The Average Issue Readership (AIR) and Total Readership (TR) issue that saw the print industry vehemently divided last year, continues to be heatedly debated in IRS 2009 R1 as well. There are enough supporters of both forms to keep the issue alive. exchange4media spoke to a few media players to understand their take on this and which metrics they favoured.
Sudha Natrajan, President & CEO, Lintas Media Group, said, “As a media planner, AIR is what I would go by as it is a more accurate media metric. A planner is interested in the exposure that the ad for his brand has got through a vehicle. This can be gauged better with the AIR figure.”
“From a media owner perspective, TR could be a figure that interests him more, as it represents the universe of readers who are familiar with his brand and have read his paper at some point in time. But for an advertiser who wants to know whether his ad was read on a particular day, AIR gives a better idea,” Natrajan added.
Agreeing to that, Dinesh Vyas, Vice-President & Head, TME Mumbai, opined, “We generally use AIR as we feel it is a more accurate indicator of judging readership. The reason being that the AIR is measured in accordance with the corresponding ‘frequency’ of that particular vehicle (for dailies, the measure is people who read daily, and for weeklies, the people who have read it once in the given week) and so on.”
He further said, “This helps capture the ‘right readership trend’ rather than total readership, which is a measured on the aspect of an individual claiming to have read it at least once, irrespective of the frequency of the vehicle published.”
Tarun Nigam, Executive Director, India – North, Starcom Worldwide, said, “There is no such thing like TR, it is actually claim readership. We go by AIR as that is more accurate and precise as compared to claim readership, which gives a cumulative perspective. AIR gives the accuracy as close as what the person had read yesterday, while claim readership can get misleading sometimes.”
According to Chirantan Chandran, Partner - Client Leadership, Mindshare, “AIR is a subset of Total Readership. At a broader level, the differences of these two help us to understand the regular and non-regular reader’s base of any publication.”
He further said, “For planning purpose, we generally consider AIR to get an estimation of a publication’s readership in respective TG and markets. Also, while we are estimating the print reach of any market (within a particular TG), then also we calculate AIR.”
“Normally, Total Readership is avoided for any planning exercise. The reason for it is that we don’t get a confirmed readers base that come back to the medium/ publication frequently. And needless to mention, since all our planning work is based on past data, therefore, AIR is closer parameter to gauge the readership number,” Chandran added.
He concluded by saying, “To elaborate, AIR of any English daily is 1.6 crore, vis-à-vis 3.2 crore of Total Readership (IRS 2008 R1). This also means there is almost equal number of infrequent readers who read any English daily like the frequent readers. Interestingly, any Malayalam daily has least infrequent readers (23 per cent), while maximum infrequent readers are there with any Assamese daily (71 per cent).”
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