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Week vs Outlook: The war moves from the streets to agencies<br>an exchange4media analysis

02-January-2002
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Week vs Outlook: The war moves from the streets to agencies<br>an exchange4media analysis

The war of words, ney hoardings, between The Week and Outlook, which started on the streets of Mumbai last month seems to have shifted to the agency desks. A few weeks back media planners at agencies received an envelope carrying an image of the front cover of The Week. It was assumed, and rightly so, that it is one of those fliers from The Week promoting their magazine. But the surprise was inside: The envelope was sent by Outlook not Week.

Well no, Outlook hasn't tied up with The Week nor are they promoting the magazine. The flier was an extension of the bitter marketing war that has been going on the hoardings in Mumbai. The flier sent by Outlook carried a few hard facts on readership figures comparing Outlook's numbers with that of The Week. Week had earlier sent a similar packet comparing its readership with Outlook in Bangalore and Outlook hit back by talking about numbers for Mumbai where it was leading over the The Week.

What's the truth? Who leads whom?

Let's look at the readership figures for these two publications:

The All-India readership of the 2 magazines is 16.43 lacs for outlook and 14.96 lacs for The Week. The leader in this segment is undisputedly India Today, which leads with 57.61 lacs. Though not a huge difference in terms of the absolute number but given the small base as compared with India Today's readership, Outlook leads The Week by around 10%.

Let's look at the region wise break down of readership. For Outlook the six metros combined (Delhi, Mumbai, Cal, Chennai, Hyd and Bangalore) account for close to 47 % of the total readership. In case of Week these metros account for just 32 % of its total readership. Outlook leads The Week in Delhi by a hefty margin of 1.81 lacs where its readership is close to 2.57 lacs as compared with Week's 76 K. Mumbai tells a similar story with Outlook leading again by almost 1 lac. In Calcutta and Hyderabad the fight is closer with Outlook just leading Week. But when it comes to Bangalore the tables are turned in the favour of The Week. Though not a huge lead, but the fact that there was a lead, led The Week to quote and over quote this city in the fliers sent to media buyers. Here The Week leads the Outlook by 18 K as its readership stands at 1.92 lacs as compared with 1.74 of Outlook.

Data source: NRS 2001
6 Metros
  Base pop B'lore Calcutta Delhi H'bad Madras Mumbai Total % of total
  000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 %
Sample/prfl 212,108 4,060 7,379 6,899 4,018 4,666 9,232    
Pop 000/prfl 662,878 3,902 9,620 8,262 4,708 5,190 12,467    
Eng.Mags                  
Outlook 1,643 174 56 257 97 43 148 775 47%
Week 1,496 192 18 76 87 62 49 484 32%
Difference 147 (18) 38 181 10 (19) 99 291  

Moving away from metros, the states tell a different story. Week derives a whopping 81% of readership from 6 states viz AP, UP, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and TN. This is against a figure of 56% for Outlook. The Week is particularly strong in the Southern States as it leads in Kerala, Karnataka and TN. In Kerala the lead is a hefty 2.73 lacs and in Karnataka it leads by 1.15 lacs. TN is a little less at 65,000. But Outlook is stronger in the Northern and Western states. Maharashtra, which is an important market for any big player has Outlook leading by 1.23 lacs whereas UP has Outlook leading by 44,000.

Data source: NRS 2001
6 States
  Base pop AP UP Kar Kerla Mah/Goa TN % of Total
Sample/prfl 212,108 16,652 29,533 11,538 8,872 27,309 16,900  
Pop 000/prfl 662,878 51,913 106,620 35,968 25,245 66,780 46,420  
Eng.Mags                
Outlook 1,643 164 89 287 77 214 106 57%
Week 1,496 156 45 402 350 91 171 81%
    8 44 (115) (273) 123 (65)  

The jury might still be out on who the winner is, but this war is surely getting nastier with each passing month with both the sides trying to highlight their side of the story. The final judge, though are the media planners and advertisers who will choose the publication on the basis of their brand requirements.

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