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Girish Agarwal: Language publications will gain more in 2011

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi and Mumbai | In Media | February 10, 2011

2010 has been a year of opportunities for newspapers. A year when the reader took centrestage and there was enough to keep us all glued to the media. Sample this: the CWG saga, the Adarsh and the 2G scams, the Bihar elections, India's remarkable feats in the sporting arena, Obama's visit and the economic turnaround. Never was there a dull moment. And readers kept wanting more. More analysis, more views and more updates. Print was present every step of the way, capturing an event-filled year in all its glory and gore.

In 2010, most media stocks fared well. DB Corp was a hot entry in the public domain. There have also been a few M&As this year and, in 2011, there will be a few more. A sign of further consolidation will continue to underline buoyancy in the news media business. FDI in print remains a debate, but I frankly do not foresee any dramatic changes in position emerging in the near future.

Re-emphasising the fact that return on investment is truly the lifeblood of a healthy business practice, the industry experienced perhaps one of the best AdEx seasons in recent memory. The year 2011 will further accentuate the positive curve that the industry has experienced. The language publications will gain more and this will be reflected in both value as well as volume growths. Review of market- and budget-allocation priorities may tend to smoothen the medium utilisation curve.

The past year also underlined the fact that geography has ceased to matter in the marketers' hunger for consumer spending. Marketers moved their sights and focus to tier II and III towns. This further enhances the importance of language print. Towns like Jaipur, Indore, Nagpur, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Vijayawada and Cochin will see excitement.

The share of Key Urban Towns (KUTs, the second Tier of 28 urban towns, a rung below the six metros) and the rest of Urban India, in terms of AdEx, moved from 60 per cent to 73 per cent (Market Shehars - E&Y Report 2010).

As we sign off on a year of opportunities, I cannot help but move ahead in the knowledge that the year gone by was just a precursor to something immensely significant - the New India has truly arrived.

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