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IRS research methodology still a concern for the industry

IRS research methodology still a concern for the industry

Author | Akash Raha | Friday, Aug 27,2010 8:20 AM

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IRS research methodology still a concern for the industry

Four days into the announcement of the IRS Q2 2010 results, as the industry is peeling away volumes of IRS data, discrepancies are beginning to appear. DNA’s KU Rao, Mid-Day Infomedia’s Manajit Ghoshal, Outlook Group’s Maheshwar Peri, HT's Shantanu Bhanja and Mint’s Vivek Khanna share their frank views with exchange4media on the latest IRS results and what they feel are the problems with it.

Vivek Khanna, CEO, Mint, remarked, “The latest IRS results further confirm Mint’s position as India’s second largest (and growing) business daily, with a profile that’s better than that of the market leader. It also reaffirms that 80 per cent of Mint readers do not read another business daily, making it a critical reach vehicle to top end audiences. In the top three cities, Mint now has a 24 per cent readership share.”

“Further, these numbers are despite the fact that in some of our markets, we are grossly under-represented, while in some we have not been picked up. We are the only daily in the category adding editions, but we continue to be hamstrung by the one-year gap between launch and IRS pick-up. Our editions launched last year – Kolkata and Chennai – are still not reflecting in IRS. We look forward to getting our readership reflection in these markets soon,” Khanna added.

While Mint lamented its Kolkata and Chennai edition figures not showing in the IRS results, Mid Day had a few problems of its own with the IRS figures. Manajit Ghoshal, MD & CEO, Mid-Day Infomedia, noted, “The IRS methodology is a little skewed as it favours newspapers that are delivered at residence doorsteps early in the morning.Newspapers like Mid-Day are old out of home, at offices, at bus stops and streets. IRS is not doing enough to get accurate readership of our kind of products. Even magazines have raised questions about the efficacy of the methodology used by the IRS. Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) acknowledges the growth of Mid-Day and has increased its ad revenues towards Mid-Day. There should have been a substantial hike in our readership figures if we were to go by the profits we had made. We will take up the issue with MRUC.”

Magazines owners over the years have censored IRS data over the methodology used, however, it has effected little change for them. Their argument has been that the IRS is unable to target the top SEC audience and collect data from them. Maheshwar Peri, President, Outlook Group, pointed out, “Any product that targets SEC A and A1 as their target audience will suffer in the current scheme of things, unless the IRS knows how to crack the SEC A and A+ kind of an audience. How do you enter into a house in Delhi, how do you enter into a premium flat? This problem will remain and the survey will continue to suffer as long as this problem is not sorted out. What I said one year ago holds good today too, because IRS knows what the problem is, but they haven’t yet addressed or come to a solution as to how to address that problem.”

Meanwhile, KU Rao, CEO, DNA, said, “I am happy with the results as far as DNA’s performance is concerned. We have now become the No. 6 in less than five years’ time. And I hope we are amongst the top five English newspapers in the country soon. However, I am a bit disappointed with the Mumbai numbers. I think our Mumbai numbers should have been far better because our circulation is significantly higher than what the readership is shown in Mumbai. In the next couple of days, we will get a chance to look into what actually happened and take the matter up if need be.”

Other players in market too maintained, that discrepancies existed in the IRS figures. Shantanu Bhanja, Vice President - Marketing, HT Media Ltd said "While the IRS results for HT Media have been overall good, re-affirming our unequivocal leadership in Delhi and taking us over the onecrore mark in daily readership for Hindustan, there are definitely instances where the IRS results do not reflect the market reality. A clear case in point is Mumbai, where we have very clearly not got the full benefit of all of the work that we have been doing on our product and in the field. We know both from our own data and from a very large scale research done recently that we are the clear No 2 in the Mumbai market. Unfortunately, IRS still doesn't reflect that."

Years after years IRS figures have not lived upto its expectations of excellence. Yet, years after years the industry expectantly awaits the IRS results. The IRS should look forward to having a more inclusive survey and take opinions from media owners on how to improve the research methodology it uses. Only then, would it be considered a credible, robust data.

Other Headlines on IRS

IRS Q2 2010: Growth story for newspaper and magazines in Uttar Pradesh; Dainik Jagran leads

IRS Q2 2010: Magazines see a close fight in Madhya Pradesh; mixed trend seen in the market

IRS Q2 2010: Some cheer for Thanthi and Dinakaran in Chennai

IRS Q2 2010: Magazines perform better than dailies in Bangalore market

IRS Q2 2010: Dailies do exceptionally well in Kolkata; magazines fail to keep pace

IRS Q2 2010: Magazines display strong growth potential in Andhra Pradesh

IRS Q2 2010: Most dailies, magazines witness slump in Kerala

IRS Q2 2010: In a case of reversals, dailies lose out in Himachal Pradesh; magazines do well

IRS Q2 2010: Poor results continue to haunt dailies in Jammu & Kashmir

The great IRS debate: Industry divided on single currency, but upbeat about proposed new agency

Guest Article: IRS and the elusive credibility: Manajit Ghoshal, Mid-Day Infomedia

IRS Q2 2010: Publications in Maharashtra see some light

IRS Q2 2010: Positive fallout of Jharkhand print war – four out of top five dailies see growth

IRS Q2 2010: Hindi publications dominate Bihar market; magazines witness decline trend

IRS Q2 2010: Many gainers in Karnataka market; magazines reverse the decline trend

IRS Q2 2010: Publications in West Bengal do well with positive readership trends

IRS Q2 2010: Assam market looks grim for dailies and magazines; all see dip in AIR

IRS Q2 2010: TOI’s might continues in Mumbai; positive growth boosts other players too

IRS Q2 2010: Dismal shows for English magazines; numbers head south

IRS Q2 2010: Four of the top five Hindi magazines witness decline; Saras Salil maintains lead

IRS Q2 2010: Mixed reactions from South publishers; call for different pattern of estimation for magazines

IRS Q2 2010: English dailies show positive growth; TOI remains undisputed leader

IRS Q2 2010: Positive growth for Top 3 Hindi dailies in Delhi NCR; NBT leads

IRS Q2 2010: Hindi dailies witness several ups and down in Mumbai

IRS Q2 2010: Pecking order of Tamil publications remains intact despite decline in AIR

IRS Q2 2010: Top order remains unchanged for Marathi publications; dailies soar, but magazines despair

IRS Q2 2010: Kannada publications chalk up a growth story; double digit growth for 3 Kannada dailies

IRS Q2 2010: Four of Top 10 dailies see decline in AIR; no change in order seen among top 5 dailies; Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar lead again

IRS Q2 2010: Decline trend continues to plague magazines; top order remains unchanged

IRS Q2 2010: HT continues lead in Delhi & Delhi NCR; negative growth for top 2 players

IRS Q2 2010: Business dailies put up a decent show; magazines still fighting it out

IRS Q2 2010: Top 10 Hindi dailies witness ups and downs; Dainik Jagran remains the leader

IRS Q2 2010: Daily Thanthi shows growth amid declining AIRs among Tamil publications

IRS Q2 2010: Gujarati publications have a growth story to tell

IRS Q2 2010: Top Bengali dailies put up a good show; but periodicals show signs of fatigue

IRS Q2 2010: Mixed bag for Malayalam publications; some dailies see growth, all magazines drop

IRS Q2 2010: Mixed bag for Telugu publications

IRS Q2 2010: Top Punjabi publications witness general growth trend

IRS 2010 Q2: No joy for Assamese publications as AIRs continue to decline

IRS Q2 2010: Oriya publications take the de-growth route

IRS Q2 2010: No surprises in Urdu publications; Inquilab, Siasat hold top positions

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