IRS 2011Q4: Same old magazine story

06 Mar,2012

By Robin Thomas


While consuming the data for magazines, it may be remembered that many magazine publishers have been critical of the IRS numbers as worthy  indicators of their readership. The Association of Indian Magazines has readied an Engagement Study in order to educate advertsiers and agencies. Having noted that, let’s look at the IRS 2011Q4 topline figures for magazines.


Top 10 Hindi Magazines

IRS2010 Q4 Vs IRS2011 Q4:

AIR figures for Q4 2010 vs Q4 2011 may bring mixed feeling for the Magazines, as only four of the Top 10 Hindi magazines have grown in AIR (Average Issue Readership). Hindi monthly magazine, Pratiyogita Darpan is the most read Hindi magazine and is one of the Top Ten Hindi magazines to have witnessed growth in its readership figures. The other three Hindi magazines to have also grown in their AIR numbers are Meri Saheli and Cricket Samrat, both of which are Hindi monthly magazines, and Champak, Hindi Fortnightly has also witnessed growth.


Interestingly, Samanya Gyan Darpan, another Hindi monthly magazine is a new entrant in the IRS and has already emerged as the third most read Hindi magazine with a readership of 16,78,000 AIR in Q4 2011.


IRS 2011 Q4 Vs IRS 2011 Q3:

The Q3 Vs Q4 2011 AIR numbers could certainly be disappointing to most Magazine publishers as only one in the Top 10 Hindi magazines has registered a growth in readership. Hindi monthly magazine Meri Saheli is the only Hindi magazine to have witnessed a growth, the growth however is a marginal 0.33 per cent. The most read Hindi magazine, Pratiyogita Darpan declined 1.19 per cent. Its nearest rival Saras Salil also declined 8.91 per cent.


It may be noted that the most popular Hindi magazines are mainly monthly magazines followed fortnightly magazine. There is only one weekly magazine in the Top 10 Hindi Magazine category.



Top 10 English Magazines:

IRS2010 Q4 Vs IRS2011 Q4:

The English magazines may bring some cheer to the industry as an overwhelming seven out of ten English magazines have registered growth in AIR. The Week has received the highest growth in its AIR from IRS 2010 Q4 to IRS 2011 Q4 data i.e. it grew from 302000 in Q4 2010 to 438000 in Q4 2011, that is a 45.03 per cent growth in AIR.


India Today is the most read English magazine however the Weekly witnessed a decline of -8.31 per cent in AIR. The other English magazines to have increased in readership are General Knowledge Today, Reader’s Digest, Outlook, The Week and Stardust. Interestingly, the most popular English magazines are mainly monthly magazines followed by the weeklies.


IRS 2011 Q4 Vs IRS 2011 Q3:

The Q4 vs Q3 2011 results seem to be even more encouraging for the magazine industry, especially those in the English magazines as nine out of ten English magazines have witnessed growth in AIR. The only English magazine to have received a decline in readership is India Today, the number one English language magazine. The Week has again witnessed a double digit growth wherein its AIR grew from 3,87,000 in Q3 2011 to 4,38,000 in Q4 2011, a growth of 13.18 per cent. English monthly magazine, Pratiyogita Darpan is a new entrant and has already emerged as the seventh most popular English magazine of the country with an AIR of 404000 in Q4 2011.



Top 10 Language Magazines:

IRS2010 Q4 Vs IRS2011 Q4:

The Top 10 Language Magazines reveals a gloomy result as nine out of the Top 10 Language magazines have witnessed a decline in readership. The only magazine to have grown in its AIR is the Bengali weekly, Karmakshetra. The weekly received an AIR of 10,90,000 in IRS 2011 Q4 as against 8,75,000 in IRS 2010 Q4, a growth of 24.57 per cent. Vanitha and Malayala Manorama are also among the Top 10 Language magazines to have declined in readership.


IRS 2011 Q4 Vs IRS 2011 Q3:

The scene is no different when compared to Q3 2011. However Bengali weeklies are the only magazines to have recorded growth in AIR. While the Bengali weekly Karmakshetra continues to grow even against Q3 2010 numbers, the other two Bengali language magazines to have witnessed significant growth are Karmasangsthaan and Saptahik Bartaman.  It may be noted that unlike the English dailies or even the Hindi dailies, most of the language magazine readership i.e. those in the Top 10 categories are coming from weekly magazines.



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