Come September and Media Transasia, publisher of the Indian Airlines in-flight magazine Swagat, will launch two new monthly magazines - Golf Style, which, as the name suggests, is a golf magazine, and National Review, a magazine on political news. While the cover price of Golf Style will be Rs 150, that of National Review will be Rs 50.
To begin with, Media Transasia is looking at a print run of 10,000-15,000 copies for National Review and 15,000-20,000 copies for Golf Style. The company brass is clear about the kind of readers it would target and says it is not looking at big numbers - the kind India Today or Outlook would garner. "National Review is not competing with India Today or Outlook. Our content treatment is going to be quite different from these general interest magazines. Most of the magazines, newspapers and TV channels - barring NDTV, which has some programmes that seriously cover politics - are more into the 'what's happening mode' of reportage. Our positioning would be more on the lines of 'news behind the news'," informs KC Jacob, president & CEO, Media Transasia.
Jacob does not want to reach out to people who want "news packaged more like fast food, which can be consumed readily". The magazine is meant for those, he says, who value in-depth information. "National Review wants to be what the Harvard Business Review is to the marketing and management community. It is read by select people," he says. National Review essentially targets senior corporates, opinion makers, politicians, senior lawyers etc.
Satyajit Sen, associate vice-president, MediaCom, thinks National Review could be interesting in terms of content value. "It is a magazine for the erudite mind, for people preparing for the IAS examination," he believes. In that sense, he agrees, an Outlook or India Today would not compete with National Review. "There is a clear demarcation between the approach of these two general interest magazines and National Review. While India Today would cater to a more mass reader, National Review has a very select audience profile in mind."
So if the magazine is trying to reach only a select few, how inclined would the regular advertiser be to associate with the National Review? While the company brass claims the response from the advertising community has been "good", a Delhi-based senior media planner has his own set of doubts. "There is a dichotomy between the content of the magazine and the interest of the mass product advertiser. For example, FMCG advertisers - the group that advertises the most - would not be keen since the magazine is not for the masses. Therefore, I do not know what kind of advertising revenues the magazine will be able to rustle up."
Given the nature of the content and its possible readership - and therefore, its advertising potential - the group has kept the cover price of both the magazines slightly on the higher side, and would depend more on subscription than on on-stand sales.
Interestingly, Golf Style will have to contend with the Indian edition of sports speciality magazine, Golf Digest, launched five months ago in India by the Living Media group, and priced Rs 50 less than Golf Style at Rs 100. Jacob does not see Golf Digest as a rival though. "Eighty per cent of Golf Digest's content comes from overseas with very little coverage on Indian golfers. In contrast, Golf Style will primarily focus on Indian golf and Indian golfers, with some overseas news on golf."
But the moot question is, is the Indian market ready to lap up two speciality magazines on golf? "Golf is an emerging trend. Many senior corporate executives have taken up this sport and a lot of corporate investment is coming into it. Clearly there is a market for another golf magazine," says Jacob. © 2003 agencyfaqs!