India's Magazine Market Makes Happy Headlines

15 May 2008

MUMBAI: Hot on the heels of Condé Nast's glossy foray into the subcontinent by way of an Indian edition of Vogue, advertisers are reportedly rushing to get into the publisher's latest venture, men's upmarket title GQ.

The magazine, which hits the newsstands in September, will be available across the top forty towns in India and targets "affluent and urbane" male readers.

Rapidly rising incomes and the growth of the Indian middle classes have led to an expanding market in magazines and print publications.

The sector generated 94 billion rupees ($2.2bn; €1.4bn; £1.1bn) in 2007; or 48% of all of the country's media advertising revenues, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Television commercials attracted 41% of adspend during the year.

Declares Vivek Couto, executive director of Hong Kong-based research firm Media Partners Asia: "It's a fast-growing economy and with consumption so robust and with incomes rising, it's a fertile ground for the print media

"There is also buoyancy in print advertising that is encouraging new launches and niche publications in particular."

Despite rising newsprint prices, Condé Nast MD in India Alex Kuruvilla expects Vogue to break even in its first or second year of operation compared to an average break-even period of five or six years in more mature markets.

India has become even more attractive to overseas media owners since it opened its doors in 2005 to 100% foreign investment in non-news publications. News media still have a 26% cap on foreign stake-holding.  

Says Atul Phadnis, ceo of consultancy Media e2e: "There's huge investor interest in the growth potential, because the segment is still quite under-penetrated."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff