In what can be described as a historic moment for print readership in India, the National Readership Studies Council (NRSC) and the Media Research User’s Council (MRUC) have decided to merge the National Readership Survey and the Indian Readership Survey to create a single research for the print industry.
Both organisations have agreed to this proposition, and have passed the relevant resolutions supporting the move. It is understood that the new body that would lead this survey would comprise 10 members each from MRUC and NRSC.
While neither MRUC nor NRSC officials were available for official comments at the time of filing the report, senior sources from both the organisations have confirmed the development to exchange4media. It is understood that Madison World’s Sam Balsara and India Today Group’s Ashish Bagga would be leading this survey from the NRSC side, while TV Today’s G Krishnan and Lokmat Group’s Bharat Kapadia would be leading it from the MRUC side.
It may be pointed out here that print readership has been a sore point with many publishers for a long period now. While some didn’t agree with the IRS, many found various anomalies with NRS, and the NRS had lapsed several times too. In the last few months, the NRSC has been working hard in reviving the NRS and this even included advanced conversations with Hansa Research that has otherwise been always associated with IRS.
All these conversations have ceased now, and in its wake is the move to combine and invest resources from media owners into one meaningful and robust study.
This move is seen as a positive step in solving the problems that the print industry has been facing on the research front. The new body is expected to work on a state-of-the-art readership survey that would carry forward the research interest for all the various print publications such as newspapers and magazines.