R Venkatasubramanian, senior director, Investments, MPG
The others will face various problems until the time people start placing their trust in them. Also, subscription-wise, people are not ready to shell out money for the lesser-known weekend papers.
For a weekly newspaper to gain acceptance, the basic criterion is quality content. TOI Crest, for instance, does not do a round-up of the entire week, but picks up interesting trends.
If you get a paper free of cost, along with the daily you have subscribed for, you may or may not read it. But, if it has a price tag attached to it and people are ready to pay for it (Crest has a cover price of Rs 6, and Sunday Standard comes for Rs 4), it means that the product is gaining acceptance.
The only problem with these newspapers might be the standard of the content. Readers opt for these to learn something new. If they don't get that, they won't accept the product.
Tarun Nigam, national director, Business Impact Division, SMG
A weekend newspaper business model has always sparked debate. In the UK, the model initially bought success for titles such as The Observer and The Mail on Sunday, but has struggled to bring in revenue since the early '90s, partly due to the fact that few product categories look to advertise in these papers.
But, there is an interesting story with the Asian newspaper growth saga. In developing Asia, paid daily newspaper circulation is growing (South Korea, with its 10.6 per cent rise in 2006 and its 19 per cent growth over five years, is an exception).
Paid-for daily newspapers in China registered a 2.3 per cent growth in 2006, against a background of a 15.5 per cent increase over five years. The corresponding figures for India were 12.9 per cent and 53.6 per cent.
A S Raghunath, media consultant
I always wondered that if conventional media focusses on the width, who is going to cover the depth? Hopefully, the baton will be taken over by these weekend newspapers. TOI Crest has set a very good example and the other players should be able to follow. In Hindi, Chauthi Duniya is doing a very good job at giving in-depth analyses.
The New Indian Express, given its lineage, should do well in Delhi. And, the fact that they are serious about Sunday Standard can be gauged from the fact that they are getting it printed and published in Delhi. These broadsheets need to take a clue from the weekly magazines and make sure that the hawkers are clued in to their distribution system in order to boost subscriptions.First Published : May 23, 2011