It has been a good year for dailies in Bihar as per the IRS 2011 Q2 results, with nine out of ten posting an increase in average issue readership (AIR). The list has an equal mix of Hindi and English dailies. However, Hindi dailies reign in the top four positions. As for the top 10 magazines, except one, all other slots are occupied by Hindi periodicals. The loss in AIR by 4 out of the 10 players exceeds the gain in AIR by the other 6 players.
The 4 topline Hindi dailies have registered an increase in AIR by 10.06 lakh as compared to the total contribution from the 9 dailies coming to 10.72 lakh. Hindustan continues to hold on to the top spot in the state exhibiting a staid 13 percent increase in AIR. The daily has seen an exuberant 5.48 lakh jump in the readership base, adding more than half the AIR what the top 4 put together. Dainik Jagran at No.2 is significantly distant from the Hindustan, adding 2.15 lakh readers over the year, a 9 percent increase. Prabhat Khabar has seen an increase in AIR by 1.95 lakh, an 84 percent year-on-year jump. These three dailies have witnessed the biggest additions to their AIR from last year.
Hindi daily Aj has seen a spike in AIR by 48,000 (20%), The Times of India at No.5 has seen a 17 percent increase, adding 24,000 readers, Rashtriya Sahara has an average year with just 1 percent increase in AIR, from 1.18 lakh to 1.19 lakh. The Hindustan Times (+12,000), The Hindu (+15,000), and The Economic Times (+14,000) have also witnessed an upward movement in AIR. Hindi daily I Next appearing at No.6 is the only paper among the top ten in the state to witness a drop in AIR by 16 percent from last year, losing around 17,000 readers.
Magazines in the top ten list have not fared well in the state, overall losing an AIR of 2.07 lakh while gaining 1.89 lakh. Hindi fortnightly Saras Salil although leading by a wide margin in the list, has seen a 10 percent decline in AIR from last year, losing the highest number of readers among the four periodicals that have seen a loss - 92,000 readers. Popular children’s Hindi fortnightly magazine Champak at No.7 has lost 50,000 readers with a 20 percent drop in AIR. Standing at No.6, Nandan, the monthly magazine has lost 47,000 readers, an 18 percent fall. Hindi monthly Diamond Cricket Today also stepped down with a fall by 14% in AIR (-18,000).
The six periodicals that have witnessed a rise in AIR begin with Hindi monthly Pratiyogita Darpan which went from an AIR of 3.66 lakh in Q2, 2010 to 4.45 lakh in Q2, 2011 (+79,000/22% increase). Incidentally, the second biggest gain in AIR from last year has been witnessed by the only English weekly to make it to the top 10 - India Today (+49,000/69% increase). It has exceeded the increase in AIRof its Hindi edition (+7,000/3% increase). Cricket Samrat (+25,000/10% increase), Nanhey Samrat (+17,000/8% increase), and Suman Saurabh (+12,000/8% increase) have also seen an uptake in their AIR since last year.