The year 2010 reiterates the industry debate on whether the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) is a fair measure for the magazine genre. Hindi weeklies and fortnightlies, along with Hindi magazines, have marked a fall in individual average issue readership (AIR) numbers this year. The Hindi monthly magazine genre has grown in the year and recorded a rise in readership figures from 76 Lac average issue readership in Quarter 1 to an AIR of 78.33 Lac in Quarter 4, 2010.
The top three Hindi weeklies in India in 2010 continue to be India Today, Sahara Samay and Mayapuri. India Today has seen a dip in readership figures in Q4. In Q1, the magazine had recorded an AIR figure of 13.11 Lac, which dropped to 13.01 Lac in Q2 to 12.23 Lac in Q3 and settled at an AIR of 11.62 Lac in Q4. Despite the fall, India Today continues to lead the genre by a considerable margin from its nearest second.
The trend is similar for the second Hindi weekly magazine, Sahara Samay, which stood at an AIR of 1.92 Lac in Q1, fell in the coming quarters and finally had an AIR figure of 1.22 Lac in Q4.
Mayapuri, the third in line, has also seen a fall in readership numbers from an AIR of 1 Lac in Q1, to 84,000 in Q3 and then 83,000 in Q4.
Among the Hindi fortnightlies, the top three Saras Salil, Grih Shobha and Champak have seen a fall in quarter on quarter (QOQ) numbers. The leader of the pack, Saras Salil has dropped from an AIR of 20.07 Lac in Q3 to 19.42 Lac in Q4, and a deeper dip if compared to the AIR number in Q1 at 22.09 Lac.
The second most read Hindi fortnightly magazine, Grih Shobha too has seen a parallel fall in numbers. As of Q4, Grih Shobha stands at an AIR of 10.92 Lac, from 11.51 Lac in Q3 and a further fall from 12.35 Lac of Q1.
A slight growth has been recorded by the third leading Hindi fortnightly magazine of the country, Champak. The publication has seen a rise in AIR figures since the last quarter and has now grown from an AIR of 8 Lac to 8.07 Lac in Q4. While this may be a rise, the number is lesser than the publication’s readership figure in Q1 that stood at an AIR of 8.27 and even grew to 8.48 Lac in Q2.
Coming in at number four, Sarita has also seen a positive quarter, as it has grown from an AIR of 6.35 Lac to 7.27 Lac, which may be lesser than its Q1 number of 7.45 Lac but is a noteworthy comeback.
The shining star in the Hindi magazine world however are the monthlies and the credit for that goes to the performance of Pratiyogita Darpan.
Pratiyogita Darpan has marked a rise QOQ, from an AIR figure of 17.42 Lac in Q1 to 18.03 Lac in Q2 to 19.06 Lac in Q3, and culminating at an AIR peak of 19.57 Lac in Q4.
At number two and three respectively, Meri Saheli and Cricket Samrat have seen a small fall in figures since Q4. Meri Saheli had touched an AIR of 12.67 Lac in Q1, and now stands at an AIR of 11.33 Lac in Q4, marginally falling from the AIR figure of 11.56 Lac in Q3.
As of Q4, Cricket Samrat holds an AIR of 10.5 Lac, a slight decline from 10.85 Lac in Q3 but a slightly larger distance away from its earlier AIR of 11.94 Lac in Q1.
Vinitha, the Hindi monthly magazine that comes in fifth in the order after Grehalakshmi, has recorded a slight rise since Q3 and grown from an AIR of 6.26 Lac to 6.73 Lac in Q4.