The National Readership Study (NRS) 2002 was released yesterday (June 17, 2002) by the National Readership Studies Council (NRSC) at the YB Chavan Auditorium in Mumbai. The report has some good news for print as the readership of print media has grown by 10 per cent in the last two years.
According to NRS 2002, Press has added over 17 million readers in the last two years. The reader base in India has grown from 163 million to 180 million a growth of 10%. What is interesting is that there is still a significant scope for growth in this segment as 248 million adults who are literate do not read any publication.
Another interesting fact that comes to light is that there are nearly as many rural readers as in urban area. Of the 180 million readers, as many as 48% are from six lakh villages scattered across India.
According to NRS 2002, the reader base for dailies/newspapers increased from 131 million in 1989 to 156 million this year and increase of 20%. The growth in the reach of dailies is substantially higher than the literacy growth of 13% in the same period. Language dailies have contributed significantly to this growth.
The highest read Hindi daily in India now surpasses a readership of 13 million. The newspaper has now extended its reach to the Urban Housewife / FMCG decision makers.
According to NRS 2002, 25.4 million urban housewives as compared to 21.7 million in 1999 now read daily newspaper. And this comes at the cost of reading magazines which was considered a staple diet for most women.
The NRS 2002 shows a decline in audiences of Magazines. Magazines overall show a decline in the reader base, both in Urban and Rural India. The reach of magazines has declined from 93.8 million in 1999 to 86.2 million in 2002. Magazines have lost 22% of their reach since 1999, taking into account the population growth over these years. The decline is mainly in the general interest, film / entertainment and sports magazines, where the percentage decline on an average is over 25%
The NRS 2002 shows that the time spent on traditional media has marginally declined in urban markets. According to the report, in 1999 an urban adult spent on an average 14 hours a week or 2 hours a day on traditional media i.e, press, TV, radio and internet. Since then, the time spent per week, per urban adult has declined to 13 hours a week or about 7 min less day per adult.
In comparison, the time spent on traditional media in villages is virtually half i.e, 6 hours per adult and this is more or less constant since 1999. The decline in time spent on traditional media has not affected much reading time, in urban media. The average reader still spends about 16% of his total media time, i.e, 18 min per day in reading a daily / magazine
Urban India now spends marginally less time watching TV although TV still commands the lion's share of media consumption. According to NRS 2002, TV still commands a 72% share of the average 13 hours spent on traditional media amongst urban audience. If take it in absolute terms there is a slight decline in time spent on TV in this market. Despite the increasing programme options, the average viewing time has come down from 85 min in 1999 to 82 mins in 2002.
The growth in C&S penetration is more than twice the growth in TV owning homes. As per the report, TV now reaches 81.6 million Indian homes and reflects a growth of 12% since 1999. Access to C&S homes jumped from 29mn in 1999 to 40mn in 2002 - a 31% growth rate, more than twice the growth of the TV market. C&S subscription has now penetrated 50% of all TV homes
Another interesting fact thrown in by NRS 2002 is that the Internet reach has exceeds 6 million homes. The access to Internet in the last 3 months increased to 6mn as at 2002. Growth of Internet has stabalized at 2 million p.a.
NRS 2002 is conducted together by pooling the resources of IMRB, TNS Mode and AC Nielsen. This is update as on April 2002 - within 2 months of the completion of the field work (Jan - mar 2002)