IRS Q4 2019: What makes Jagran tick

With a readership of over 6.5 crore across India and 3.9 crore readership in UP, Jagran leads in the latest IRS numbers again

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: May 22, 2020 8:55 AM
Jagran

In the world of Indian polity, it is often said whoever rules Uttar Pradesh rules India. The two massive BJP victories in the general election show the exact same trend. But this is not true for politics only, newspaper readership in India banks on the same vibe. Irrespective of who gains in which zone, Jagran dominates Uttar Pradesh market and hence remains the market leader.

With a readership of over 6.5 crore across India and 3.9 crore readership just in the Uttar Pradesh market, Dainik Jagran has remained at the vanguard of the newspaper industry over the years. Even as other arms of the group continue to build scale, their newspaper business remains unrivalled with a TR (total readership) that stands 30% above the second on the list of most read newspapers in the country.

 According to Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands India, Jagran has grown with the huge growth in the Hindi market in the last few years. “Markets like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are young markets where literacy rate has gone up and hence newspaper readership too,” he said.

Jagran has also invested aggressively in new readers, said Sinha. “The cover price of newspapers is so low in India that newspapers sometimes restrict circulation because unless you have steady ad revenues the more you sell the more you lose. Jagran, unlike others, has only increased circulation which has led to an increase in readership and helped them retain their leadership position,” he added.

"A very strong focus on creating quality content for the readers helps them retain their number one spot in readership," said Basant Rathore, Senior VP -Strategy, Brand & Business Development, Jagran Prakashan.

“A relentless focus on good journalism underlies the core of product offering. At the same time, we engage very strongly with our readers and collaborate with them to create community-level change. And this reader engagement is a continuous exercise,” he said.

According to Rathore  the ‘Saat Sarokar’ or ‘7 Principles’  is what makes them stand apart. “Our Brand Purpose draws from the 7 principles of Dainik Jagran. These principles are at the core of our editorial philosophy. Action in these areas was therefore imperative to build an emotional connect with people – as this comes straight from the brand’s purpose of existence. These seven principles are Poverty Eradication, Healthy Society, Educated Society, Women Empowerment, Environmental Conservation, Water Conservation, and Population Management,” he said.

According to the latest IRS that is based on a rolling average of data from 3 quarters IRS 2019 (Q1), (Q2) and (Q3) and one fresh quarter of Q4, Jagran emerged the market leader with not just the highest TR but also the highest AIR (average issue readership). The AIR of the Hindi daily touched 16872000 in the fourth quarter.

The readership of the paper has managed to consistently stay between 6.8 crore and 7 crores between the two IRSs of 2017 and 2019.

The seven principles have worked wonders for the group.

“Every day, Jagran delivers enriching and empowering content to its readers in line with these seven principles. This ranges from a daily column on health and wellbeing, to a youth-centric supplement focusing on providing them with access to job opportunities and to content catering specifically to the needs of women readers,” Rathore added.

Financial scoreboard of the group confirms Rathore’s claim.

While Q4 results of the company are awaited, numbers clocked in Q3 are the key performance indicators of the group. The publishers of Dainik Jagran saw 16% growth in Consolidated Net Profit at Rs 81.61 crore in Q3. The company managed to improve operating margins sequentially with the operating profit in the quarter stood at Rs 147.13 crore, up 11%, and the circulation revenue stood at Rs 107.47 crore. New businesses also showed growth with the print digital revenue at Rs 11.73 crore, up 12.6% against Q2.

Interestingly even in a year of slow economic sentiments, the house recorded advertisement revenue of Rs 336.29 crore for Q3.

According to experts the sheer reach of the newspaper makes Jagran too difficult to be ignored by advertisers. What are the other factors that work in their favour?

“The constant increase in the readership of Dainik Jagran reiterates the fact that local content is king, as far as Hindi-speaking markets go. It covers 11 states, with 37 editions contributing to its total readership. The newspaper being available at a reasonable price is also another benefit to readers. Dainik Jagran uses its distributors to collect old newspapers from their customers’ residences or offices, offering discounts on their monthly subscriptions to incentivize recycling,” said Dinesh Vyas, vice president at PHD Mumbai.

 “Having been in publication for many years, the newspaper has become an integral part of its readers' lives. Producing supplements for all age-groups, and for both male and female audiences, contributes to readership across all family members in joint-family households, where at least 6 members live together,” Vyas added.

Talking of advertisers Vyas said the paper appeals to a lot of local advertisers which covers small entrepreneurs with local shops, who are looking to publish their ads in local supplements.  Additionally, national advertisers also leverage its large readership to cover the majority of Hindi Speaking markets.

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