IRS 2017: Print players elated with Hindi readership recording 45% growth

The survey covered a full year sample size of 3.2 lakh households, a sample size increase by an unprecedented 34 per cent over the previous edition of the study in 2014

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Jan 19, 2018 9:00 AM  | 5 min read

The latest Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2017 has once brought the focus back on print media. The latest survey numbers indicate 9% growth in total newspaper readership in last four years. The survey also revealed that the English newspaper readership has grown by 10% over the last four years and touched 2.8 crore in IRS 2017, as compared to 2.5 crore in last IRS, while Hindi readership stands at 17.6 crore in IRS 2017, up 45% from 12.1 crore in IRS 2014. The survey covered a full year sample size of 3.2 lakh households, a sample size increase by an unprecedented 34 per cent over the previous edition of the study in 2014.

Dainik Jagran and Times of India emerged the top dailies with a readership of 7, 03, 77,000 and 1, 30, 47,000 respectively.

Commenting on the findings of this report, Sanjay Gupta, CEO, Jagran Prakashan Ltd said, “It is the hard work of all the departments put together that we have become number one again. We have been at the top for many years now and I am glad that this result has once again reiterated the power of print”.

“It’s a great product and has come out after some time, but all care has been taken to ensure that there are no shortcomings. It is a sample survey done today and hopefully, people will use the data maturely. People have to see the data maturely because when you start looking at granular cuts, it shouldn’t happen. You must remember there are levels and this is a representation on a sample. So, in a sample survey, whatever happens, happens, that’s the way to look at it. Once the data goes out it will be in public space and people will start using the data. So, just now we are presenting a very top line data. You will see the detailed data going out” said Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands.

Calling the latest IRS survey findings great news for the print media industry after a wait of four years, Pradeep Diwedi, CEO, Sakal Media Group said, “After a wait of four years, we have a credible and scientifically done exercise. I believe it is an extremely good outcome and it’s an outcome that ensures publishers are not only able to get the right share of their business but are also able to get right pricing for their product. This growth in the overall leadership of print is an indication that print is the robust industry that’s going to survive. At an individual level for Sakal, I think it’s too early because we have no visibility to numbers right now. From whatever indication was given in top 20 listing as well as Marathi Language, I believe that numbers are pretty good.”

“IRS 2017 seems to be a much improved and credible readership survey as compared to 2014. The top findings reveal that newspapers have grown by 40 % which is encouraging news for us, being a media conglomerate. We are also pleased that IRS 2017 has reaffirmed our contention that radio has grown by 30 per cent and TV by 10 per cent. All these are encouraging results but these are top end all-India highlights. We look forward to receiving detailed data for Kerala and also AIR”, said Shreyams Kumar, Joint Managing Director of the Mathrubhumi Printing & Publishing Co Ltd

The latest IRS 2017 Report also offers new readership metrics. Apart from the standard and well-established Average Issue Readership metric, one can now look at data from the perspective of Total Readership (TR), and Readership of publications by timeframes of Last 7 days and Last 3 days. These new metrics have been introduced to provide a true representation of the changing consumption habits among Newspaper readers.

Sharing his view on the IRS 2017 report, Rishi Darda, Editorial and Joint Managing Director, Lokmat Media Group stated, “IRS 2017 with its robust systems and improved methodology has reaffirmed what advertisers and readers have always believed about Lokmat’s leadership. Regional publications will pave the way for growth of new Bharat and rural readership has grown significantly contributing to a higher pie in the overall readership and growth of print in India. Overall 40% growth in print is so heartening and it clearly shows readers only believe in true journalism. I take this opportunity to congratulate Team Lokmat for believing in themselves and thank all our readers, advertisers and partners for their trust and continued support.”

“The way they are trying to change the yardstick of measuring reach is a good thing to do now. Because it’s not right to say that reach for print media is only those who read yesterday’s newspaper, that’s not right. Yes of course, we are all used to regularity of leadership being defined as that, but it’s not the only way to do it. So, it’s a good thing that this has happened. At the same time I am saying that the 40% figure is not necessarily a very valid number in my opinion because we don’t know what the four-year-old figure was exactly. So, they must have deep dived into data and tried to explore that, where they brought it from, but I think 40% numbers is not something we should get carried away with it”, added Sundeep Nagpal, Founder Director, Stratagem Media Private Limited.

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