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Writer: Nitin Pandey - Friday, Oct 07,2011 8:36 AM

IRS 2011 Q2: All is not well for regional languages

<font color=#ED1C24> IRS 2011 Q2: All is not well for regional languages

While readership trends of English and Hindi publications reflect the reading habits of India, the true picture of real India or Bharat, perhaps, emerges from the IRS report card of regional language publications. We at exchange4media have compiled topline trends of all 11 regional dailies surveyed by the Indian Readership Survey. Contrary to the general perception, readership trends are not very promising for all language daily genres. A quick look to know what readership results tell about different languages…

Thumbs Up:

Kannada
IRS trends bring some good news for Kannada dailies. With most Kannada dailies garnering positive growth in average issue readership (AIR), they have been able to attract more readers. With a growth of 5 per cent over last year, Vijay Karnataka with an AIR of 34.40 lakh, is the leader in the domain.

Telugu
When compared to the previous quarter, the top three Telugu dailies have seen growth in AIR, adding almost 2 lakh readers as per the IRS 2011 Q2 results. However, a comparison with the corresponding period last year is a different story. While Sakshi has added 4.68 lakh readers in a year, Eenadu and Andhra Jyoti have lost 3.63 lakh readers, combined, in a year.

Gujarati
More players have added to the overall readership of Gujarati dailies. However, as per the IRS 2011 Q2 results, it’s a mixed bag for Gujarati publications as compared to last year as well as 2011 Q1. The average issue readership (AIR) figures for the top three Gujarati dailies – Gujarat Samachar, Divya Bhaskar and Sandesh – have either remained stable or shown some growth over last year.

Malayalam
Despite sporadic ups and downs in the AIR, most Malayalam publications have been able to consolidate their readership base. The top four Malayalam dailies – Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi, Madhyamam and Mangalam – have been able to attract readers over the period of a year.

Thumbs Down:

Tamil
It was certainly not a good year for Tamil dailies. Five out of six topline Tamil dailies have witnessed decline in average issue readership (AIR) as compared to the corresponding period last year. However, when compared to the previous quarter, the trends did give some relief to Tamil dailies as almost all of them witnessed growth in AIR.

Oriya
While all four Oriya dailies have witnessed decline in average issue readership as per the IRS 2011 Q2 results, Dharitri is the exception, showing a growth of 10 per cent over last year.

Urdu
All four Urdu dailies surveyed by Hansa Research have seen a decline in their average issue readership (AIR) over the previous quarter. However, when compared to last year, Siasat and The Munsif, have been able to add some more readers.

Punjabi
Indian Readership Survey 2011 Q2 results have shown mostly negative trends for Punjabi dailies. Barring Ajit, which has grown by 3 per cent over the previous quarter, the other two dailies surveyed – Jag Bani and Punjabi Tribune – have witnessed decline in their AIR.

Bengali
This quarter results have also painted a grim picture for Bengali dailies. As compared to 2010 Q2 results, Bengali dailies have lost 9.39 lakh readers, a decline of 6.89 per cent.

Marathi
The Marathi newspaper market has continued to see decline in AIR of most dailies. However, amid the decline, the top two dailies – Lokmat and Daily Sakal - have added almost 4.39 lakh readers, combined, in a year.

Assamese
All top six dailies surveyed have seen decline in readership over last year, losing almost 3.36 lakh readers, combined. With the loss of an AIR of 57,000 over last year (a decline of 5 per cent), Asomiya Pratidin, with the current AIR of 11.20 lakh, is the leader of the domain.

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