The top-line findings of the National Readership Survey (NRS) 2006 have thrown some interesting results for print players. Among the dailies – on the urban plus rural measure – Dainik Jagran continues with its numero uno positioning despite the decline that it has seen in this round. From the 21,244,000 readership that it had in NRS 2005, Jagran’s readership has slipped to 21,165,000 in NRS 2006.
On the other hand, Dainik Bhaskar, the No. 2 player, has registered a growth in readership at 20,958,000 from the 17,379,000 figure in NRS 2005, crossing the two-crore readership mark in the process.
Thus, the gap between Dainik Jagran and Danik Bhaskar has reduced from 38 lakh readers to just two lakh readers this year.
Eenadu maintains its No. 3 spot with a readership of 13,805,000, which is a considerable increase from 11,350,000 last year. Lokmat registered a 23 per cent jump in readership from 8,820,000 last year to 10,856,000 in NRS 2006, bringing it to the No. 4 position as against the No. 7 spot it held last year.
Amar Ujala continues in the No. 5 position, growing from 10,469,000 last year to 10,847,000 this year.
Hindustan has seen a dip in readership in NRS 2006, falling to the sixth position with a readership of 10,437,000 from the 10,557,000. It was at No. 4 position in NRS 2005. Despite registering an increase in readership to 10,389,000 from 9,445,000 last year, Daily Thanthi slips from No. 6 to No. 7 in NRS 2006.
Dinakaran has registered the most spectacular rise in NRS 2006, jumping straight from No. 39 in NRS 2005 into the top ten league at No. 8, its readership going up from a mere 1,485,000 last year to 9,639,000 this year.
Rajasthan Patrika and Malayala Manorama complete the top ten league in the ninth and tenth positions, respectively, with Rajasthan Patrika registering a readership of 9,391,000 and Malayala Manorama with a readership of 8,409,000.
NRS 2006 hasn’t brought much cheer for The Times of India, which has seen a drop in readership from 8,092,000 to 7,502,000, displacing it from the top ten league. However, NRSC officials informed that the paper had done very well in one key market, which wasn’t announced, but is most likely to be Delhi.
Nonetheless, The Times of India continues to be the most read English daily. The Hindu has sprung a surprise displacing Hindustan Times to take over the No. 2 position with a readership of 4.05 million. Hindustan Times is now in No. 3 with an estimated readership of 3.85 million. Though the paper added 3.6 lakh new readers in Mumbai, it lost readership across the Hindi belt.
The Hindi belt has been witness to intense activity from large dailies and is an indicator of the general growth in the vernacular dailies segment. To elaborate, vernacular dailies have grown from 191.0 million readers to 203.6 million while English dailies have stagnated at around 21 million.
The National Readership Study in India is the largest survey of its kind in the world. NRS 2006 included a sample size of 284,373 house-to-house interviews to measure media exposure and consumer product penetration in both urban and rural India. The study covered 535 publications of which 230 were dailies and 305 were magazines. The fieldwork for this survey was done from February to May 2006.