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IRS Q2 2012: Top 10 English Dailies

TOI reigns supreme as 6 out of top 10 English dailies show slight decline; Deccan Chronicle, DNA, Mumbai Mirror and The Tribune witness growth

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | October 1, 2012

Media Research Users Council (MRUC) has released the second quarter results of the Indian Readership Survey. According to IRS Q2 2012, there is only one change in the pecking order with Mumbai Mirror of The Times Group overtaking The Economic Times (of the same group) to take No. 7 slot. Six out of the top 10 dailies have registered slight decline in their Average Issue Readership (AIR) in comparison to the first round of IRS in 2012.

India’s largest English daily, The Times of India, has registered marginal loss in the second quarter of IRS 2012. The daily has lost 9,000 readers and recorded an AIR of 76.43 lakh in this survey compared with 76.52 lakh in the previous quarter and 76.16 lakh in IRS Q4 2011. TOI had added 36,000 readers in IRS Q1 2012 and 1.49 lakh readers in IRS Q4 2011 while it had lost 4,000 readers in IRS Q3 2011. The daily had added 29,000 readers in the second quarter and 18,000 readers in the first quarter of IRS 2011.

The No. 2 English daily, Hindustan Times, has also lost 38,000 readers in IRS Q2 2012 recording an AIR of 37.67 lakh compared with 38.05 lakh in IRS Q1 2012. HT had added 14,000 readers in IRS Q1 2012 and 58,000 readers in IRS Q4 2012 but lost 4,000 readers in IRS Q3 2011. The daily had 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, continues to lose readership for the second quarter in a row. The daily has lost 25,000 readers in IRS Q2 2012 after losing 7,000 readers in IRS Q1 2012. Its current AIR stands at 22.05 lakh compared with 22.33 lakh in the previous quarter. The daily had 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. 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 also seen a marginal decline. By losing 17,000 readers in the current survey, the daily has recorded and AIR of 12.75 lakh in IRS Q2 2012 against 12.92 lakh in IRS Q1 2011, 12.73 lakh in IRS Q4 2011, 12.66 lakh in IRS Q3 2011 and 12.09 lakh in IRS Q2 2011. The daily had added 19,000 readers in the previous quarter, 7,000 readers in IRS Q4 2011, 57,000 readers in Q3 2011 and 6,000 readers in IRS Q2 2011 while it lost 35,000 readers in the first quarter.

The fifth largest read English daily, Deccan Chronicle, has grown in this quarter by adding 11,000 readers. The daily has recorded an AIR of 10.38 lakh in IRS Q2 2012 against 10.27 lakh in IRS Q1 2012, 10.34 in IRS Q4 2011 and 10.94 lakh in IRS Q3 2011.

DNA follows Deccan Chronicle and continues on the growth path in this quarter. The daily has registered an AIR of 9.30 lakh in IRS Q2 2012 compared with 9.09 lakh in the previous quarter and 8.97 lakh in IRS Q4 2011. DNA had 8.63 lakh readers in IRS Q3 2011 and 8.24 lakh readers in IRS Q2 2011.

Mumbai Mirror has made a comeback to the No. 7 position by adding a few readers in this quarter. The daily had lost the No. 7 position to The Economic Times in the previous quarter. Its current AIR stands at 7.95 lakh compared with 7.77 lakh in the previous quarter and 8.03 in IRS Q4 2011.

A loss of just 3,000 readers has pushed The Economic Times down to No. 8 in the second quarter of IRS 2012. The daily had added 2,000 readers in IRS Q1 2012 to replace Mumbai Mirror. ET had lost 22,000 readers in IRS Q4 2011 and slipped to No. 8. Its current AIR stands at 7.89 lakh against 7.92 lakh in the previous quarter, 7.9 lakh in IRS Q4 2011, 8.12 lakh in IRS Q3 2011, 7.85 lakh in IRS Q2 2011 and 7.69 lakh in IRS Q1 2011.

After a rapid growth on quarter-on-quarter basis, The New Indian Express has witnessed a slight decline in this round. The daily has recorded an AIR of 6.67 lakh in IRS Q2 2012 compared with 6.78 lakh in the previous quarter. TNIE had 6.37 lakh readers in IRS Q4 2011, 5.93 lakh readers in IRS Q3 2011 and 5.59 lakh in IRS Q2 2011.

The Tribune has added a few readers for the second consecutive round of IRS. The daily has added 16,000 readers to take its AIR at 6.40 lakh compared with 6.24 lakh in the previous quarter. It had added 39,000 readers in IRS Q1 2012. The Tribune had 5.85 lakh readers in IRS Q4 2011, 5.99 lakh readers in IRS Q3 2011 and 5.67 lakh in IRS Q2 2011.

Top 10 English Dailies
Publication IRS Q2 2012 IRS Q1 2012
The Times Of India 7643 7652
Hindustan Times 3767 3805
The Hindu 2208 2233
The Telegraph 1275 1292
Deccan Chronicle 1038 1027
DNA 930 909
Mumbai Mirror 795 777
The Economic Times 789 792
The New Indian Express 667 678
The Tribune 640 624

(AIR numbers; All figures in ‘000)

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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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