Mumbai: Readership of most newspapers and magazines stayed the same or registered some decline over the past six months according to the latest data (Round I) of the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2009 released on Friday.
The Top 5 English and Hindi dailies retained their ranks.
Also See Indian Readership Survey 2009 (Graphics)
The Top 5 English newspapers by total readership are: The Times of India, the Hindustan Times, The Hindu, The Telegraph and the Deccan Chronicle. The Top 5 Hindi dailies by total readership are: the Dainik Jagran, the Dainik Bhaskar, the Amar Ujala, Hindustan and the Rajasthan Patrika.
The Hindustan Times and Hindustan are published by HT Media Ltd, which also publishes Mint.
Mint had 251,000 readers, compared with 217,000 in the last edition of the survey.
These numbers, however, are unlikely to make much difference to media buyers because they are so-called “total readership” numbers, or the number of respondents who claim to have read a publication recently. Media buyers typically make media buying decisions on the basis of average issue readership, which only counts the number of people the day before (or the week before, or fortnight before in the case of magazines).
Average issue readership (AIR) numbers for all publications weren’t immediately available from the Media Research Users Council, or MRUC, that conducts the survey. While Mint was able to source this data from an advertising agency, the numbers couldn’t be verified.
Janardan Pandey, business director of media specialist agency Radar of the Mudra Group explains that even though MRUC releases only total readership figures, the true currency for media buyers is AIR.
Most publications have again seen a decline in average issue readership in this round, he says.
Meanwhile, a sessions court in Delhi on Friday rejected Delhi Press Pvt. Ltd’s plea for a stay on IRS 2009 figures. Delhi Press had sent MRUC a legal notice over the fact that no all-India readership numbers were released for its Hindi women’s fortnightly magazine Grihshobha in Round II of IRS 2008, published in November. Round I of IRS 2008 had shown total readership figures of 7.5 million-plus for the magazine. Round II made no mention of the numbers for the magazine.
“We are clear we are going to continue with this legal battle. They (MRUC) have released wrong figures in the last round and that doesn’t change. We are not happy with the figures this time either,” said Paresh Nath, publisher of Delhi Press.
Graphics by Ahmed Raza Khan / Mint