A decade and a half after coming out with DNA (Daily News and Analysis), the newsprint from the house of ZEE, has decided to shut shop on paper and is going completely digital.
After a few weeks of ceasing print editions in Delhi and other cities, DNA had its last edition distributed for its readers today, in Ahmedabad and Mumbai. The ZEE Group, which controls DNA has decided to shut shop on the print edition and the paper will not be available only in the online mode.
Explanations from the ZEE group cite changing reader preferences as one of the main reasons for the management deciding to shift shop from print to digital only. While most of the national and regional dailies are both in print as well as online mode, advertising, content, marketing and publishing strategies are getting more and more focused towards online. DNA is the first such daily to take the plunge into online mode, suggesting that online is the paradigm shift in reader preferences. Advertisers too are of the opinion that the cost of online marketing and branding is much lower and the ROI on the total cost of ownership is much higher.
For marketing and advertising, digital media has several benefits. It can be less expensive than print media, depending on the details of each campaign. Digital campaigns can also usually be produced, launched, and updated faster than print. Digital media can be interactive in several ways
This announcement has come at a time when globally too, many media brands are retreating from the print side into digital, viz. NewsWeek. Content is also being tweaked to be more convergent.
However, looking at this from a different perspective, the ZEE group led by Subhash Chandra, has over time feeling the pain of credit crunch and liquidity crunch, which is making credit servicing difficult as well as refinance options nearly cumbersome and heavy on the cost. This is another reason that caused DNA to take this route. The promoters are selling their holdings, 90% of which are pledged with financers, to repay lenders.
The financial crunch is also due to the fact that some of its business bets have failed to generate revenue and given them immense losses. The group owes Rs 7,000 crores to lenders, even after repaying Rs 6,500 crore since March.