Delhi lives on India Today. Mumbai
prefers Reader’s Digest. Calcutta swings both ways,
equally. But if you thought that other magazines too
showed divergent skews, think again. The women’s
magazines, the film magazines or even the computer
magazines show an overall similarity across Mumbai and
Delhi. exchange4media makes an attempt to read a
pattern, in the latest IRS data (IRS-01R1).
Broadly speaking, large cities
have a certain similarity about them. Living spaces,
civic problems, education opportunities, health
services, population density, commuting, law and
order, average income, material aspirations, market
potential, consumer profile and similar such things.
Marketers tend to see a demographic homogeneity across
Despite a seemingly similar veneer
of demographics, mature marketers also know very well
how the divergent mindsets differentiate any two
cities. Mumbai, bigger in size than Delhi, has only
half as many readers of India Today as Delhi. But they
read marginally more Outlook, The Week and Time. So,
does an average Mumbaikar have different priorities in
life? Or is it that India Today does not push itself
hard enough in Mumbai?
Before you start theorising about
the hard working and harder commuting Mumbaikars, too
busy surviving the demands that the city places on
them, hang on. It isn’t that Mumbaikars do not have
time to read. As many as (4 lakh +) read RD in Mumbai
as Delhi has IT readers. RD and IT are two far apart
poles in the English magazine spectrum. The fact that
they have some common readers too, does not mitigate
this difference one bit. And the fact that various
other genres have an even spread across both the
cities makes this difference even more startling.
Look at Bangalore, Hyderabad and
Chennai now. Chennai was counted among the four
original metros. Bangalore and Hyderabad joined in
later to make it six. Bangalore is the smallest of the
three in size. But a cursory look at the readership
levels will bring forth the contrast. Bangalore has
more readers of IT than both. It has more readers of
Outlook, The Week and Time too. Chennai scores only
for Frontline. Chennai is the largest of the three
cities but has the least readers for almost all
English magazines in different genres.
The gap is not a few insignificant percentage points.
It is often as large as 60% to 70% and in some cases
over 300% to 400%. So what does it say about
Bangalore? Conversely, how does Chennai look in the
light of these facts?
Now our good ‘ol Kolkata- the
venerable center of academia and intellect. This first
capital of the British and ‘home’ to almost all the
Best-selling Indian authors in English is bigger than
both Bangalore and Hyderabad put together. But its
readership levels of IT are lower than both Bangalore
and Hyderabad, separately. Likewise, it reads less of
The Week as well as Time. Barring a stray frontline or
some other such exception, the pattern runs through
the entire list of English magazines. This data may
not present Kolkata in a fresh new perspective, but it
certainly validates what most marketers experience day
in and day out.