Print’s credibility will help it to co-exist with Digital Media: Kamal Krishnan PS

Guest Column: Kamal Krishnan PS, National Head, Integrated Media Solutions – Mathrubhumi, talks about how IRS Q1 2019 shows Print is still an unavoidable choice for marketers across categories

Kamal Krishnan

The IRS Q1 2019 has brought in a lot of cheer to the entire Print industry in India. At a time when everyone is busy forecasting the extent of survival and imminent death of Print, the survey results are a fitting reply to all such concerns. It goes on to prove that Print is still an unavoidable choice for marketers across categories.
 
The survey is based on a Rolling Average of 3 quarters of 2017 and Q1 2019. The study is quite comprehensive with a Reporting sample of 3.24 lakh Households, making it the world’s largest face-to-face Multimedia and Consumption study. The research design is robust with Electronic C Form, Digital Contact Sheet, Improved Upscale process etc.
 
The latest IRS results are promising about the country’s economic growth. Almost 100 per cent of India’s households having electricity and 3/4th having Gas Stoves are key indicators of this positive trend. Mobile phones, Agricultural Land, Two-Wheelers, Colour TV and Ceiling Fan are among the other Durables which are showing a steady growth.
 
About the Media Landscape, it will be more appropriate to say that Print has further strengthened its position, than saying it has made a comeback. The fact that IRS has seen the addition of 1.8 crore readers in the country for dailies and 90 lakh magazine readers, shows the positive trajectory of Print Media. Both English and Languages contributed to this significant growth of absolute readers.
 
In Kerala where literacy norms are very high and there is a strong newspaper reading habit - the fact that readership is continuing to grow is something for people to take note. At Mathrubhumi, we have added 11.22 lakh readers since the last IRS and in doing so, improved our ranking from 15th to 11th in terms of Total Readership. Taking Average Issue Readership into account, we are now one among the top 10 dailies in India. Mathrubhumi is also the 4th in the country among regional dailies. With a growth rate of 9.5 per cent, we have outpaced our competition and all our publications have also registered positive growth in the IRS 2019 survey.
 
As expected, Internet has grown significantly in India with 384 million active users increasing its reach from 19 per cent to 24 per cent of the total universe. 50 per cent of the active users are from Rural and every second person in Urban India is an active internet user. The Online readership of newspapers has increased to 5 per cent.
 
Mathrubhumi, in particular, has seen a growth rate of 9 per cent in the readership among the target groups where digital is considered to be strong. We added 6.6 lakh readers in the age group of 20 to 49, showing that the credibility of the Medium is valued by a younger audience as well.
 
Print is here to stay. Its credibility and reliability will enable it to co-exist with Digital Media.

(The author is National Head, Integrated Media Solutions – Mathrubhumi.)
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com

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