Aazhi Publishers launches general news magazine

By Rashmi Menon , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | January 07, 2013
The digital edition of the magazine will be launched by mid-January to reach out to the Tamil diaspora. More magazines are in the offing this year.

Tamil boutique publishing house Aazhi Publishers has announced that it will launch a mainstream news magazine, Thamizh Aazhi, this month. In addition to the print edition, the magazine's digital edition will be unveiled by mid-January, coinciding with Pongal (the Tamil New Year).

Thamizh Aazhi

Priced at Rs 20, the monthly magazine will comprise 64 colour gloss pages with an initial print run of 20,000 copies. The magazine plans to go weekly in six months. The print edition will be available in all major cities, district headquarters and major towns, a total of 120-130 towns in Tamil Nadu and in Delhi, Mumbai and the major cities in the three other southern states. The magazine will also be available in Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and some Gulf countries to reach out to the Tamil diaspora there.

For the Tamil readers in the Western countries, the magazine has tied up with Magzter, which will take care of its technology and distribution logistics to make it available on Kindle, Android and Apple iOS. The magazine's competition is said to be the Tamil version of India Today and Sunday Indian.

The cover story in the first edition of Thamizh Aazhi is an extensive interview with Uday Kumar, who is steering the Kundankulam protest against a nuclear power plant, which dominated news last year. It also offers news and opinions on government, business, healthcare, education, entertainment and global affairs.

Interestingly, the Chennai-based publishing house plans to bring out four more magazines on travel and tourism, franchisee industry, fashion and lifestyle, and fiction/novels in the coming three months. A children's magazine is also in the offing by the latter half of the year.

S Senthil Nathan, CEO, Aazhi Publishers, and publisher and editor, Thamizh Aazhi, says that the news magazine will be the flagship product and the other magazine will target the unserved market in Tamil Nadu. "We are looking to target readers who are upwardly mobile, aspirational and have urbanised minds even though they live in small towns," he says. Apparently, the publishing house has invested Rs 1.5-2 crore on Thamizh Aazhi.

International appeal

S Senthil Nathan

According to Nathan, Thamizh Aazhi will be different from other Tamil competitors since 15-20 per cent of the news in the political section will be international. "There are many Tamil readers across the world and also, we have a large number of Sri Lankan Tamil population, which we have to take care of. In fact, from the third issue onwards, we are going to have customised content of about 16 pages for Indian, South Asian and Western readers. Our aim is to become the No. 1 mainstream news magazine in Tamil in terms of both mind share and market share within the next two years," he says.

For the digital subscribers, the publication will allow free download of 10 ebooks published by Aazhi, he adds.

While the magazine has not decided on taking out media ads, it will promote the magazine in all the major book festivals in the state this year. "We are also hiring a social media expert for digital promotion of the magazine,"

Nathan states. Looking at the growing importance of the digital medium, Nathan expects considerable revenue through the digital edition.

Aazhi (which means Ocean) Publishers was set up by Nathan (who was chief copy editor at India Today Tamil till last year) in 2007 and is a multilingual book publishing company. It has 90 book titles to its credit and has about 40 authors. This year, it intends to publish another 50-60 titles. Apart from the publishing house, Nathan set up a translation agency, Langscape, in 2002.

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