Spanning virtually the entire spectrum of print and electronic media, Living Media is unquestionably India’s largest magazine publisher. From the time it made its first foray into the media arena three decades ago with its first publication – India Today – the Group can Today justly claim that it has grown into a highly respected national institution and an internationally recognised publishing powerhouse that has constantly set new benchmarks in Indian journalism. Its spectacular growth, vision and foresight, based on the prescience of its promoter/owners has kept pace with rapid changes in the global media world, changing readership demands as well as the accelerated expansion of the Indian economy.
Today, it also boasts of India’s largest magazine distribution network and is the market leader across all its brands. The group’s portfolio includes fourteen magazines, three radio stations, two TV channels, one newspaper, a leading classical music label, book publishing and India’s only book club. Through its subscribers, readers, viewers and listeners the group reaches out to over 52 million individuals.
The success of India Today in English led to an idea: good journalism should not be restricted by language. In a country with seventeen major languages, the non- English readership of hundreds of millions could not and should not be ignored. It was decided to publish India Today in the major Indian languages, effectively melding national news with local needs. At present, India Today is published in four major Indian languages: Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. These editions deliver India to its readers with the same credibility, incisiveness and authority that has become the hallmark of India Today. Achievements In a short span of time after its launch India Today became the leading news magazine in the country and established itself as an unprecedented publishing phenomenon. Now, with editions in five languages, it is the most widely read publication in India – a position it has held for over a decade – with a circulation of almost a million every week and a readership of more than 11 million.
The group has achieved international acclaim for high quality journalism with a stress on its core value of credibility. Underlying all these channels of communication is an ethos of editorial excellence and delivering to the reader constant value addition in terms of exclusivity and in-depth analysis. It propagates journalism which believes in telling it the way it is, without fear or favour. It was in recognition of the company’s extraordinary journalistic and marketing skills that TIME, the world’s leading international newsmagazine published by media conglomerate TIME Warner, chose the Group for exclusively marketing and distributing TIME in India. The group has done an exceptional job winning the ‘Most Ad Pages Sold in a Year’ Award every year since 2001 for Time Asia.
In 2003 it was also ranked number one in Asia for Time Magazine newsstand and bulk sales. The recognition of quality and ability over the last ten years has prompted Time-Warner to tie up with the India Today Group for the marketing and distribution rights of FORTUNE – the world’s leading Business fortnightly – in India. This decision was validated by the group winning the FORTUNE 2003 Asia Distributor Award – Distributor of the Year.
India Today served as a platform on which to develop and launch new products that acquired strong, individual characters of their own.They include: Business Today, currently India’s number one Business magazine with a readership of 758,000 – the highest amongst all Business magazines in the country (Source: NRS 2005). It is the most credible source on current Business and financial news and trends in the country with an editorial brief to always ensure that its readers have the necessary information and tools to cope with emerging challenges. Reader’s Digest, the world’s most widely read magazine is currently published exclusively by the India Today Group under licence from Reader’s Digest Association Inc., US.
In addition, the India Today Group launched the Indian edition of Cosmopolitan in 1996 under license from Hearst Corporation of the US. Glamorous and gutsy, as well as frank and intimate, it aims at understanding the contemporary Indian woman and catering to her needs. Design Today, from its first issue in October 2001, has showcased cutting edge international designs and is structured on a unique thematic format. Each issue of this bi-monthly explores a particular design theme through in-depth articles and columns by some of the biggest names in Indian and international art, design and architecture.
HarperCollins India is a joint venture between The India Today Group and HarperCollins Publishers worldwide, one of the three top publishers in the world. This new partnership brings together the dynamism and reach of one of India’s biggest media groups with the publishing experience and expertise of a premier international publishing company. The India Today Book Club was launched in 1999 as an attempt to provide avid book readers with high quality books at reasonable prices. A first-of-its-kind enterprise, in just over a year it signed up over 200,000 subscribers, many of whom, for the first time, gained access to the latest international and Indian books, all delivered to their doorsteps at unmatched prices.
The group negotiated a tie-up for an Indian edition of the world’s foremost science and technology magazine – Scientific American. Scientific American is the only magazine that synthesis science, technology and Business into the clearest views of our future. Opinion leaders have turned to its pages since 1845, to learn about path-breaking ideas in advance – often months and years before other media recognised their importance. Each issue identifies and delivers the latest developments in biotechnology and information science, along with Business critical R&D across a broad range of fields.
To further strengthen its editorial foothold amongst the key decision maker in Indian households – the wife and mother – the India Today Group launched Good Housekeeping in October 2004 under license from the Hearst Corporation. Good Housekeeping is a 120 year-old international brand published in fifteen countries. Read by 32 million readers worldwide, the magazine is a source of essential information in the areas of home, family, food and health by the modern woman. Travel Plus has emerged as the country’s finest travel and lifestyle magazine. Going beyond standard cliches, it presents insightful travelogues written by the best-known names in the country. It also showcases the finest in cuisine, shopping and leisure for the up-market traveler.
Today, launched on 29th April 2002, is the group’s first venture into the newspaper market. Today is the in-your-face newspaper created specially for the urban, SMS generation looking for the biggest buzz in the shortest time. Its punchy news format is designed to inform and entertain its readers every afternoon. With a contemporary writing style and format, visual appeal and almost all-colour, this sixteen-page afternoon tabloid is published Monday to Friday. Its unique city focus means that when it comes to making Delhi a better place, Today stops at nothing, be it spotlighting the best the city has to offer or uncovering the latest scam. Using a revolutionary home delivery network and subscription drive, Today is now available at doorsteps and on desktops across the city. Being the capital’s number one afternoon newspaper it has recently ventured into specialised city guides. Golf Digest India is the Indian incarnation of the world’s premier golf publication – Golf Digest. It is a ready reckoner for golfers at all skill levels with information on ‘How to play, what to play, and where to play’.
While the company uses newspaper, magazine, TV and radio commercials to promote itself, Living Media believes its highly-visible and uniquely credible products are its most effective promotional tools. In fact, its in-house advertising is phenomenally successful. For example, Business Today has consistently set new benchmarks. It was the first to do serious reporting on management theories and survey-led listings. It was also the first to realise the need for specialised events as an extension of its print features and to give Indian decision makers a platform to express and share their views. Several events serve as powerful promotional tools. Crossfire is a series of lively debates aimed at advertising and marketing professionals. Acumen is a national B-school challenge. Knowledge Management Forum involve sessions with the world’s best-known management gurus. Boardroom Breakfasts are brainstorming sessions on relevant topics for the c-suite.
Business Today has also understood that those who work hard also like to play hard and extended its popular Pro-AM of Champions and Tee in the Dark golfing events targeted at chief executive officers to the four metros.The magazine’s credibility has made its awards such as Best Banks, Best Managed Company, Most Powerful Women in Business, Best CFO and Young Super Performer some of the most respected and coveted in the industry.
The flagship’s leadership is unquestioned so much so that it is what Indian journalism is judged by, for its integrity and ability to bring unbiased and incisive perspective to arguably the most dynamic, yet perplexing, region in the world. Breaking news and shaping opinion, it is now a household name. It asks the most difficult questions and provides the clearest answers. Living Media delivers excellence, insight, inspiration, regions, vision, social trends, well being, leisure, style, skill, accountancy, reading pleasure, imagination, a scientific temper, Delhi, and the world to its readers.
India Today, the group’s flagship, was launched in 1975 as a fortnightly with only a few colour pages. Living Media is the vision of its founder, Aroon Purie. Its spectacular growth was unprecedented in Indian media history and it established, and continues to establish, new milestones in journalism. Purie had virtually no experience in media but he created a pioneering and innovative brand of journalism. He was not bound by precedent and followed gut-level instincts and a constant emphasis on high quality journalism. This has since become the core philosophy of Living Media – invest in editorial excellence and the rest will follow. His passion for editorial excellence was complemented by a strong Business sense.From TV Trivia
• With a print run of over 600,000 Reader’s Digest is already India’s largest-selling English magazine.
• Since its launch in India eight years ago, Cosmopolitan has garnered almost 200,000 readers in the country and has emerged as a leader in its category.
• From the very first issue launched in India, Good Housekeeping has been a phenomenal success. Its inaugural issue was sold out almost as soon as it hit the stands, making it one of the most successful magazine launches in recent times.
• The group’s portfolio includes another knowledge-based monthly magazine, Journal of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (JICAI), published on behalf of the institute.
• JICAI boasts of inland, overseas and student subscribers and reaches out to the Chartered Accountant community in India.
• India Today Hindi is the largest read magazine in the country with a readership of 10,717,000.
• At 6,262,000 readers per issue, India Today English is the largest read English magazine in the country.