Magazine publishers have always decried the results of the Indian Readership Survey (IRS), stating that the numbers are not always representative of the actual readership. While there is still uncertainty on which is the most relevant metric – AIR or TR – for measurement of magazine readership, the question also arises on how magazines that are not registered with the MRUC get measured.
Readership measurement comes in for intense scrutiny every time the IRS (Indian Readership Survey) results are released. Every round there is a fight on whether Average Issue Readership (AIR) or Total Readership (TR) is the more relevant metric. And while the debate still rages on, AIR is still winning.
Publications in the state of Maharashtra have seen a mixed bag of growths and declines, with seven of the top 15 seeing a drop in Average Issue Readership (AIR) as per the IRS Q3 2010 results. The scenario was much better in Q2, when just four of the top 15 had seen decline.
While a few markets have shown decline and a few others a mixed bag, the Karnataka market is one that has largely seen growth in the IRS Q3 2010 results, with just four of the top 15 dailies showing decline. Although it is a largely Kannada language based state, when it comes to choice of languages, publications in English, Marathi and even Tamil are existent among the top newspapers.
Newspapers in Bangalore have witnessed mostly positive growth as per the IRS Q3 2010 results. Nine of the top 12, including English and Kannada language dailies, have seen healthy growth in readership. English daily Bangalore Mirror has seen a massive double digit growth of 71 per cent in AIR as against the Q2 results.
Amid sporadic curfews and a ban on newspapers for some time, publications in Jammu and Kashmir operate under probably some of the toughest market conditions in India. It’s a mixed bag for both dailies and magazines in the state. While the top two dailies have seen a decline in AIR, The Times of India has recorded the highest growth.
Dailies in Himachal Pradesh have mostly seen growth in AIR as per the IRS Q3 2010 results. Amar Ujala overtakes Punjab Kesari to claim the top spot among dailies. While Hindi dailies have seen mixed results, English dailies have whipped up mostly double digit growth in the third quarter.
As per the IRS Q3 2010 results, four of the top five Gujarati dailies have seen growth, while of the three Gujarati magazines, two have recorded growths. Chitralekha, the most read Gujarati magazine, has seen no change in its Average Issue Readership (AIR) in the third quarter.
Both dailies and magazines have put up a good show in Gujarat. Three of the top five dailies have seen growth, while all five top magazines in the state have recorded growth in AIR. Gujarat Samachar leads among dailies, while among magazines, Chitralekha is the most read.
The IRS Q3 2010 results bring no cheer for the dailies in Chandigarh. Some time back Hindi daily Hindustan had terminated its Chandigarh edition due to decreasing readership trends, the situation hasn’t improved for most dailies, which have seen sharp drop in readership in this quarter.
The latest round of IRS 2010 is music to the ears of the publishers of language dailies, with the readership trend positive for most brands, observes Ranjeet Kate, Director, Languages Business, Times Group. Kate analyses the rise of the language dailies in India and the factors that are contributing to their growth.
Vinay Chhajlani, CEO, NaiDunia, wonders how relevant and practical IRS can be made to attain true worthiness as a print currency. According to him, the IRS needs to mature as a currency to increase its worth, and not be relevant because it is the only currency, but because it is ‘the’ currency.
Both newspapers and magazines have mostly recorded growth in readership in Uttar Pradesh as per the IRS Q3 2010 results. While all top five dailies have seen growth in AIR, four of the top five magazines have recorded growth in AIR, beating the general decline trend seen in magazines nationally.
Most dailies have seen a decline in readership in the Punjab market. Of the top 15 dailies, nine have seen a drop in AIR as per the IRS Q3 2010 results. Punjabi daily Ajit has retained its leadership position with a marginal growth. Punjab Kesari is the most read Hindi daily in the state, while The Tribune is the most read English daily.
Newspapers in Uttarakhand have seen some interesting trends in the IRS Q3 2010 results. While the old Hindi newspaper players of the state, Amar Ujala and Dainik Jagran, have witnessed decline in their readership, Hindustan has seen double digit growth in its readership in the third quarter.
Dailies have been able to chart a growth story in Madhya Pradesh, with just three of the top 15 papers showing a decline in AIR as per the IRS Q3 2010 results. Hindi dailies rule in the state, with The Times of India, the top English daily in the state, coming in at No. 9 in the overall top 15 list.