The Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2008 R2 data, released by the MRUC and Hansa Research on November 5, 2008, has given arch rivals The Times of India and Hindustan Times something more to chew on. The average issue readership (AIR) numbers have shown a growth trend for HT, and a decline trend for TOI. Consequently, HT has pushed TOI to propel back to the leadership position in Delhi and in the Delhi NCR region in this round.
In Delhi, HT's AIR has grown by 8 per cent. The publication's readership has grown from 18.62 lakh to 20.11 lakh. Interestingly, TOI has shown a corresponding drop of over 8 per cent, and is now the second most read English daily in the city with an AIR of 19.35 lakh. In the last round, this number was at 21.13 lakh.
The next highest read English daily in Delhi is The Economic Times with an AIR of 1.89 lakh, followed by Mint that is at 98,000.
HT's AIR has grown in the Delhi NCR region as well, and the current figure is at 22.33 lakh. In comparison, TOI has dropped to be at 21.52 lakh in this market. As is known, the Delhi NCR region includes Faridabad and Gurgaon in Haryana, and Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.
Neelanjan Shome, Chief Marketing Officer, HT Media, said, "The Hindustan Times has shown stupendous growth in this round of the IRS. This can be attributed to our aggressive efforts across the various aspects of the paper. The recent figures, in fact both of IRS and the ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation), reiterate our rightful leadership position in Delhi. And as far as Mumbai is concerned, we are probably the only ones who have grown with such significant numbers in that market. That said, this is a long game, and we are working very hard towards growing further in the time to come."
TOI rules in Mumbai; Mumbai Mirror follows
TOI's rule in Mumbai look unshakeable, but the average issue readership of the publication in this market has dropped from 15.71 lakh to 15.53 lakh. Sibling Mumbai Mirror takes the second spot. Unlike TOI, Mirror has increased its AIR figure from 7.37 lakh to 8.73 lakh. DNA has stayed put at No. 3. DNA, too, has increased its AIR from 6.22 lakh to 6.73 lakh in this round.
In Mumbai, HT has replaced Mid Day on the number four position. HT's AIR has grown from 3.81 lakh to 5.26 lakh, while Mid Day has seen a decline in readership. From the AIR figure of 3.81 lakh in the last round, it is now on the fifth position with a readership figure of 4.8 lakh.
BCCL's business publication, The Economic Times, is the next largest read English daily in Mumbai with an AIR of 2.06 lakh. The Indian Express has dropped further, and is at 47,000 in the latest round in comparison to the 68.000 of the last round. Mint in Mumbai has an AIR of 24,000.