Reasons and vision for doing print-media business in digital era of Rarin Utakapan Punjarungroj, CEO of media giant “Amarin Group”

Rarin Utakapan Punjarungroj, Chief Executive Officer of Amarin Printing and Publishing Public Company Limited, shares her views and perspective on media business management, content production, adaptation strategies and the outlook for Thai media from the point of view of a business heiress and a seasoned executive who grew up in the media industry. 

As for the reason why Amarin Group manages to survive and grow in the print-media industry, which is perceived to be on a decline, she said,

We still have readers and we still have advertisers. Each year, especially in the past 2-3 years, we have maintained our magazine business but changed the way we sell advertising space. Customers who buy advertising space from us will receive a package that consists of online media, magazines and on-ground media, which offers good value for money.”

Amarin Group’s Omni Media – Omni Channel marketing

Print media continued to stay relevant because Amarin Group introduced Omni Media – Omni Channel, a business model that comprehensively integrates and covers all types of media.

Magazines and pocket books have become digitally led brands. Khun Phrae said selling ad space in print media alone may be very difficult but since we are an Omni Media, we can provide services to brands with an Omni approach. This has generated value and clients are able to reach audiences across various channels. The fact that we always evolve as a company has allowed us to maintain our magazine business. If we focused only on magazines, we would not have survived.

How Amarin’s magazines won the hearts of fans for 20-30 years

The important thing is we have to adapt our content. If we look at old magazines from 5-10 years ago, we will see that our content has changed drastically.

For example, we have relocated miscellaneous content in Praew magazine to online media. We have Instagram, we have Facebook and we have websites. We publish daily news on digital media because it is quick. News of today gets published today”, she said.   

We keep magazines for in-depth content, such as in-depth interviews and in-depth scoops. Baanlaesuan, Praew, Cheewajit and National Geographic are all for content with more depth and details than bite-sized stuff we read on online media. For those who enjoy reading interviews for inspiration, reading this way works best and it still works.”

“When we publish interviews online, we make the content shorter or publish quotes from them. The formats are different. An interview is published differently in a magazine and on online media. Readers on different channels like it differently.

We are always adapting, which is why we can still keep this type of media.”

The key strategy that allows book-printing business to grow at double digit rate

As for Amarin strategy, she said, “Firstly, Amarin releases books constantly and we do so even in times of the pandemic. Some publishers in the market stopped releasing books because shops were closed, but we did not slow down at all in the past 2 years. We kept releasing books as usual, but we paid attention to the sequence of the books and marketed them to the right target groups.”

“Secondly, we adjust our sales channels to the convenience of customers. These are two key factors that allow our sales of printed books to grow.”

"Novels" top the List of most popular books, followed by "How-to" books

As for books that have been published and distributed and have been popular among readers, Rarin said novels remain the most popular book category across the world. She said they are always popular because people like to read stuff that entertains them and brings them joy, which is why the novel market is still growing.

“The next 2-3 fastest-growing categories include the category of how-to or self-development books. This is because we have learned that things we have studied are not really practical and we need to learn new things. We need reskilling and upskilling.

Books are an affordable source of knowledge and they really work.

They provide inspiration, information and ideas that have been distilled from the experiences of authors around the world. This is why growth has been strong for novels and how-to books.”

Another category is that of inspirational books for young people. They cheer up readers who might be confused or heartbroken and those facing problems at work or at home. These books have a lot to offer young people who read them.