Print Industry in India – Most Well-Established Form of Media

Print Industry encompasses almost every field in a country’s economy. The industry generates an assortment of objects like Newspapers, Magazines, Books, Business Order Forms, Post Cards to Memo Pads, etc. that come in use in our day to day life. Being one of the most well established media forms in our country,Indian Print Industry comprises mainly of newspaper and magazine publishing. However, share, though substantial, made by book publishing can not be overlooked.

In recent years, the Indian print industry is recorded a 12.6% CAGR which is expected to grow till Rs 232 bn from Rs 128 bn by 2011. On the whole, newspaper industry shares the size of approximately Rs 112 bn whereas magazine segment accounts for Rs 16 bn only.

Growth Drivers: Factors contributing to the growth of industry include –

*Higher literacy levels- At present, Indian print industry has its reach to over 220m people, whereas newspaper is read only by 27% of people of India, as compared to the average 50% globally. In India, the rate of literacy has increased to 71.1% in 2006, as compared to 69.9% in 2005. Where literacy rate in rural segment has touched 64.8%, urban literacy has increased to 85.3%.

*Lower cover prices Newspaper had higher cover charges earlier but cut-throat competition has led the companies to reduce their cover prices so as to popularize their sales. Therefore, the companies have started selling out dailies, including popular English ones, for as low as Re1 or Rs 2 to experience growth in their sales.

*Higher ad spends- Print industry accounts for 48% of the total Rs 137.5 bn advertising industry and plays a crucial role in it. In spite of being a vital industry, the ad spend in India is just 0.4% of GDP, where as in China, it is about 0.5% and 1.3% in the US. Nonetheless, factors such as growing interest of international brands in domestic markets and rising consumerism has made it contribute more in the ad segment.

“As a matter of fact, there is no single newspaper circulated nationally. However, India has entitled as the second largest platform for newspapers with 88.9 m copies sold out each day, next to China with 98.7 m copies a day.”

Fragmented Industry

Indian print industry is highly fragmented based on language. About 46% of the daily newspapers are vernacular, 44% of them publish in Hindi and only 10% in English. However, the English newspapers are much central to urban areas. On contrary to this, Hindi-language newspapers have a proportionately larger readership in rural areas. The newspaper industry is highly dominated by existing players and their overall control over the distribution network has made it difficult for novice to enter in the industry.

Foreign Investment

A big number of Indian print players are confined to their local regions and would likely to refrain from entering new territories due to lack of funds. The relaxation in foreign investment regulations in 2002 has given the industry a leverage to expand further. Currently, newspapers and periodicals are permitted for 26% foreign direct investment (FDI). While non-news publications has permission of 100% foreign.

Indian Print Industry’s Current Status

*Nearly 160,000 Printing Presses are being operated across the country.

*Employes more than 1.6 million work force.

*Printing academic bodies include 18 Printing Engineering Colleges, Several diploma schools and many print training institutions.

*Produce over 2000 graduates in printing every year.

Future of the Industry

The factors such as increasing literacy, entering global brands in the country, increasing consumerism and sector’s opening to foreign investors would lead to further growth in print media. Also, widening newspaper companies and their spreading across newer segments would have a positive impact on its growth.

By master