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Living Media to launch 12 publications

October 05, 2006 10:16 IST

In a bid to address the increasing number of niche readership segments, Living Media India, the publishing house that brings out India Today, plans to launch as many as 12 new publications in the next 12 months.

The first three of the lot - Money Today, Men's Health and Prevention - are slated to hit the newsstands in a couple of months.

Money Today is an in-house development while the other two are international publications to be published under a licence.

Money Today, which will focus on personal finance, and Men's Health and Prevention, which will target lifestyle, health and nutrition segments, have been licensed from US-based Rodale Publishing House.

Living Media has struck similar licence agreements to bring out the Indian editions of Harvard Business Review and Good Housekeeping and is hungry for more.

"There will be 11-12 magazines rolling out this year in the genres of lifestyle, family and children's interest, travel, tourism etc," said Ashish Bagga, chief executive, Living Media India.

The company already brings out Time, Cosmopolitan, Readers' Digest and Golf Digest in India.

According to the latest FICCI-PWC report, the Indian magazine industry was worth $13 billion in 2005 and figure could rise to $25 billion by 2010.

Men's Health, with the first month's print run of 50,000 in October, will cost Rs 50 a copy. The Harvard Business Review will also be out this month, priced at Rs 750 a copy. Its initial print run is 12,500 copies. The details for Money Today, Prevention and the others are being worked out.

"While Men's Health will have web, television, print as well as outdoor advertising, Harvard will be more through direct marketing and using our select mailing list," said Pavan Varshnei, publishing director.

Such licence agreements are becoming rampant and are typically a win-win situation as the overseas publisher, minus any investment, gets a fixed sum or percentage of revenue for licensing his brand.

The Indian publisher, on the other hand, brings in domestic ads and employs his own distribution strength to push a product, without the effort of creating a brand.

"While the investment is not very heavy, licensing can generate incremental volumes through reduced prices and local advertising. Moreover, one has to expand offerings, penetrate niche segments which now have enough critical mass to justify speciality magazines," explained Bagga.

As part of entering the regional market, the group would come out with its flagship brand India Today, in Gujarati, added Bagga.
Bhuma Shrivastava in New Delhi