Print degrows, but will regrow, say media agency captains

03 Oct,2012


By A Correspondent


The second quarter results of 2012 for the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) were published on Monday, October 1, and going by the topline numbers, the overall print readership has seen a slight decline. When compared to IRS 2012 Q2, both newspapers and magazines readership figures looked quite grim. While seven out of the top ten dailies witnessed a decline in readership, on the magazine front, six out of the top ten magazines were also seen on the decline. (Editor’s Note: Unlike a year ago, the Media Research Users Council (MRUC) does not share detailed readership figures with the news media for publication. We would urge readers and students of media to approach the MRUC ( for this information. Our apologies for being unable to analyse the numbers for you).


As far as the Top Ten publications are concerned, the rankings have more or less been the same in Q2 2012 v/s Q1 2012. Interestingly, Hindi publications continue to dominate the top ten rankings (in the Top 10 publications), with 5 out of 10 publications in the top ten rank belonging to the Hindi publications. The other five are from regional or Indian language publications, with Malayalam dailies continuing to be the second most read language daily in the top ten publications. However, The Times of India which is the sixth most read daily, continues to be the sole English language daily in the Top Ten category.


Another interesting finding from the topline numbers is that the Top Ten language dailies are dominated by the South Indian language newspapers. 6 out of the Top 10 Language Dailies belong to South India. The others include Marathi dailies – Lokmat (the second largest language daily, in terms of readership) and Daily Sakal which is ranked #10. Bengali daily Ananda Bazar Patrika is ranked sixth and ranked eight is Gujarati daily Gujarat Samachar.


The Top 10 magazines too are dominated by Hindi language, with five out of the ten magazines belonging to the Hindi language. However the only other regional or Indian language magazines that have made it to the top ten ranking are namely Malayalam – Vanitha, the most read language magazine and Malayala Manorama magazine, which is ranked nine, while the other language magazine that in the top ten is Karmakshetra, a Bengali magazine.


So, do these trends indicate any sign for things to come? Does the industry need to worry about the declining trend in print readership? After looking at the numbers, MxMIndia spoke to some senior media agency professionals for their views on the IRS Q2 2012 Topline numbers.


According to Suresh Balakrishna, CEO, Brand Programming Network (who was COO, Mail Today until last year), the print media has nothing to worry about as it is seen not as a decline but a minor blip, and in the long run the readership numbers will further grow.


Janardhan Pandey, Associate Vice-President, DDB Mudra Max opined, “The decline in readership of top dailies is not significant and doesn’t reflect any trend in the long run. In fact, going forward I see further growth in print readership, particularly in the language publications. There is much more potential for growth in the readership of language publications with literacy rate increasing and the circulation growing, as the publishers are becoming more aggressive in their marketing, aligning the content to the readers demand/interest and expanding their territories. So the overall growth in print readership will continue with the regional press driving it.”


Growth: Literacy & Media Consumption


While media agencies are very optimistic about the readership growth, they do not see the latest IRS figures as a decline but a minor hitch. Although the print readership may have shown slight decline, when compared to 2011 Q4, the overall print media consumption in Q2 2012 has seen a marginal increase of 0.9 per cent CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate). Not only has the overall print media consumption increased but the overall media consumption too has shown an increase of 3.4 per cent CAGR. The internet however continues to be the fastest growing medium today with a whopping 34.8 per cent CAGR.


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2 responses to “Print degrows, but will regrow, say media agency captains”

  1. Arun Dsouza says:

    neighbourhood / community newspapers like Neighbourhood Times – Kandivli East are increasing readership habits of people. Local news is something you do not get in National / City specific newspapers

  2. Dale Bhagwagar says:

    India is the only country where Print has shown growth in the last 3 years. Its been declining in the other parts of the world.