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Oona Dhabhar: Growth of luxury segment will lead to growth of high-end magazines

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

Accessing innovative content through multiple mediums such as the smart phone, the iPad, PlayBook or other tablet devices is the key trend to watch out for in 2011. The good news for high-niche magazines is that while readership and circulation numbers continue to show a healthy growth there is immense opportunity to let readers access innovative content through multiple media platforms and lead the digital trend.

With increased smart phone penetration, 3G-access and the imminent launch of the iPad and PlayBook in India, digital creates an opportunity to build a two-way interactive relationship with our readers. For Conde Nast India, 2011 will be the year of consolidating the magazines and creating innovative digital offerings.

We are beginning to see a trend of younger readers accepting content through multiple media platforms. What we want to do is try and provide the content to these potential readers the way they would like it. The digital space is set to take off in a big way in India and that's what our focus will be this year.

We will continue to drive readership and circulation for Vogue, GQ and Conde Nast Traveler. Today, our magazines enjoy a lion's share of the luxury advertising revenue and continue to grow at a healthy 25-30 per cent each year.

Creating a host of innovative and interactive ipad, PlayBook and smart phone apps that would provide consumers a unique experience and help the titles strengthen the relationship with the younger readers will be our key focus areas. We will continue to spearhead innovative content from print onto virtual platforms and also begin to extend the already strong equity of Vogue, GQ and Conde Nast Traveller to new businesses.

The challenge today continues to be finding an effective and efficient way of reaching the elusive but spending affluent Indian and growing the market. The growth of high-end magazines is dependent on the overall growth of the luxury industry, which at the moment is not very large. We really need to continue to the do the right things in order to make sure that the luxury products industry continues to grow at a healthy rate. At Conde Nast, we continue to focus on building a multimedia publishing business that helps reach the affluent in India.

Another matter of a concern for the niche magazines is the lack of print run audit. We would like to have a more transparent approach. We do print run audit because we think it's our small contribution to the high-end magazine genre and because marketers are beginning to see value in it.

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