Vantage point

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Market Responds

A couple of months back, I wrote that if the "new" approach of Times of India was so wrong, then rather than wasting our time breathing fire at their every silly little gimmick, we should take our business elsewhere. If we feel there isn't a good alternative at the moment, and if there are enough of us who feel so, then the market is bound to respond with a product that offers an alternative.

The 'Media Mahabharat' happening in Mumbai is a demonstration of exactly what I was saying. At least three new newspapers are going to be launched in Mumbai, throwing gauntlets at Times and Express, the two biggest players in the market.

The thrust of my widely misunderstood article was this simple argument -

- If the Times is dumbing down its content, or making it more and more tabloidish, it is either doing so in tune with the taste of the majority of its customers, or it is doing so in defiance of the same.
- If it is in tune with the taste of the majority, then what wrong are they doing?
- If it is defiance of the taste of the majority, then they should be losing business. But they are gaining business rapidly. There can be two explanations for this. Either it isn't in defiance of the tastes of the majority. Or the alternatives to times are even more in defiance of the tastes.
- If you think there isn't an alternative, wait for a while. It will automatically emerge. Just like water automatically rushes to low-lying areas, entrepreneurs automatically rush to the vacuum created by the pressure of demand and non-availability of alternatives.
Note: In no way am I condoning the intellectual property rights violations by the Times Group. I hope the victims sue them.

So you see, the market has responded. The mammoth Dainik Bhaskar group, in collaboration with Zee, is all set to challenge the Times.

This is one battle that will be interesting to watch.