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IRS Q4 2011: Top 10 language dailies

Major changes in pecking order; Lokmat back as second most read language daily; ABP surges ahead of Eenadu; Sakshi surpasses Dinakaran

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | March 6, 2012

Like in the previous quarter, the fourth quarter of Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2011 has witnessed many changes in the pecking order of the top 10 language dailies. Marathi daily Lokmat is back as India’s second most read language daily. Lokmat was dislodged from the No. 2 position by Tamil newspaper Daily Thanthi in the previous quarter. Similarly, Bengali daily Ananda Bazar Patrika has regained the No. 5 position in IRS Q4 2011. It was dislodged from the No. 5 rank by Telugu daily Eenadu in the previous quarter. One more change is at No. 7 where Telugu daily Sakshi has overtaken Tamil daily Dinakaran.

Malayala Manorama remains the No. 1 language daily of the country. The newspaper has added 25,000 readers in IRS Q4 2011 after having lost 50,000 readers in the previous quarter. Its current AIR stands at 99.37 lakh compared with 99.12 in the last quarter and 99.62 lakh in IRS Q2 2011. It had added 24,000 readers in the second quarter of IRS 2011 and 8,000 readers in IRS Q1 2011.

Marathi daily Lokmat, which is back at the No.2 position, has recorded a growth of 1.66 per cent by adding 1.24 lakh readers this quarter. Its current AIR stands at 75.62 lakh against 74.38 lakh in the previous quarter and 75.95 lakh in IRS Q2 2011. It had added 1.09 lakh readers in IRS Q2 2011.

Tamil newspaper Daily Thanthi has slipped to No. 3 despite adding 56,000 readers in Q4 of IRS 2011. It had added 1.57 lakh readers in the previous quarter to take the No. 2 position. Daily Thanthi has recorded an AIR of 75.03 lakh against 74.47 lakh in the previous quarter and 72.90 lakh in IRS Q2 2011. It had also added 1.03 lakh readers in Q2 and 1.73 lakh readers in Q1.

At No. 4 is Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi, which has registered a marginal growth in its AIR. By adding 36,000 readers in IRS Q4 2011, the daily has recorded an AIR of 66.66 lakh compared with 66.30 in the previous quarter and 66.90 lakh in IRS Q2 2011. Mathrubhumi had lost 1.1 lakh readers in IRS Q2 2011 but added 1.63 lakh readers in IRS Q1 2011.

Bengali daily Ananda Bazar Patrika has made a comeback at No. 5 despite losing a few readers. It has lost 49,000 readers in IRS Q4 2011 while it had added 35,000 readers in the previous quarter. Its current AIR stands at 60.49 lakh compared with 60.98 lakh in the previous quarter and 60.63 in IRS Q2 2011. It had lost 55,000 readers in IRS Q2 2011 and 54,000 readers in Q1 2011.

By losing 1,10,000 readers in IRS Q4 2011, Eenadu has lost its No.5 position. Now at No. 6, it has recorded an AIR of 59.91 lakh against 61.01 lakh in the last survey and 60.32 lakh in IRS Q2 2011. Eenadu had added 69,000 readers in IRS Q3 2011 and 41,000 readers in IRS Q2 2011 but lost 50,000 readers in IRS Q1 2011.

Telugu daily Sakshi has climbed up the rankings for the second quarter in a row to acquire the No. 7 position. After adding 1.13 lakh readers in the last survey, Sakshi has added 84,000 readers in IRS Q4 2011. Its current AIR stands at 53.03 lakh against 52.19 lakh in the previous quarter and 51.06 lakh in IRS Q2 2011. It had added 64,000 readers in IRS Q2 2011 and 88,000 readers in the first quarter of IRS 2011.

Tamil daily Dinakaran, which was growing on quarter-on-quarter basis, has seen a marginal decline this quarter and lost its 7th position. Now at No. 8, the daily has recorded an AIR of 52.27 lakh against 52.53 lakh in the previous quarter, 51.67 lakh in IRS Q2 2011 and 51.23 lakh in IRS Q1 2011. Dinakaran had added 86,000 readers in IRS Q3 2011, 44,000 readers in the second quarter of IRS 2011 and 1.46 lakh readers in Q1.

Gujarat Samachar has again registered a marginal loss. It had slipped down to No. 7 position from No. 9 in the last survey. The daily has recorded an AIR of 51.69 lakh compared with 51.86 lakh in the previous quarter and 52.2 lakh in IRS Q2 2011. The paper had lost 56,000 readers in IRS Q2 2011 but added 99,000 readers in IRS Q1 2011.

Marathi paper Daily Sakal continues at No. 10. It has registered an AIR of 44 lakh compared with 42.73 lakh in the previous quarter and 44.48 lakh in IRS Q2 2011. The daily had lost 1.73 lakh readers in IRS Q3 2011, 1.2 lakh readers in IRS Q2 2011 and 84,000 readers in IRS Q1 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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