The Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2006 R1 might not have had the best of news for most English dailies, given the fact that most had seen a dip in readership in this round. But the new players in the Mumbai market have something to cheer about.
The compact from the BCCL stable, Mumbai Mirror, flaunts a readership of 765,000. This data is based on six months of fieldwork from July to December 2005. It may be recalled that in June 2006, BCCL had embarked on a “sampling exercise”, wherein Mumbai Mirror was given free with every copy of The Times of India.
Diligent Media’s Daily News & Analysis (DNA) has clocked a readership of 402,000 in Mumbai, while the other newcomer in this market, Hindustan Times, has registered a readership of 285,000.
Looking at the overall Mumbai scene, traditional market leader Times of India continues to rule the market with a readership of 1,719,000. Among the other older players, Mid-Day has clocked 663,000 in Mumbai, while Indian Express has a readership of 140,000, according to IRS 2006 R1.
An official communication from Media Research User’s Council (MRUC) to its subscribers quoted: “Use this information with utmost precaution as data will be more robust only on completion of the full year fieldwork.”
On the basis of the given data, DNA may not be close to the leader at all, but it sure has reasons to celebrate today. DNA’s Suresh Balakrishnan brings in a different point of view when asked about the gap with the leader. He said, “You must not forget that DNA is only six months old and this is six months’ data. In this much time, we are already 23 per cent of the leader and that is no small achievement.”
He further said, “DNA was a brand that had to be created from scratch, unlike anyone else. If you look at the success stories of the leader, they have taken periods like 10 years and more to crack a market and have any figures to show. I don’t know if you can say that the gap is a large one between the leader and us.”
One count that Balakrishnan stresses on is the fact that with this data, many doubts in the market had been put to rest. He said, “Many questioned whether or not DNA is on track in the Mumbai market. Now we have data to show it!”