IRS 2019: South Regional dailies achieve steady readership growth

The regional dailies had an increase of 0.8 crore readers in IRS Q1 2019. The industry has added 0.3 crore of urban readers and 0.5 crore rural readers

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: May 7, 2019 8:21 AM
South India regional dailies

After a gap of a year Media Research Users Council (MRUC) announced the results of IRS Q1 2019 on April 26. The report is a combination of first quarter of this year along with the second, third, and fourth quarter of 2017. According to the report, print is growing and the dailies in the country has added 1.8 crore additional readers since IRS 2017. The magazine industry has added 0.9 crore additional readers. 

The regional dailies had an increase of 0.8 crore readers in IRS Q1 2019. The industry has added 0.3 crore of urban readers and 0.5 crore rural readers. The south India regional newspapers achieved consistent growth as per the reports and has clinched spots among the Top 20 dailies in the country. 

In the regional segment, Daily Thanthi took the first spot on the list of Top 10 dailies in respect to Total Readership with 2454000 TR. It has grown since the last IRS report, when it had 23149000 TR. If we go by AIR (Average Issue Readership) numbers, Malayala Manorama (MM) tops the list with 9758000 AIR. That's an upward trend for MM as the IRS 2017 had reported 9383000 AIR. Eenadu, Mathrubhumi, Sakshi, Dinamalar, and Vijay Karnataka are the other South dailies among the top 20 list. The South publications also bagged spot among the Top 20 magazines in the country, Vanitha- fortnightly magazine from Malayala Manorama Group clinched the fourth spot adding 9 lakh+ readers. The Tamil weekly magazine Ananda Vikatan, Mathrubhumi Arogya Masika, Kumudam are the other South magazines which are among the Top 20 magazines in India. 

Among the top dailies by language, Vijay Karnataka bagged the first spot among the Kannada dailies. They added 9.8 lakh+ readers since IRS 2017. 

Speaking to exchange4media, Ranjeet Kate, CEO, Vijay Karnataka said, “We are happy to note that the print readership in Karnataka for English and Kannada publications have grown. Vijay Karnataka has consolidated its leadership position in the state and is in touching distance from 80 Lakh reader base. We have been very active in the Karnataka market with multiple initiatives for readers from across segments & markets. We’ve been setting the benchmark in programs like VK Navarang, VK Super Star Raita which our competitors have tried to replicate this year. Advertisers are looking for such programs to engage with the right set of Kannadigas. We ensure the best platforms are created to Empower Kannadigas or to uphold the traditional culture of Karnataka.”

Among the Malayalam dailies Malayala Manorama bagged the first spot. The daily added 14.7 lakh+ readers since IRS 2017. 

Varghese Chandy, Vice President, Marketing, Advertising Sales, Malayala Manorama said, "These are the ranking based on the quarter report added to the 3-year-old report. If you look at the average issue readership, which I consider as the currency for measuring the readership, we are fourth in the country. And if you look among the regional publications, we are at Number 3. This is a moving average; three fourth of the readership belongs to three-year-old report. So, growth for us looks really good but then it will be even more prominent when the new quarter reports come. Otherwise it is more or less in line with our growth in circulation. Print readership overall is still growing and is actually a good sign."

Daily Thanthi clinched the first spot among the Tamil Dailies. The daily has added 9 lakh+ readers since IRS 2017. Speaking to exchange4media, KrishnaShetty Kandaraj, COO, Daily Thanthi, said, "Daily Thanthi has been a leader in terms of circulation and readership for the last 76 years. So, we had all the confidence that with our content and circulation, our readership will definitely go up. We are pretty happy to note that our readers have shown so much support to the publication. We are happy that we have grown from the last IRS to this IRS."

Eenadu topped the Telugu daily list. Unlike other regional dailies Eenadu has seen a drop of 2.77 lakhs in readership. 
Speaking to exchange4media I Venkat, Director, Eenadu Group said, “Eenadu has risen in the All India ranking of AIR to 6th from 7th position last round, though the readership has seen a drop of 2.77 lakhs. Much cannot be expected from this round of IRS as its only 1 quarter of survey and the rest of the 3 quarters are from 2017.”

He continued, “What is impressive to note about IRS Q1-2019 is that the digitalisation of the process and monitoring of the survey has led to efficiency in the survey. The regional dailies readership has increased by 0.8 crores with rural contributing to 0.5 crores. This shows the regional dailies dominance in their respective markets.” 

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