Last year, MRUC released the Indian Readership Survey (IRS), which didn’t go too well with major publishers and publications.
The situation worsened when publishers opted to withdraw their subscriptions from the committee.
With lots of chaos and confusion, the numbers went for revalidation but left the publishers unsatisfied. In a major development, the industry is expecting a fresh round of numbers and most probably they may be released this week. There is no official confirmation yet but it’s expected in the month of December 2014.
We asked different publishers about their expectations and views on the upcoming numbers.
Anant Nath, MD, Delhi Press has been calling for a fruitful engagement for the last two years. He believes all the major problems between MRUC and publishers would have been solved if they had engaged properly.
When asked what steps MRUC should take this time before releasing their data to avoid chaos like last time, he said, “They should make the methodology process little more transparent as people don’t have much idea about it and they should be more responsive in the data collection.”
He mentioned some of the major magazines were not included or came out in the findings of the survey. Woman’s Era is one of them. He said, “There are lots of unsettling things, they need to explain the rationale behind their findings, apparently Karnataka has only one magazine in their listing.”
Concluding his view, he said, “We have no idea whether MRUC is engaging with the publishers or not. They need to be far more active and their information sharing is very limited.”
While the numbers are still in the pipeline, so are the expectations. The amount of money invested in the survey and not getting accurate numbers is a major cause of concern for the publications. Major advertising contracts rely on the numbers and these numbers indicate a path for the advertisers to showcase their platform.
DD Purkayastha, MD & CEO, ABP Group is expecting better numbers this time. Talking to exchange4media, he said, “I am aware that MRUC is maintaining all the cheques and balances and they are taking steps and precautions. We are expecting much better data this time in comparison to last year.”
The hopes are high this time and there is no other currency as of now. New optimism is all around the print industry in order to get the accurate numbers and avoid the chaos.
Senior Vice President of The Hindu, Suresh Srinivasan raised the key issue of building the confidence back. He said, “They need to build the confidence. Publishers who have felt injustice, whatever the reasons or issues may be, but they need to rebuild the bridges.”
Sharing more he said, “If they need to survive in the DNA of the system they have to carry the key players.”
Arvind Kalia, CMO, Rajasthan Patrika said, “Last IRS results followed the required due diligence process, and it gave the ground realities to advertising and readers fraternity. This time also, we expect same due diligence and standards are adhered to without bowing down to the pressures created by past print media leaders.”