The Hindustan Times is India’s second English-language daily with a circulation of over 1.6 million print copies produced in 23 editions. The paper’s content is also published through a web edition, five regional e-papers and apps for smartphone and tablets.
Following a major reorganization of its editorial operations, the Hindustan Times’s multichannel output is now produced using a single Méthode platform to replace half a dozen earlier systems, from news planning to print-edition management. This is the second Méthode deployment for the HT Media publishing group: the group’s business daily Mint has been produced using Méthode since its launch in 2007.
“Moving to Méthode has allowed us to bring about a radical transformation in our newsroom practices,” said Rajesh Mahapatra, Chief Content Officer of Hindustan Times. “By integrating our print and digital operations, it has also significantly improved the management of advertisement content, yielding significant benefits both in terms of quality and revenue potential.”
The 23 regional and market-specific variants of the Hindustan Times differ in advertising content as well as editorial. This complex edition structure is managed using Méthode’s multi-edition planning workspace. Advertising content is paginated in the same pages as the local editorial, increasing the speed and accuracy of individual edition building. Over 1000 ads are paginated each day, most of them using Méthode’s automatic ‘smart placement’ mechanisms.
The SAP system, used to manage advertising bookings and payments, is tightly integrated with Méthode in real time – ads booked through the SAP system show up seconds later on the page. This allows bookings to be modified and updated until the last minute before the edition closes. During recent busy periods the system has handled over 10,000 updates a day with complete visibility and control over the whole process.
As a major information portal, the Hindustan Times website is subject to frequent peaks and surges in visitor traffic. To deal with this, without making major investments in server hardware, the paper’s web servers are hosted in a cloud installation managed by Amazon Web Services, allowing server capacity to be ramped up and down automatically to keep up with visitor numbers. The same cloud deployment hosts the paper’s disaster-recovery facility.
For flexible working outside the newsroom, journalists and editors are adopting Méthode’s remote working applications, Swing and PageTrack. Available as a browser and mobile app, Swing allows staff on the move to take part in workflow activities from editing and submitting stories and media to monitoring other groups and users. PageTrack delivers a real-time view of print-edition progress to editors’ tablets and smartphones or even ‘video walls’, allowing planning and progress meetings to be held at locations outside the newsroom.
“The Hindustan Times offers its readers a very broad spectrum of news from national and international level down to local coverage,” said Marco Cucurachi, EidosMedia COO. “The move to Méthode has made this complex editorial operation faster and more efficient and it will continue to provide a sound basis for future growth.”
The new platform serves around 900 users distributed between the Hindustan Times’s main newsroom in New Delhi and its offices in major cities throughout India.