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IRS 2009 R1: Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu markets analysed

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IRS 2009 R1: Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu markets analysed

In an attempt to go beyond the analysis of topline data,, in association with media analysis firm Stratagem Media, presents IRS 2009 R1 INSIGHT. Today’s Insight focuses on the Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu markets. Reported by Cassandra Serpes. Data analysis by Stratagem Media.


The food in Andhra Pradesh is supposed to be really hot! And of late, that’s how the media scene there looks too. A Telugu newspaper was launched recently, and the leading English newspaper of the state, which was almost state-centric, decided to spread its wings (admittedly, this began almost four years ago). And somewhere along the line, the old lady of Bori Bunder had also made an attempt to establish fort in Hyderabad.

So, what’s the current position and how has it changed in the recent past? Can it still be refered to as a monopolistic market situation? Or do advertisers have to stretch to derive the same values as not so long ago? This article jointly examines the performance of English and Telugu dailies in the Andhra market.

Tamil Nadu is the hotbed of Indian politics, well-known for a change in governance in every State Election. Whether it is Rajnikant or Karunanidhi, everything in Tamil Nadu is king-size.

The largest southern state with an adult (12 years plus) population of 5.8 crore, scores with 11 dailies in the two main languages in the IRS – five English and six Tamil dailies. Tamil dailies account for 13 million regular readers (AIR), while English dailies contribute with almost 1.5 million. That the state is, therefore, highly ‘language-chauvinistic’ is quite obvious, with the local language readers outnumbering English readers by nearly nine times.

Scope & Methodology

Today’s feature of ‘IRS 2009 R1 Insight’ compares the lead players in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu across demographics.

With an adult population of 6.5 crore, including 1.9 crore in the urban parts of the state, Andhra Pradesh can boast of at least 12 dailies covered in the IRS – seven English (including three financial dailies) and five Telugu. The state language readership (AIR) touches almost a crore, whilst the corresponding English language figure is at just about 1.24 million.

The state also seems to hold the distinction of housing dailies with the maximum number of editions in a single state. The pack is led by Eenadu with 18 editions, and even the third largest daily – Vaartha – has 12 editions in the IRS. This article compares thee English dailies and four Telugu dailies.

Nearly three out of every five Tamil readers reads Daily Thanthi (which grosses almost 7.5 million regular readers singularly). But other titles such as Dinakaran (with more than 5 million) and Dinamalar (with more than 3 million) also pitch in to raise the net readership to 13 million. This also points to a fairly high duplication between these titles.

Sightings – The Andhra Pradesh Market:

Telugu dailies in Andhra Pradesh

The top three Telugu dailies have all shown a decline in their Average Issue Readership (AIR) figures. Eenadu has an AIR of 6,415,000, which is a 4.3 per cent decline as compared to the figures in IRS 2008 R2. Andhra Jyothi has declined by 9.7 per cent with an AIR of 2,563,000. Vartha has dropped by 16.8 per cent and now stands at 1,935,000.

English dailies in Andhra Pradesh

Deccan Chronicle is the highest read English newspaper in Andhra Pradesh, even though it has seen a decline of 1.7 per cent and now stands at an AIR of 808,000. The Hindu has seen a growth of 2.7 per cent with an AIR of 384,000. The Times of India’s AIR figures remain unchanged at 192,000 over the previous round.

Sightings – The Tamil Nadu market:

Tamil dailies in Tamil Nadu

Among the Tamil dailies, it must be observed that there is a decline among all the top five publications, in an ascending manner. Daily Thanthi is the most read publication in the state with an AIR of 7,488,000, which is a 1.3 per cent decline in its readership. Dinakaran has seen a decline of 2.6 per cent in its AIR and now stands at 5,394,000. Dinamalar is at 3,273,000, which is a 4.4 per cent decline in its AIR. Dinamani, too, has seen a 6.3 per cent decline with an AIR of 646,000. Malai Malar has seen the maximum decline of 11.7 per cent and currently stands at an AIR of 637,000.

English dailies in Tamil Nadu

Among the English dailies in the state, The Hindu stands tall with an AIR of 1,165,000, which is a 1.7 per cent increase as compared to IRS 2008 R2 figures. Deccan Chronicle has decreased by 14 per cent and now stands at an AIR of 282,000. The New Indian Express has also dropped by 7.6 per cent with an AIR of 146,000. The Economic Times has shown a huge growth of 74.2 per cent in its AIR figures, which is the highest growth seen among the top five English dailies. The publication has grown from 31,000 in 2008 R2 to 54,000 in this round. Hindu Business Line has also shown a growth of 11.5 per cent and now stands at an AIR of 29,000.

Key Insights:

The Andhra market

The state is certainly language-centric. English readership comes a poor second to Telugu readership. The largest Telugu daily, Eenadu, singularly delivers almost 10 per cent of the market as a whole. The third largest Telugu daily, Vaartha, reaches over 50 per cent more audiences than the entire English readership.

Deccan Chronicle (DC), the largest read English daily in the state, comes in at No. 4, but with just one-seventh the readership of Eenadu. TOI finds its way into the top seven just behind The Hindu, which despite having a strong presence in Tamil Nadu, manages to still score over the TOI in AP, with twice the number of readers.

In urban AP, DC replaces Vaartha at No. 3. Eenadu’s lead over Andhra Jyoti increases in urban AP, while The Hindu continues to be twice as large as TOI, whilst DC is seen to be more twice as large as The Hindu.

In SEC A, Eenadu increases its lead over its Telugu rivals, but the English papers narrow the gap. In this segment, Eenadu leads by about 125 per cent over DC, versus a lead of 350 per cent in urban AP.

Despite being the largest Telugu daily, Eeandu is seen to be more urban than the other Telugu dailies in the state. Whilst the English dailies get more than 90 per cent of their readers from the urban parts of AP.

TOI shows a marginally better SEC profile than the other English dailies, and this advantage increases for the MHI Rs 10K plus segment. The Rs 10K plus MHI profile of the other dailies is quite similar to their SEC profiles.

All seven dailies under consideration in AP, except TOI, seem to have declined in readership – by a margin of 2 per cent (DC) to 22 per cent (The Hindu). The TOI has gained 3 per cent.

The decline in readership in the SEC A segment is much more, and ranges from 1 per cent to 38 per cent.

The Tamil Market

The top three positions are occupied by Daily Thanthi (DT), Dinakaran and Dinamalar. Coincidentally, there’s a steady drop of 28 per cent in reach, from the No. 1 position, at each step, till the No. 4. The fourth position is occupied by an English newspaper - The Hindu. So, in the state as a whole, The Hindu reaches 84 per cent less readers than Daily Thanthi.

Surprisingly enough, in the urban part of the state, the rankings amongst the top four remain unchanged, but so does the extent of the drop, with each rank dropping by about 26 per cent. So, in urban Tamil Nadu, the Hindu reaches about 24 per cent of the readers that Daily Thanthi captures.

But things go absolutely topsy-turvy in SEC A. The Hindu, which trails by as much as 76 per cent in urban TN at No. 4 position, leads the pack with a 31 per cent lead over DT in SEC A.

Both Dinamalar and Dinakaran narrow their gap vis-à-vis DT in SEC A, with Dinamalar being the stronger among the two. So, in SEC A, Dinamalar ranks No. 2 amongst Tamil dailies and No. 3 overall.

The other English newspaper in TN – Deccan Chronicle (DC), is about one-fourth the size of The Hindu, even in urban TN, and less than one-sixth its size in SEC A.

Amongst the five Tamil papers under consideration, the smallest two (Malai Malar and Dinamani) have the best urban profile.

Dinamalar and Dinamani also have the best affluence (SEC A & MHI Rs 10K plus) profile, amongst Tamil dailies. In terms of affluence profile, however, (and expectedly so), The Hindu leads the pack by a wide margin. Nearly half the readers of The Hindu fall into SEC A.

All dailies under consideration, except The Hindu, seem to have lost readers, by margins ranging from a modest 1 per cent (for Daily Thanthi) to 14 per cent (for DC).

However, quite to the contrary, the top three Tamil papers have gained readers in the key SEC segments, by margins ranging from 3 per cent (for Dinamalar) to 21 per cent (for DT). The decline for the other Tamil papers like Dinamani, etc., and DC occurs even in the key SEC segments. The Hindu, on the other hand seems to have grown across segments as well.

(Led by Sundeep Nagpal, Stratagem Media Pvt Ltd is an independent media specialist company which provides media buying services to advertisers and ad sales support to leading media houses. For the latter, its range of services includes data analytics, sales/ behavioural training and price structuring.)


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