Tamil publication Dinamalar has launched an e-paper app for iPad, named 'Dinamalar epaper'. The e-paper is available at a monthly subscription rate of USD 2.99 (about Rs 188) for access to the Chennai/Madurai/Coimbatore/Pondicherry edition of the paper.
Adimoolam, business head, Dinamalar, says, "We are extremely serious at trying the paid content model and we want to see how the market reacts to this move. Our attempt is to understand the pulse of the market as the SEC that uses iPad is willing to pay for the content."
In 2011, Dinamalar launched its iPad app that offers news content on mobiles. Speaking on the reason behind launching the e-paper app, Bala Subramaniam, head, marketing, new media, Dinamalar, says, "Our iPad app provides news updates to the people but after dedicated research, we found that people wanted to read the entire newspaper at once on their iPads. So we are attempting to offer the news they want on a medium they wish to consume it on."
Although the app saw a silent launch, Dinamalar plans to come up with a campaign around it soon. It claims that research conducted before the launch suggests that there is a huge market for online consumption of Tamil news. Subramaniam pegs the size of this market at about 2.5 million but refrains from giving details on what portion comprises iPad users. "We want to explore a market that is ready for a paid model. It has a huge audience and if we can capture even a small slice of it, it will reflect in good numbers," he adds.
The publication has apps for platforms such as BlackBerry, iPad, iOS and Windows, which together have seen 1.5 million downloads. Its website receives 180 million page views every month, of which 32 million are from the mobile platform and two million are unique visitors. The publication claims to own 75 per cent of the market share in the Tamil news content consumed online.
Dinamalar is one of the major publications of the Tamil speaking market and was launched in Thiruvananthapuram on September 6, 1951. It currently has 10 editions from Tirunelveli (1957), Tiruchi (1966), Chennai (1979), Madurai (1980), Erode (1984), Pondicherry (1991), Coimbatore (1992), Vellore (1993), Nagercoil (1996) and Salem (2000).