Magazine publishers are not a happy lot over the results of IRS 2009 R1, registering decline in readership in yet another Round. Some Hindi magazine publishers that exchange4media spoke to were even of the opinion that the IRS was not equipped to calculate the right circulation numbers for the magazines.
According to Anant Nath, Director, Delhi Press, "There is an error from the side of the IRS as the calculations that they are showing for magazines are not correct. We have a case going on with them as they were unable to bring out the results of Grih Shobha in IRS 2008 R1. After being approached by us, they did bring out results, but incorrect ones, and had finally admitted that there was a problem in the calculation. IRS does not have the correct methodology to calculate the magazine readership results. All magazines cannot show decline, the result is showing decline for all the magazines in all categories, which is not really the case."
On a similar vein, Manish Verma, Publisher, Diamond Comics, said, "The usage pattern of IRS has to change. It is not equipped to calculate the right circulation numbers for the magazines. Also, the share among the magazine readership is now different as there are more nuclear families as against the earlier joint family systems. So, the circulation to the number of families is decreasing. Plus there is youth that is now taking to television more than magazines."
Speaking from a media planners point of view, Mona Jain, Strategic Investments India Head, India Media Exchange, said, "As a media planner, we go by brand, editorial value, content and audience that it is reaching out to, also keeping the pricing of the magazine in mind. Among magazines, there are certain high-end luxury magazines that target a specific audience and do not have huge readerships anyways. The magazines have a longer shelf value, it helps us run some campaigns, it is narrowcasted and has a better attention span. The magazines are for sure not going to be redundant; they are there and will stay."