Hindustan Times has pulled a quick one this time around. It has set a benchmarkÂ by becoming the first Indian newspaper to be available on Kindle, Amazon’s e-reader.
I sure did not see it coming so fast and that too from Hindustan Times. No doubt HT is a premier publishing house which has managed to keep its integrity when compared to the on going blah blah crap propagating in news dailies but Â Inever thought that HT will be keen to sign up with Kindle and vice versa.
The print industry is going through some real tough times. Digital media has taken a big piece of cake from the print media and the recent few months have seen a lot of publishing houses biting the dust.
The likes of Readers Digest filing for bankruptcy is a case in point .With most of the content available online and most of the times for free , the traditional publishing is losing its sheen. Moreover, advertising on the internet turns out to be cheap and potentially more beneficial in terms of exposure.This has prompted almost all leading publishing houses in India to come up with online versions of their newspapers.
But, in a saturated marketplace as India’s, it is still difficult to stay profitable. The onus is to explore new ways of reaching the customer and drive volumes. The E-Reader entry seems to have opened up new avenues for the ailing newspaper industry.
Amazon Kindle and HT have partnered to make HT available in the form of E-paper on the Kindle. HT has gone in for a subscription based model where the Kindle users will have to shell out around $10 per month to access Hindustan Times. So, now you can access the Hindustan Times anywhere in the world at the click of a button.
Given that the Kindle device costs a bomb and is yet to take off in India, HT is targeting readers in the US,UK who wish to keep them abreast with what is happening in India. Moreover, the pricing does not seem to be too high to alleviate Kindle owners.
Only Time will tell if Hindustan Times sees handsome substantial increase in subscriptions and revenue, but it sure is keeping pace with the changing dynamics of the market place.Â I am expecting other major publishers to follow suit and jump in the E-Reader bandwagon to boost revenues.
The digital media is shaking the traditional media and doing so with aplomb. I am still a newspaper guy but then with something like Kindle at my disposal, I might end going the digital way and pay for the reader subscription.
What are your thoughts on this? Will the partnership help Hindustan Times boost its revenues and stay ahead of the game.