Stagnancy stages a comeback in IRS 2012Q1

20 Jun,2012

 

By A Correspondent

 

The IRS 2012 Q1 readership results released by MRUC and Hansa has nothing new to tell but the obvious tale of the apparent rise in numbers of a few publications and the decline in readership of a majority of players. Going by the Average Issue Readership norm, in the Top 10 dailies there has been no change in the pecking order of the top performers but the readership of 7 out of 10 dailies has seen a marginal decline. Of the ten publications, five are Hindi in origin, two are in Malayalam, and one each in Tamil, English and Marathi.

 

Emerging a frontrunner once again, Dainik Jagran manages to hold its forte showing slight readership growth with 16,412 in 2012Q1 as against 16,410 that it reported in 2011Q4. At No 2, Dainik Bhaskar has reported numbers totalling 14,553 a decline by 0.33 per cent from 2011Q4 figure of 14,602.Hindustansits comfortably at the third spot having reported a 1 per cent growth of 12,157 as against 12,045 reported in 2011Q4. Malayala Manorama is at the fourth spot with an AIR of 9,875 as against 9,937 in 2011Q4 – a drop of 0.6 per cent. Amar Ujala is next reporting an AIR of 8693 against an AIR of 8842 in 2011Q4 – a drop of 1.7 per cent. The Times of India English edition continues to see growth and comes in sixth with AIR of 7,652 as against 7,616 registered last quarter. Marathi daily Lokmat sees a marginal decline to end 2012Q1 at 7,485 compared to 2011Q4 AIR of 7,562. Tamil daily Daily Thanthi is next with AIR numbers of 7,477 as against 7,503 recorded in 2011Q4. Rajasthan Patrika with 6,807 and Mathrubhumi with 6,600 end the tally occupying the ninth and tenth spot respectively.

 

Reacting to the overall trend, Dinesh Rathore, Vice President, MediaVest Worldwide said, “The study hasn’t thrown any new surprises. What is known is that the readership time spent on print is coming down these days, which is even lesser in case of magazines. Newspapers as a habit are not going to die soon but the time spent is surely on a decline. Also, if people were subscribing to more newspapers earlier, they are subscribing to one less now because of the options available on digital.”

 

Highlighting her stance on the numbers, Anamika Mehta of Lodestar UM said: “What I infer is that the drop is very marginal. Print will continue to hold its ground in India. With literacy rates going up and the launch of several new products print will continue to drive growth in India . Also, what is seen is that there is a growth of consumption that is happening on the web and moreover, India is a very young country. Almost 60 per cent plus of the population are younger than 35 years. With these audiences the consumption is more on the web than on the physical newspaper. Also, we are seeing a lot of launches by players in the regional markets. So it’s not as bad as it seems.”

 

Voicing a similar opinion as given by Mr Rathore, Priti Murthy, National Director – Insights, Maxus said, “I am not surprised by the overall trend that has been thrown up. Why do we read newspapers and magazines, for the sheer content that it provides and content is available faster in other mediums today – definitely digital and to a large extent even TV. I see this trend continuing in the next 3-4 years after which it will reach a saturation point. Also, how much ever tactical initiatives publications engage in to increase circulation, it clearly shows that readership is not going to increase. The time spent in reading newspapers and magazines will continue to see a decline. Also the new generation that is growing up may not grow up on a newspaper alone. They rely on mobile and other AV modes to receive their communication.”

 

(AIR numbers; all figures in ‘000)


 

The downfall story continues with magazines as well with leader Vanitha (Malayalam) reporting an AIR of 2,444 as against 2,516 in 2011Q4 – a decline by 3 per cent. Pratiyogita Darpan too sees a decline of 5.4 per cent having registered an AIR of 1,893 in 2012Q1 as against an AIR of 2001 in 2011Q4. SamanyaGyan Darpan sees a marginal decline with an AIR of 1,644 as against 1,678 reported last quarter. India Today is the topmost English magazine in this list and figures at the fourth spot with 1,613 as against an AIR of 1,611 reported last quarter. Saras Salil is next on the line-up and has reported a big drop of 9.5 per cent registering an AIR of 1601 as against an AIR of 1,768 reported in 2011Q4. Meri Saheli and Cricket Samrat have posted growth with an AIR of 1,259 and 1,176 respectively. Malayalam Manorama at 1,163 has seen a decline of 3.5 per cent while Bengali magazine Karmakshetra has seen a growth in its AIR at 1,142 as against 1,090 in 2011Q4. General Knowledge Today completes the list with an AIR of 1086.

 

Throwing light on the trend spotted in magazines, Anamika Mehta said: “In the case of magazines, what we are seeing is that the time spent on magazines is going down but there are a lot of new and niche products being launched. A lot of international players too are coming into this market. So that should give it some scope for growth. But right now I think magazines are in a more worrying state than dailies in India but having said that I do not see the death of the medium coming here anytime soon.”

 

(AIR numbers; all figures in ‘000)


 

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