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Print - Stays in circulation


The Indian print industry experienced a dynamic operating environment in 2015, growing at a rate of 7.5 per cent from INR263 billion in 2014 to INR283 billion in 2015. Advertisement accounted for more than 66 per cent of the total revenues in 2015, growing at a CAGR of 8.4 per cent between 2010 and 2015. Circulation revenues, which made up for the remaining 33 per cent, grew at a CAGR of 7.1 per cent during the corresponding period.1 The industry witnessed significant growth in the first half of the year, followed by a muted growth in the second half.2 This was largely due to a reduction in spends by a few key categories including real estate, government spends, telecom and e-commerce. Newspapers continued to dominate the print industry in 2015, contributing 95 per cent of total print revenue.1 While niche magazines registered an incremental growth, magazines of general interest witnessed a dip in circulation.2

Hindi and vernacular segments together contributed approximately 64 per cent of the total print revenue.1 With the rising literacy level, increasing population and rising demand for region-specific content, the print media is acclimatising and focussing on delivering content in the readers’ native language. A number of companies have launched their campaigns in local languages that have given them much more resonance compared to the ones launched in English.2 Another major factor that has driven the growth of Hindi and vernacular print publications is the high GDP growth rate of Hindi speaking states as against the national growth rates.3

Major players of the print industry have recognised the potential of digital media and are now focusing their effort and investment towards making services available via mobile applications and web portals. Equal efforts are also being made to increase interactivity on the traditional medium. Robust growth of the Indian economy and the overall positive macro environment has contributed to the prominence of print media in the face of technology disruptions. There has been a significant boost in the investor confidence and India’s economic sentiments have been largely positive, resulting in an increased spend on advertising from both public and private sectors. The print media will continue to benefit from this positive macro environment – buffered from the threat of digital media for the moment. 2

Key trends

Traditional print ad categories continue to spend on the medium
Amid the growing popularity of digital media, print industry has sustained growth
Regional markets are expected to remain buoyant
Hyperlocalisation is on the rise, especially in markets with low internet penetration
Newsprint prices have fallen considerably in 2015, leading to reduced costs
Organizations are managing costs by offering bundled solutions across platforms
Advertisements are going beyond the visual appeal and are focusing on engaging with the reader

Industry challenges

New entrants and growing competition in news and information space is expected to impact the print industry in the long run
Geo-specific advertising on alternate platforms may hamper print ad growth
Lack of a credible measurement system continues to adversely affect the industry
Digital ad spends are on the rise
Firms continue to depend on newsprint prices and exchange rate fluctuations
Print media has restrained growth opportunities

Future Outlook

The Indian print industry is expected to grow at a rate of 7.4 per cent from INR283 billion in 2015 to INR404 billion in 2020. The advertisement revenues will grow at a CAGR of 8.0 per cent while the circulation revenues will display a CAGR of 6.1 per cent during the same period.4
With new emerging concepts and innovative approaches presented to both advertisers and readers, the landscape of print media is transforming. While the players are expanding their presence on digital media, they are taking proactive steps to sustain their circulation revenue and prevent cannibalisation from the new avenues of news and information.
Augmented and virtual reality concepts as well as QR codes, are being adopted across the industry to increase the overall engagement with readers.
While the print industry continues to witness increasing activity from many newspaper and magazine players, non-print players have also started to foray into the area of news dissemination.
With the growing base of generation Y in India, digital media has emerged as one of the favoured destination for news and information, which in turn has enticed players from the fields of social media, search engine, handset manufacturing, app development, content aggregation etc. to explore this space.
The swift growth of news consumption has established the mobile phone and portable device spaces as the new battlefield for several companies. Firms are working harder than ever to keep readers within their ecosystems by offering them more products and services.


1 KPMG in India’s analysis, 2016
2 Industry discussions held by KPMG in India
3 Growth opportunities intact; But, we remain selective’, Emkay Research, accessed on 11 February 2016
4 KPMG in India’s analysis, 2016
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