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exchange4media Analysis: IRS 01, Round 2<br><i>Hindi Newspapers grow when others stagnate</i>

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exchange4media Analysis: IRS 01, Round 2<br><i>Hindi Newspapers grow when others stagnate</i>

Hindi newspapers backed by aggressive marketing are extending their reach from traditional geographic domains to newer ones, and are adding a significant number of readers. The universe of gross Hindi readers grew by 4.6%, compared to overall growth of only 1.6%.

Both Dainik Bhaskar and Dainik Jagran grew by a whopping 15%. But the growth is coming from different markets. Almost all of Bhaskar's growth was due to the addition of 14.8 lakh readers in Haryana (reported first time in IRS). And these readers have been added in a little more than a year flat! With this phenomenal growth, it is lagging behind #1 Punjab Kesari (15 lakh readers) by only about 20 thousand readers. Dainik Jagran has expanded in MP and has grown by 40%, though on a small base, to have 4.7 lakh readers. It also grew by 11% in Haryana. Amar Ujala, with 69.8 lakh readers, grew by 8%.

In the crucial 'Western UP Battle', being fought between Jagran and Amar Ujala, it's the latter that is marginally ahead. Combined figures for Western UP centers Meerut, Agra, Barielly and Gaziabad peg readership of Amar Ujala and Jagran at 6.55 lakhs and 4.75 lakhs respectively. This difference of about 1.8 lakh readers is almost entirely accounted by Agra where Amar Ujala leads with 2.26 lakh readers. Dainik Jagran had 1.1 lakh readers in Agra. For the uninitiated, western UP, compared to the rest of the UP, is considered to have better consumer profile and hence targeted aggressively by marketers. Jagran stepped on the gas last summers with extensive western UP marketing campaign. Since fieldwork for IRS R2 over by June 01, we will have to wait till next round of IRS for results.

Mumbai readers send strong signals. Regional language dailies show little growth. Almost all regional languages showed a flat growth in readership. In fact, total readership of Marathi and Malayalam newspapers fell by 2.4% while Malayalam newspapers lost 1.4% readers.

Loksatta, having large franchise in Mumbai, lost 5% of its Mumbai readers. It lost even more readers (15%) in Pune. Navakaal, language leader in Mumbai (15 lakh readers) also lost 9% of its readers. In fact Marathi newspaper, as a whole, lost a high 11% of its readers in Mumbai. And these readers haven't moved to any other language but simply dropped out! Are Mumbai readers sending some signals to publishers?

Bartaman, continues to challenge the halloed Anand Bazar Patrika. It maintained its readership of over 40 lakh readers that it has built over the last decade and a half. ABP grew by 4% to slightly increase the gap with Bartaman by 11 lakh readers. Much of this difference (8.9 lakh) is from the city of Kolkata where it still is ruling with 22.75 lakh readers (Bartaman-13.86 lakh readers in Kolkata).

In 'Gods Own Country', while Malayalam Manorama and Mathrubhumi maintained their readership, all other Malayalam newspapers lost readers. This is in continuation of the trend we had reported in our analysis of IRS 01 R1. Manorama, while not registering any growth, is good 23 lakh readers ahead of its closest competitor in Mathrubhumi. Manorama, like several others, also recorded a strong shift in SEC composition of its readers. Readership grew by 24% in SEC A and by 11% in SEC B. At the same time SEC C and D lost 10% and 5% readers respectively, leaving the overall readership figures the same as last round. This pattern underscores our earlier observation of a shift in SEC composition of newspaper readers.

To arrive at broad genre trends, Gross Readership data has been used. Gross Readership data is calculated by summing up total (U+R) readership of all publications that fall within the specified genre. This data, then, is gross indicator and includes duplicated readership. For analyzing individual publications, their Title Urban + Rural data is used.

Data used in the analysis is as per IRS 01R2. Fieldwork for this data ended in June 2001. Research was carried out by ORG-Marg for MRUC. MRUC was formed in 1994, with 165 members representing Advertisers, Publishers, Advertising Agencies and Broadcast & Other Media. It strives to deliver comprehensive, authentic and updated data for media and advertising industry.


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