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IRS 2009 R1: Hindi magazines’ decline story continues in this Round too

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IRS 2009 R1: Hindi magazines’ decline story continues in this Round too

In an attempt to go beyond the analysis of topline data,, in association with media analysis firm Stratagem Media, presents IRS 2009 R1 INSIGHT. Today’s Insight focuses on Hindi magazines. Reported by Puneet Bedi Bahri with Cassandra Serpes. Data analysis by Stratagem Media.


As mentioned in the last few IRS reports, the Average Issue Readership (AIR) figures show that most publications have not been doing particularly well. While dailies have seen a decline in their AIR figures, it is magazines that have been worst hit. This was seen with our earlier story on English magazines. The story for Hindi magazines is no different. They, too, have seen a decline in their AIR figures. All the seven Hindi magazines mentioned in this report are seeing tough times, with not even one of them showing growth, for a variety of more-or-less obvious reasons.

Scope and Methodology

The current picture for Hindi magazines, as painted by the latest IRS 2009 R1, is the subject of today’s article. The top seven Hindi magazines, in terms of AIR have been covered in this article, against the 38 that are featured in the IRS, only to retain the effectiveness of comparison.


Saras Salil, the most read Hindi magazine in the country, has seen the maximum decline among the top seven magazines of 15.4 percent. In IRS 2008 R2, the AIR of the magazine stood at 3,008,000, which is now at 2,544,000. Pratiyogita Darpan has seen a 3.7 percent decline with an AIR of 1,690,000, which stood at 1,755,000 in 2008 R2.

India Today (Hindi) has declined by 7.8 percent with an AIR of 1,495,000, while Grih Shobha has an AIR of 1,330,000. Cricket Samrat, which has an AIR of 1,258,000, has seen a 2.3 percent decline. Meri Saheli has seen a decline of 12.9 percent with an AIR of 1,225,000. In IRS 2008 R2, the magazine stood at 1,406,000. Grehlakshmi, too, has seen a decline of 10.7 percent with an AIR of 1,014,000. In 2008 R2, the figure stood at 1,135,000.

Key Findings

Of the 38 Hindi magazines featured in the study, all the top seven cross the 1 million readership mark in terms of AIR or (what can be looked upon as) regular readership. The No. 1 magazine is Saras Salil and it crosses the 2.5 million-mark. The top seven magazines are from widely different genres such as general-interest, sports, women’s and even general knowledge.

In fact, the No. 2 magazine happens to be Pratiyogita Darpan (PD), which edges out India Today (Hindi) by a margin of 2 lakh.

In the women’s category, the largest read magazine is Grihashobha, and with over 13 lakh readers, it comes in at No. 4 in the overall rankings. Cricket Samrat seems to have done marginally better than Meri Saheli (MS) in terms of ‘regular’ readers.

In urban India, the only magazine with more than a million readers happens to be Grihashobha in the numero uno position, even ahead of India Today (Hindi). This translates to more than three-quarters of Grihashobha’s readership. With just 35 percent of its readers in urban India, Saras Salil emerges as the 5th largest magazine in urban India.

In the younger age groups (15-29 years), PD moves much closer to the No. 1 spot, while Cricket Samrat takes over from India Today (Hindi) at No. 3 position, while MS overtakes Grihashobha by a whisker, to come in at No. 5.

In SEC A, the rankings change significantly. Grihashobha emerges as the largest read magazine wedging out India Today (Hindi) as well as increasing its lead over MS.

PD and CS have the youngest persona of the lot (naturally), with India Today (Hindi) and Grehalakshmi being the oldest.

Grihashobha and MS have the best SEC A profiles (in that order), whilst Saras Salil gets the least contribution of readers from this segment.

In terms of MHI Rs 10K plus profile, whilst the leaders remain the same, it’s a closer contest, with India Today (Hindi) and Grehalakshmi getting a quarter of its readership from this segment.

Amongst the top seven magazines, six magazines have shown a decline in readership, over the last round of the IRS 2008 R2, ranging from 2 percent (CS) to 15 percent (SS). Grihashobha is the only one among the top seven not to have featured in the previous round.

The story repeats itself in the key SEC and age segments.

(Led by Sundeep Nagpal, Stratagem Media Pvt Ltd is an independent media specialist company which provides media buying services to advertisers and ad sales support to leading media houses. For the latter, its range of services includes data analytics, sales/ behavioural training and price structuring.)


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