readership base. A drop in cover price has always helped publications in generating initial trials and building readership from the non-reading segment.
Besides Dainik Bhaskar, other players in Bhopal are Patrika, Raj Express, Dainik Jagran, NavDunia (from Naidunia Publications), Navbharat and Business Standard, among others.
A majority of these dailies in Bhopal are already available at an invitation price of Rs 2. According to industry experts, the collective competition from all these dailies in the recent past that has forced Dainik Bhaskar, the market leader of 30 years, to reduce its cover price in its efforts to maintain and grow its readership.