IRS 2019 is a testament to the strength of Print in India: Varghese Chandy

Varghese Chandy, VP-Marketing & Advertising Sales, Malayala Manorama, talks about the daily's ranking, role of print in digital era, regional publications, projections for next year and more

e4m by Neethu Mohan
Updated: May 9, 2019 8:25 AM
Varghese Chandy

The IRS Q1 2019 survey report underlined the fact that the print medium continues to grow despite the general belief that it is declining. The survey showed dailies adding 1.8 crore readers since 2017. The regional dailies added 0.8 crore readers.


Malayalam daily Malayala Manorama bagged 4th spot among the Top 20 dailies on the basis of AIR (Average Issue Readership). In the regional segment, Malayala Manorama topped the list with 9758000 AIR. The daily has added more than 14.7 lakh readers since IRS 2017. 


In a conversation with exchange4media, Varghese Chandy, Vice President- Marketing, Advertising Sales, Malayala Manorama, spoke on the ranking, role of print in digital era, regional publications, projections for the next year and more.


“IRS 2019 is a testament to the strength of the print medium in India. Print readership continues to grow,” said Chandy.


Excerpts from the conversation:


On IRS ranking and rise in Malayala Manorama's readership 
We are the No 1 regional language daily in the country. We also have a very strong reach; 2 out of 3 readers in Kerala read Malayala Manorama. In terms of Loyalty Index, we are No 1 among the top 10 newspapers. Loyalty Index is defined percentage of Average Issue Readership/Total Readership.


On role of print in digital era
Bucking the trend across the world, all media continue to grow in India in terms of reach and advertising spends. With growing readership, print will continue to hold a strong position in India. 


On AIR (Average Issue Readership) vs TR (Total readership)

Both AIR and TR have their place in media planning. But we feel that for a daily, AIR is more pertinent since it captures yesterday's readership. Magazine content, on the other hand, continues to be relevant beyond its frequency of publication. And so, TR could be an appropriate metric for magazines. 


IRS report and regional language publications
For us, the latest IRS shows that our reach in Kerala has increased over the previous round and we have retained the position of No 1 regional language newspaper in the country. Malayalam readership has shown a growth in Kerala while English has shown a dip.   

On growth in readership and advertisement sales

Advertisers were convinced of the unmatched reach provided by our daily even in the previous IRS rounds. The new IRS data shows that our reach has increased even further. We are confident that this higher reach will lead to more advertisement revenue.

On Print revenue vs Digital revenue 
The unprecedented floods in Kerala in 2018 had a severe impact on our revenues as well. In the coming years, spends in print and digital will continue to grow in Kerala. Digital might grow at a faster rate, especially because of a smaller base

On projections for next year

With the engaging content that our editorial team comes out with on a daily basis, the readership of Malayala Manorama should continue to increase. In terms of growth, we are working on a plan and are looking forward to a good year.

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