The Indian Readership Survey (IRS), for the last few rounds, has been throwing up data, wherein a general decline trend has been witnessed for magazines. The magazine industry has been stressing on a separate survey. That issue remains in limbo as of now. With the release of IRS Q2 2010 data on August 23, magazine owners will be a concerned lot, looking for ways to stem this decline trend.
As per the latest round of IRS, the Top 20 magazines see only red in their average issue readership (AIR). Just three of these Top 20 magazines have registered growth.
Malayalam fortnightly magazine Vanitha continues to remain the most widely read magazine in India, followed by Hindi fortnightly Saras Salil. However, both publications have witnessed declines of 9.36 per cent and 7.42 per cent, respectively.
Among the top five publications, just one has seen growth – Pratiyogita Darpan, which is ranked third, has seen growth from 1,742,000 in IRS Q1 2010 to 1,803,000 in Q2, an increase of 3.5 per cent, making it the magazine with the highest growth among the top 20.
The fourth and fifth spots are occupied by India Today English and Hindi editions with a decline of 0.95 per cent and 0.76 per cent, respectively.
Importantly, India Today English, which was at No. 3 in IRS Q1, has slipped to the fourth position, while India Today Hindi, which was at seventh position in the previous round, has moved up two notches to No. 5.
Among the publications from ranks six to ten, not a single one has seen any growth. In fact, there are two publications that have witnessed the steepest fall among the top 20. Malayala Manorama weekly, at ninth place, has witnessed a massive 15.07 per cent decline, while Balarama, at No. 8, has witnessed a 12.03 per cent decline.
Here again a shift in publication ranks is seen. Malayala Manorama has been pushed down from No. 5 in the last round to No. 9 in the latest round. Similarly, Balarama has moved from sixth position to eight position. On the other hand, Meri Saheli has moved up three places from No. 10 to No. 7, while Grih Shobha has entered the Top 10 list.
Grehlakshmi, too, has moved up the ladder on a positive note, being one of the three publications among the top 20 to see a growth in its AIR. The publication has moved from an AIR of 1,133,000 in IRS Q1 to 1,160,000 in Q2, a growth of 2.38 per cent.
Readers Digest, which was previously featured among the Top 10, has slipped down to the twelfth position, showing a decline of 9.37 per cent. Cricket Samrat, previously at No. 12, has now slipped to No. 13. Ananda Viketan, however, managed to hold on to its No. 15 spot.
From ranks 16 to 20, there is just one publication that has witnessed growth – Champak Hindi, which was ranked 20 in Q1 has moved up to rank 17 with a 2.54 per cent growth in its AIR from 827,000 in Q1 to 848,000 in Q2.
Tamil weekly Kungumam has moved up a notch from No. 18 to No. 17; while both Mathrubhumi Thozhil Vartha (from No. 17 to No. 19) and Nirogdham (from No. 19 to No. 20) have slipped down in the ranking order.
What we see here is a lot of shift between the ranks. However, what is of greater concern is that of the declining trend that continues to persist round after round.
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