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IRS Q4 2012: Mixed bag for top 10 language dailies

Four language dailies have registered slight growth but there is a significant decline in the readership of the other six dailies. Malayala Manorama remains the most-read language daily

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | March 29, 2013

The top 10 language dailies in the country have together witnessed a decline in their readership in the fourth quarter of IRS 2012. Although four language dailies have registered slight growth, there is a significant decline in the readership of the other six. There is no change in the pecking order of the top 10 language dailies in the current survey.

India’s No. 1 language daily, Malayalam daily Malayala Manorama, has been able to sustain growth by adding a few readers in IRS Q4 2012. According to the Average Issue Readership (AIR), the daily has added 8,000 readers and its current AIR stands at 97.60 lakh compared with 97.52 lakh in the previous quarter, 97.10 lakh in IRS Q2 2012, 98.75 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 99.37 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

Tamil paper Daily Thanthi continues to be at No. 2 despite losing 83,000 readers in the fourth quarter. The daily has lost readers in all the four quarters of IRS 2012. Its AIR stands at 73.34 lakh against 74.17 lakh in the last survey, 74.31 lakh in IRS Q2 2012 and 74.77 lakh in IRS Q1 2012.

At No. 3, Marathi daily Lokmat has again lost 96,000 readers in the current survey. It had lost 98,000 readers in the last round of IRS. Lokmat has an AIR of 73.13 lakh in IRS Q4 2012 against 74.09 lakh in the previous quarter, 75.07 lakh in IRS Q2 2012, 74.85 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 75.62 lakh in Q4 2011.

At No. 4 is Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi, which has again witnessed decline in its readership for the fourth quarter in a row. It has lost 81,000 readers to record an AIR of 63.34 lakh compared with 64.15 lakh in the previous quarter, 64.93 lakh in IRS Q2 2012, 66 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 66.66 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

Telugu daily Eenadu has further strengthened its position at No. 5 by adding 15,000 readers. It has recorded an AIR of 59.72 lakh compared with 59.57 lakh in the previous quarter, 59.25 lakh in IRS Q2 2012, 59.06 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 59.91 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

The declining trend of Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika has continued in the current survey. The daily has recorded an AIR of 57.50 lakh in IRS Q4 2012 against 57.88 lakh in the previous quarter, 58.59 in IRS Q2 2012, 59.70 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 60.49 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

At No. 7 is Telugu daily Sakshi, which has maintained the growth momentum. It has added 36,000 readers to take its AIR at 53.79 lakh in IRS Q4 2012 against 53.43 lakh in the previous quarter, 53.06 lakh in IRS Q2 2012, 52.44 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 53.03 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

Gujarat Samachar has witnessed decline for the third quarter in a row. The daily has recorded an AIR of 51.14 lakh in IRS Q4 2012 against 51.53 lakh in the previous quarter, 52.05 lakh in IRS Q2 2012, 52.24 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 51.69 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

Tamil daily Dinakaran continues to lose its ground. The daily has lost 96,000 readers in IRS Q4 2012 and recorded an AIR of 48.16 lakh against 49.12 lakh in the previous quarter, 49.99 lakh in IRS Q2 2012, 51.08 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 52.27 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

Marathi paper Daily Sakal has registered growth in the current survey and added 66,000 readers to take its AIR at 44.69 lakh compared with 44.03 lakh in the previous quarter, 44.37 lakh in IRS Q2 2012, 43.96 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 44 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

Top 10 Language Dailies
Publication IRS Q4 2012 IRS Q3 2012
Malayala Manorama 9760 9752
Daily Thanthi 7334 7417
Lokmat 7313 7409
Mathrubhumi 6334 6415
Eenadu 5972 5957
Ananda Bazar Patrika 5750 5788
Sakshi 5379 5343
GujaratSamachar 5114 5153
Dinakaran 4816 4912
Daily Sakal 4469 4403

(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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