Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari today called upon the magazine industry to strengthen its presence in the digital and new media age by playing the role of an objective, analytical and authentic source of information.
Delivering the inaugural address at the 8th Indian Magazine Congress here n the theme "Winning through Innovation", Tewari said innovation needed to be used as a sustained tool for bringing the change in the lives of the readers rather than being a tool for 'short-cut' solutions.
Elaborating further, Tewari said that in recent times, many iconic publications had turned digital and the need of the hour was to empower the world wide web through agreed rules of engagement.
"It was necessary for the digital world to go through standard editorial checks so as to ensure rich and authentic content in the New Media Space. The challenge before the magazine industry was to withstand the flow of instant information emerging from different media streams," he added.
On the magazine industry trends, Tewari said the industry's future performance would be a critical player determining the macroeconomic environment necessary for print media stakeholders.
"This would be possible if the Industry was able to achieve greater operational efficiencies and connect with readers through delivery of high quality content. The industry could focus on profitable growth by implementing cost control initiatives and adopting technology across key business performance areas such as planning, budgeting, customer relationship management, strategic outsourcing, etc. While leading players had taken necessary steps, it was necessary that the industry reviewed the process in its entirety," he added.
On the trends for the print media industry, Tewari said the market for regional and vernacular markets continued to grow in an environment which was fruitful in view of rising literacy levels, low print media penetration in certain areas and the desire of stakeholders to use the platform.
The Minister further added that the inherent advantages of print industry - extensive reach, localisation benefits and ability to create trust and achieve a higher 'attention span', were expected to serve as a base for growth and ensure that print continues to be one of the most important platforms for Indian advertisers.
Tewari further said that in marked contrast to the global trends, the Indian print industry was growing with steady increase in both advertising and circulation revenues. Although, internet broadband penetration has been increasing at an enormous pace, print industry would continue an upward trajectory due to growth in vernacular and regional markets. The Magazine Industry, both vernacular and English, had shaped public discourse for over 60 years and still had potential to grow.
Speaking on digitization, Tewari mentioned that the first two phases had provided a learning experience as far as implementation of the process was concerned. These learnings would be incorporated while implementing the remaining two phases.
Tewari reiterated that digitization was bound to be a game changer for the sector and would define contours of orderly growth. Digitization while providing qualitative choices to the consumer would also ensure that the subscription revenues and skewed business models were rectified.