India Today has always stood for clarity, gravitas, integrity & credibility: Aroon Purie

Aroon Purie, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, India Today Group, talks to exchange4media about the growth story of the magazine and the way ahead

Aroon Purie

The Indian Readership Survey (IRS) Q1 2019 has shown that there is no dearth of readers for Print even in the age of Digital content. Compared to the figures provided by IRS 2017, the latest IRS has reported 0.9 crore additional readers for magazines and India Today leads the list in terms of readership.

In 2019, India Today (English) recorded a 15 per cent increase in its readership numbers. According to the latest IRS report, the news magazine’s readership stands at 9.1 million against the 7.9 million recorded in IRS 2017. Aroon Purie, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, India Today Group, talks about the growth story of the magazine and the way ahead.

Excerpts:
The top ranking magazine, according to IRS Q1 2019, with a 91.52 lakh readership is India Today (English) and there has been a massive growth from IRS 2017 when India Today (English) had 79.92 lakh readers. What led to this huge growth?
The discerning consumer today, more than ever, seeks transparency, facts and a well-researched perspective. India Today Magazine’s success amongst its readers is because it has provided the most powerful, thought-provoking content, addressing some of the most poignant subjects triggering nationwide debates and conversation. The incisive coverage and exclusives, in-depth analysis and factual reportage reinforced the trust of the readers, and helped expand the entire magazine category.

 

Has India Today (Hindi) shown similar growth?
India Today (Hindi) has grown at a rate, which is more than 1.5 times the No.1 Hindi Daily.

 

What are your plans to make this number grow further, both in Hindi and English?
We’ve always stood for clarity, gravitas, integrity and credibility. We believe in the age of digital clutter, the discerning reader will find our magazines a reliable source of information. Not just readers, you can notice the entire spectrum of political leaders, quoting and referring to India Today Stories through the election. Also, the One Minute Instagram Stories rolled out on our iconic covers that have chronicled history have already grossed a reach of over 1.3 crore. All these are wonderful signs that the brand firmly connects with India like no other brand.

 

Tell us what you think about how magazines should sustain themselves and maintain a steady readership in this digital age where every magazine has a digital subscription model too? How is India Today performing in terms of digital subscription? Is that the way forward? 
Digital can be looked at as both a threat and an opportunity. At the India Today Group, I am happy that we have chosen to focus on the latter. Many examples ranging from Mood of The Nation, Balakot to The Ultimate Showman cover of Ranveer have harnessed the energy of digital very well.

 

Is the IRS number inclusive of digital readers?
Magazine readership on digital is not covered at a publication level in IRS and the readership numbers stated do not include the Digital readership, as per IRS. That, however, does not mean that digital has not helped build Print or vice versa.

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