Steps taken nearly four years back are now beginning to show their impact in Mumbai for the English dailies. The market that was dominated by The Times of India for many years now still sees a significant foothold of the leader. But the fact that the market is finally competitive is emerging from the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2009 R2.
The IRS has changed its presentation style and now has four reporting units from Mumbai – Mumbai City, which was also known as Greater Mumbai, Mumbai Western Suburbs, Mumbai Eastern Suburbs and Navi Mumbai (Mumbai New Bombay). In all the four markets, The Times of India is leading the charts. The morning of November 24, 2009, has seen the daily swamp Mumbai’s hoardings announcing its leadership position.
However, the competition is heated and stiff in Mumbai City. TOI is followed by DNA in this market. Like the other English dailies here, all publications have lost on their average issue readership (AIR) numbers. TOI has lost its AIR by 6,000, bringing the readership number down to 276,000 in this round.
DNA has also dropped its AIR by 8,000 and has moved from 157,000 to 149,000 in Mumbai City. Mumbai Mirror has dropped from 150,000 to 140,000. Mid-Day has gone down from 98,000 to 85,000, while Hindustan Times has dropped from 88,000 to 82,000. The Indian Express has dropped in this market from 9,000 to 7,000.
TOI’s strongest presence is in Mumbai Western Suburbs. The AIR number of the publication here is 547,000, which is a drop of 18,000 from the 565,000 that the publication had in the last round. The No 2 English daily here is sibling Mumbai Mirror, which, too, has dropped from 340,000 to 308,000 in this market. DNA takes the third position in Western Suburbs, and in this round has dropped from 221 to 211.
Mid-Day follows; like other publications, it too has lost on AIR numbers in the suburbs. The publication is at 163,000 in this round, as compared to the 185,000 of the previous round. Hindustan Times has dropped from 176,000 to 161,000, while Indian Express has dropped from 18,000 to 9,000 in this area.
The Mumbai Eastern Suburbs has seen growth for some publications. TOI leads here, too, and this is the only market in Mumbai, where TOI has registered growth as well. From an AIR figure of 219,000 in R1, TOI is at 221 in R2. Mumbai Mirror, DNA and HT occupy the subsequent slots in that order in this area, and all three have registered drops. Mirror has dropped from 129,000 to 124,000; DNA has dropped from 108,000 to 100,000, and HT has dropped from 101,000 to 92,000.
Mid-Day, which is on the fifth spot in this area, has shown growth – from 70,000 to 74,000. The Indian Express, too, has grown from 3,000 and 8,000.
Navi Mumbai (Mumbai New Bombay, as IRS puts it) is another market that is fuelling TOI’s overall presence. The daily’s AIR is at 417,000 in this market, which is a drop of 37,000 from the 454,000 in the last round. Mumbai Mirror takes the second place again and is at 227,000; previously it was at 246,000. DNA has shown growth in this market – from 219,000 to 222,000.
Both Hindustan Times and Mid-Day, which are on No 5 and No 6 positions, respectively, in this market, have shown a decline – while HT has dropped from 183,000 to 169,000, Mid-Day has dropped from 126,000 to 115,000. Though Indian Express has very small numbers to show, it has grown in this area from an AIR of 6,000 to 9,000.