The Indian Readership Survey (IRS) has shown a decline trend across most publications and a severe drop for magazines. The data available with exchange4media show figures of as many as 161 magazine titles. Of these, only 19 titles have shown growth. And of these, 13 publications have shown single digit growth. According to media observers, one reason why magazines had been launching titles despite the decline in readership was the combined market share that a particular group could then offer.
Some of the magazines that have shown the highest growth include Malayalam magazines Nana and Mathrubhumi Illustrated Weekly. With Tamil magazines like Mangayar Malar, Aval Vikatan and Deviyin Kanmani also among the top order of the growing titles, media observers stated that it did appear that at least the South publications were still able see more numbers coming in.
Harish Shriyan, Managing Partner, OMD India, explained, "There are magazines that are doing well too in languages like Hindi and so on. Femina launching a Hindi title shows that publications are still expecting growth from the genre, and they may see it too. On the overall scene, magazines across languages are an important medium."
Manoj Malkani, Business Director, Mindshare, however, was of the opinion that it would still be wrong to assume that the growth trend was unique to south publications. He said, "There also are Hindi, Gujarati and English titles that have grown. But the bigger point really to note is that the more niche titles from the larger groups like Outlook Traveller have grown."
"These magazines see growth even when the mainline title itself has seen loss. In a sense that explains why magazine publishing houses have still been on a launching spree despite the constant decline that the genre has been seeing. On the overall level, there is still the opportunity to aggregate audiences and perhaps that is one more way for magazines to grow," explained Malkani.
See table given below
IRS 2008 R2: English magazines witness a decline
IRS 2008 R2: English business publications, too, see a dip in readership
IRS 2008 R2: MRUC targets 2010 for evolved magazine readership data