Mumbai: Hindustan Times (HT), the English daily from HT Media Ltd, has emerged the largest paper in Delhi in terms of readership between January and March, according to the latest Indian Readership Survey (IRS) data.
HT is also the fastest growing English daily in India, adding 120,000 readers in the first three months of 2010. HT Media is also the publisher of Mint.
The survey, the first edition of IRS’ quarterly data on the Indian print media industry, was released jointly by Media Research Users Council (MRUC) and Hansa Research Pvt. Ltd. IRS used to publish a bi-annual data till now.
The latest report shows an increase in readership for India’s top five publications—the Dainik Jagran, the Dainik Bhaskar, Hindustan, the Malayala Manorama and Amar Ujala—compared with the last round of the survey.
In Delhi, HT has increased its total readership to 3.23 million and average issue readership (AIR) to 2.20 million. The Times of India (TOI), published by Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL), had comparable numbers of 3.20 million and 2.19 million.
In Mumbai, TOI lost about 10,000 readers to reach an AIR of 1.45 million, and the Daily News and Analysis (DNA) around 73,000 to 683,000. HT’s readership grew in the Mumbai market to 538,000 from 503,000.
HT’s national AIR grew from about 3.35 million in 2009 to 3.47 million in 2010. For TOI, national AIR declined from 7.14 million in 2009 to 7.04 million.
Media buyers typically make decisions on the basis of AIR, which only counts the number of people who read a paper the day before they were surveyed (or the week or fortnight before for magazines).
Independent print media consultant A.S. Raghunath said the latest IRS data is about big winners and losers. He said that while 143 publications have grown over the previous readership survey, 163 have shown a decline in readership.
Regional publications such as Eenadu, Vaartha and the Daily Thanthi have lost readers, he said.
As for business papers, several publications, including Mint, have lost readership.
Mint’s average issue readership declined marginally to 158,000 readers from 159,000 in 2009, but it held on to its No. 2 position in the category as the Business Standard’s readership dipped from 148,000 to 131,000.
The Economic Times, also published by BCCL, gained 3,000 readers to reach an AIR of 760,000.
The readership of The Hindu Business Line remained steady at 124,000 readers.
Hindi daily Hindustan consolidated its position as the third largest national daily and grew its readership by 6%, the fastest for a Hindi daily. It added 578,000, driving its readership to 9.91 million AIR.
Hindustan Media Ventures Ltd, which publishes Hindustan and magazines Nandan and Kadambini, has crossed the 30-million mark in terms of total readership.
Benoy Roychowdhury, executive director, HT Media, said the overall results are good for the group. “In Delhi, the re-launch of the Hindustan Times has helped us improve our readership and Hindustan is the third largest read Hindi paper.”