Over the last few rounds of readership survey, the industry has seen heated debates on why readership of business publications is seeing a constant decline, when the circulation numbers are still growing. MRUC and Hansa Research released the latest set of Indian Readership Survey (IRS) on November 23, 2009. A closer look at the data shows that the picture is not different in this round as well.
ET maintains significant lead despite decline
According to IRS 2009 Round 2 data, two out of the five business dailies whose numbers have been released show a decline in readership. The Economic Times which has been the country’s leading business daily has maintained a very significant lead in the sector. But the publication’s average issue readership (AIR) has dropped by 3.32 per cent. From an AIR number of 7,83,000, ET is down to 7,57,000 in this round.
Mint, which follows in the number two spot though after a significant gap, has seen a 9.14 per cent drop in its AIR. From 1,75,000, Mint now has a readership number of 1,59,000. This round also has the number of Business Standard. It may be recalled that BS had raised issues with the IRS data a few rounds back, subsequent to which, its numbers were not published by the IRS. In this round, BS is at an AIR number of 1,48,000.
The Hindu Business Line has seen a growth of 9.73 per cent. From 1,13,000, the publication is at 1,24,000. The Financial Express has seen no change in its numbers from the previous round, which is at an AIR of 38,000.
Top biz mags show decline; Outlook Business & Outlook Money grow
There is nothing new about magazine as a genre registering readership decline. However, the picture is not so grim when it comes to business magazines. Business Today continues with its spot on the top of the list. The publication has however dropped by 6 per cent, and from an AIR number of 2,87,000 is now at 2,70,000.
Business India is on the second spot, and from a readership number of 222000, has come down to 2,16,000.
Outlook Business, has shown almost a 10 per cent growth and from 1,66,000, the AIR number has come to 1,81,000. This coupled with the drop that Business World has registered (from 1,65,000 to 1,59,000) has increased Outlook Business’ gap from Business World.
Outlook Money too has grown --- from 84,000 to 1,05,000. Business and Economy has grown its AIR number from 82,000 to 94,000.
In all, business magazines have lesser to complain from this round of IRS.
(Additional inputs from Noor Fathima Warsia)