Digital to boost Condé Nast in India

17 October 2012

NEW DELHI: Condé Nast, the publishing company, expects to derive a quarter of its revenues from digital media in India in two years' time, reflecting major trends impacting the country's media sector.

Speaking to Campaign Asia, Alex Kuruvilla, the managing director of Condé Nast India, reported that the returns generated by new media were rising at a fast pace having started to flow in 18 months ago.

"Digital revenues are growing by leaps and bounds," he said. "Today, digital revenues account for double digits of the total, though that is only because print revenues have shown steady growth, too."

"My view is that with video coming in, it will create a new 'channel' for us. I expect 25% revenues from digital by 2014, with consistent growth in print revenues."

Moreover, Kuruvilla argued that the company may see stronger results from this medium than is the case in many other nations, both in Asia and beyond.

"In most digitally-savvy markets including some in Asia, digital accounts for 20–22% of revenues. India should do better than that. The audience is already there; but the advertisers aren't," Kuruvilla said.

"I think it has to do with a lack of understanding about the way it is sold. Digital inventory has been commoditised by most players. We've adopted a premium pricing in digital as well."

Online readers are slightly younger than their print counterparts, and offer a huge potential audience both within India and beyond, among the diaspora that are "hungry for content from back home".

Turning to mobile, Condé Nast has just rolled out five apps for its titles. One of the most successful, for GQ, its magazine for men, has been downloaded over 240,000 times already.

"We're also looking at paid apps in the future. We're looking at building our custom solutions," said Kuruvilla.

In terms of overall growth drivers, he suggested that providing bespoke solutions to advertisers would join traditional online display and video ads as the main priority areas.

"Contract publishing, where we create original digital content, is also showing a lot of promise. Be it white label content, branded content or co-branded content, there is huge potential for original digital content. We've already done work in the space with Unilever and Mastercard," he added.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia; additional content by Warc staff