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IRS Q4 2011: Top 10 English dailies

Seven out of 10 English dailies register growth; Mumbai Mirror surpasses The Economic Times while The New Indian Express goes one position up

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | March 5, 2012

Media Research Users Council (MRUC) has just released the fourth quarter results of Indian Readership Survey. According to IRS Q4 2011, there are a couple of changes in the pecking order while seven out of the top dailies have registered growth.

India’s largest read English daily, The Times of India, has registered 2 per cent growth in the fourth quarter of IRS 2011. The daily has added 1.49 lakh readers to take its AIR to 76.16 lakh compared with 74.67 lakh in the previous quarter. TOI had 74.71 lakh AIR in IRS Q2 2011. It had added 29,000 readers in the second quarter and 18,000 readers in the first quarter.

The No. 2 English daily, Hindustan Times, has also grown by 1.55 per cent in this quarter. Its current AIR stands at 37.91 lakh compared with 37.33 lakh in the previous quarter. HT had lost 4,000 readers in IRS Q3 2011 but added 45,000 readers in Q2 2011 and 1 lakh readers in the first quarter of IRS 2011.

The No. 3 English daily, The Hindu, has added 71,000 readers and registered more than 3 per cent of growth in IRS Q4 2011. The paper had added 92,000 readers in IRS Q3 2011. Its current AIR stands at 22.4 lakh against 21.69 lakh in the previous quarter and 20.77 lakh in IRS Q2 2011. It had lost 18,000 readers in Q2 2011 and 20,000 readers in the first quarter of IRS 2011.

The Telegraph, from ABP Group, has recorded a marginal growth in its AIR over the last quarter. It has added 7,000 readers to take its AIR at 12.73 lakh in IRS Q4 2011 against 12.66 lakh in the previous quarter and 12.09 lakh in IRS Q2 2011. The daily had added 57,000 readers in Q3 2011 and 6,000 readers in IRS Q2 2011 while it lost 35,000 readers in the first quarter.

At No. 5 is Deccan Chronicle which has lost 5.5 per cent readers in IRS Q4 2011. It has registered an AIR of 10.34 lakh in IRS Q4 2011 compared with 10.94 lakh in the previous quarter. The daily had added 6,000 readers in the third quarter and 53,000 readers in IRS Q2 2011 while it had lost 38,000 readers in Q1 2011.

DNA has strengthened its position at No. 6 by adding 4 per cent readers in this quarter. Its current AIR stands at 8.97 lakh against 8.63 lakh in IRS Q3 2011 and 8.24 lakh in IRS Q2 2011. It has added 34,000 readers in this quarter and had added 39,000 readers in IRS Q3 2011. DNA had dislodged The Economic Times from the No. 6 position by adding 72,000 readers in the first quarter of IRS 2011. After that it had added 2,000 readers in IRS Q2 2011.

There is a change in order at No. 7 where Mumbai Mirror has dislodged The Economic Times. Mumbai Mirror has added 43,000 readers and registered 5.65 per cent growth in IRS Q4 2011. The daily had added 2,000 readers in the previous quarter but lost 22,000 readers in the second quarter and adding 69,000 readers in the first quarter. Its current AIR stands at 7.03 lakh compared with 7.60 lakh in the last quarter and 7.58 lakh in IRS Q2 2011.

The Economic Times has slipped to No. 8 by losing 22,000 readers in IRS Q4 2011. Its current AIR stands at 7.9 lakh against 8.12 lakh in the previous quarter, 7.85 lakh in IRS Q2 2011 and 7.69 lakh in IRS Q1 2011.

Riding on the highest growth rate among all English dailies in past 2 quarters, The New Indian Express is now the new No. 9 English daily. The daily has also become fastest growing English daily in South India. In Q4 of IRS 2011, TNIE has grown by 7.41 per cent while it had grown by 6 per cent in the previous quarter. By adding 44,000, the daily has recorded an AIR of 6.37 lakh against 5.93 lakh in the previous quarter, 5.59 lakh in IRS Q2 2011 and 5.5 lakh in IRS Q1 2011.

By losing 14,000 readers in IRS Q4 2011, The Tribune has come down to the No. 10 position. Its current AIR now stands at 5.85 lakh compared with 5.99 lakh in IRS Q3 2011 and 5.67 lakh in IRS Q2 2011.

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Average Issue Readership (AIR) of a publication is defined as the number of readers of that publication who have claimed to have last read it within its periodicity, i.e., last read a daily yesterday, a weekly within the last week, a monthly within the last month, etc.

This measure is considered to be a more relevant measure of ‘real’ or ‘regular’ readership, especially for newspapers, most of which have been read/consumed as a matter of daily habit. Conventionally, media planners even calculate and compare cost-benefits of dailies based on the AIR figure. Hence, it is perhaps the most relevant to study readership trends as well in terms of AIR.

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