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Powered by FDI, niche magazines mushroom

Looking for more details on little stuff that interests you? Niche magazines may be the answer – and that's what many publishers are betting on these days, reports Ruchi Hajela.

business Updated: Nov 23, 2007 21:33 IST
Ruchi Hajela

Looking for some information about how to click better pictures or how and what to wear this wedding season?



Looking for more details on little stuff that interests you? Niche magazines may be the answer – and that's what many publishers are betting on.



Aided by a liberal policy on foreign investment in the business, specialist periodicals are mushrooming on subjects not so long ago left out of deep coverage: Biking and art, golf and cellphones, beauty or small businesses like franchises.



Next Gen Publishing, formed 2 years ago by Mumbai-based Forbes Gokak group, HDFC and Emap - UK's largest publishing house, alone has seven niche titles in its portfolio that include Bike India, Car India, Ideal Home & Garden. It recently launched men's magazine FHM. The company that started with an investment of Rs 1 lakh has grown to Rs 15 crore in authorized capital.



On the other hand, Infomedia, 49 per cent of which is owned by Reed Business Infomedia, has 21 niche titles in all out of which seven titles cater to the business to consumer segment. These cover areas like automobile industry, gadgets, photography, IT, interiors and even a magazine called

Disney Adventure for Kids

.



Independent publishers have come up with magazines on areas like cellphones and value-added services, which are fast growing areas with a hunger for information among interested consumers.



"Readers now want to read in-depth articles about the subject that interests them and not a page that it gets in a general interest magazine," Mahesh Peri, President, Association of Indian Magazines, told

HT

.



Studies say that while US and UK lead with niche titles running into thousands, India has around 500 niche titles in its portfolio. With India's economy growing robustly, international brands are eyeing India.



"India is the flavour of the day across industries and the future lies in niche magazines," said Hoshang Billimoria, Nex Gen's CEO.



"A general magazine usually has a larger reach whereas a niche magazine offers a more targeted reach and we would go for advertising in both," says Anita Das, General Manager, Group M, a media agency that handles clients like LG. The magazines have been aided by the fact that 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) is now allowed in special interest magazines, compared with 26 per cent in news and general interest publications.



Recent entrants in the market include Conde Nast's fashion magazine

Vogue

, Dennis Publishing's

Maxim

targeted at young men (in collaboration with Media Transasia) and Emap's

FHM

.