With the culmination of the two-day Indian Magazine Congress 2015 in Chennai, President of Association of Indian Magazines, Mitrajit Bhattacharya, predicted around 10 per cent growth for magazines this year. In a conversation with BestMediaInfo.com, Bhattacharya claimed that magazines grew by around 6 per cent in 2014 over 2013, but with markets opening up, the growth is expected to be high this year.
As magazines provide high scores on mind measures, information, stimulation and attitude towards advertising as per the ‘Engagement Index – Magazine 2X’, Bhattacharya expressed that the high level of engagement would help the magazines grow. Ruling out the concerns of declining trend in the magazine industry, Bhattacharya said, “Every medium goes through periodic corrections and chart its future course of action. Magazines are in a much better place today in terms of strategies when compared with the recent past.”
Bhattacharya expressed his satisfaction and termed the first Magazine Congress in a southern city as “excellent”. “We had around 200 delegates registered and each session was attended by full capacity audience. Also, the line-up of top class international as well as Indian speakers helped the cause. Not only this, eight new publishers joined AIM this year, which is a remarkable achievement in itself,” added Bhattacharya.
Disapproving that publishers are not innovating to keep up with the changing dynamics of industry, Bhattacharya said, “Most publishers have handled migration to digital media very effectively over the past few years. There is a lot of work happening on-ground, which sometimes takes time to get noticed. There is some great work happening at regional levels.”
When asked if he saw digital as a threat to magazines or an additional revenue source for same content, Bhattacharya termed it as an extension of print that gave life to content and opened immense opportunities for monetisation. While claiming that a lot of content was already paid on digital, he was hopeful of many other magazines following suit sooner or later.