What a week it was!
It first began with initial reactions on the exchange4media’s report on the Readership Studies Council of India’s (RSCI) committee (RSCI is pronounced as risky by the way). By now, every exchange4media reader would know that RSCI is a result of the merger of Indian Readership Survey (IRS) and National Readership Survey (NRS), and hence I need not stress again on the great significance this body is going to hold for the print industry in India. So industry interest was expected, but I must confess the scale in which it came was not expected!
RSCI’s first chairperson turned out to be none other than Lintas Media Group’s Chairperson and CEO, Lynn de Souza. Given her passion for readership research, which anyone who has spoken to her even a couple of times would know, RSCI’s decision to appoint her first Chairperson was not surprising at all. We are all now looking forward to how Lynn, as the industry calls her or Ms de Souza as I call her, leads the team to create a readership survey that is a true gold standard for the Indian print industry.
I solemnly believe that we may have a lesson or two to export to other markets. And why not – RSCI has the unique opportunity to paint on a blank canvas and create a foundation that is relevant for the next few years, where there are in-built mechanisms to evolve with time and where, as Ms de Souza says, there are innovations from the thought to the process to the product.
While speaking to exchange4media on RSCI, Ms de Souza made a point that stayed with me for long. RSCI is not looking for a currency. A currency it may become, but it first has to be a true indicator of the readership scenario in India. For her, currency demoted the IRS to something that was used for trading alone. And that is a powerful role, but her vision of the RSCI is to be able to give the industry something more.
If an indicator was required, there it was – the RSCI had begun on the right note.
While the IRS in a new avatar is awaited, the current form of the IRS is still the most important thing for the print industry right now. And this week, MRUC and Hansa Research released the Q2 data for the year. Significant round, as it marks six months’ data. For us at exchange4media, IRS now poses a challenge of sorts. Our coverage each year is comprehensive and covers different languages and markets, in addition to overall trends and moods of the players. Simply put – we covered a lot that could possibly be covered.
So when the team sat down to plan the coverage for this round, the big question was – how do we give more to our readers? How do we add to the analysis?
The answer: bring an expert. And so we did.
The exchange4media Group has partnered with Lintas Media Group to bring the IRS analysis to our readers. For us, it has turned out to be great fun already – the conversations alone with someone like Premjeet Sodhi reminded me that there was so much more to IRS than just ranking players and talking about increase and dip in readership.
Of course, we would continue to bring the spread that we have been so far. But this time, expect a lot more.
As I sign off, I have to apologise to all those who have asked me about Noorings last week, (and also other readers who did not). Sorry, Noorings went missing again, but can you really blame me with our industry buzzing in the manner that it does, and all of you keep us busy 24x7. Not complaining – that is the way I love it!