This morning‘s edition of Economic Times takes on Hindustan Times’ growth numbers as per IRS in no unclear manner. With a provocative headline‘ All Down & 0ut, HT Up and About, Media industry foxed.’
Whilst the IRS 2013 survey results has stirred an immense controversy and saw publications going to court due to its supposed irregularities.
The Economic Times report takes on HT as it states, “Even as most newspaper titles across genres show sharp declines, one media group has surprisingly bucked the trend across the board with a uniformly upward trajectory — the Hindustan Times group. Amongst the English national dailies, for instance, Hindustan Times saw its readership grow 13%. The three other top dailies (which had combined circulation almost three times that of HT in the 2012 round), all saw drops in readership. The Times of India fell by 5%, The Hindu by a staggering 32% and The Telegraph by a huge 26%.”
The report further states, “If it wasn't odd enough that the HT group has managed to buck national readership trends across its Hindi, English and business dailies, it's done the same when it comes to another key statistic, readership per copy, or RPC (simply, the number of readers who read one copy of the publication). The RPC of Hindustan Times, for instance, is a staggering 17 readers per copy in Noida, and 12 in Gurgaon. This is similar for key markets such as Mumbai and Delhi as well for HT and Mint, which has an RPC that's double that of its nearest competitor in Delhi. Similarly, Hindustan has an RPC of 5.5, more than double that of rival dailies.”
With Economic Times clearly making no bones about contesting the IRS results, it will be quite interesting to see Hindustan Times respond.