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IRS Q4 2012: HT scores as TOI sees degrowth

Five out of the top 10 English dailies have registered growth in AIR. The Tribune edges out The New Indian Express to grab the No. 9 position

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | March 28, 2013

The fourth quarter results of the Indian Readership Survey have just been released. According to IRS Q4 2012, five out of the top 10 English dailies have registered growth in their Average Issue Readership (AIR). There is only one change in the pecking order with The Tribune overtaking The New Indian Express to grab the No. 9 rank.

India’s largest English daily, The Times of India, has witnessed a decline in its readership in the fourth quarter of IRS 2012. The daily has lost 38,000 readers in this quarter recording an AIR of 76.15 lakh compared with 76.53 lakh in the previous quarter, 76.43 in IRS Q2 2012, 76.52 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 76.16 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

The No. 2 English daily, Hindustan Times, has added 34,000 readers in the current survey recording an AIR of 38.20 lakh compared with 37.86 in IRS Q3 2012, 37.67 lakh in IRS Q2 2012 and 38.05 lakh in IRS Q1 2012.

The No. 3 English daily, The Hindu, has registered a significant decline in its AIR in this round. It has lost 94,000 readers recording an AIR of 21.64 lakh compared with 22.58 lakh in the previous quarter and 22.08 lakh in IRS Q2 2012.

The Telegraph, from ABP Group, has added a few readers this quarter after consecutive losses in the previous three quarters. By adding 11,000 readers it has recorded and AIR of 12.65 lakh against 12.54 lakh in the previous quarter, 12.75 lakh in IRS Q2 2012, 12.92 lakh in IRS Q1 2011, 12.73 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

Deccan Chronicle has witnessed degrowth in the current quarter. By losing 31,000 readers, the daily has recorded an AIR of 10.20 lakh in IRS Q4 2012 against 10.51 in the previous survey, 10.38 lakh in IRS Q2 2012, 10.27 lakh in IRS Q1 2012, 10.34 in IRS Q4 2011.

At No.6, DNA has added 10,000 readers this quarter. The daily has registered an AIR of 9.72 lakh in IRS Q4 2012 compared with 9.62 lakh in the previous quarter, 9.30 lakh in IRS Q2 2012, 9.09 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 8.97 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

Mumbai Mirror, from the TOI stable, also added 12,000 readers this quarter. The tabloid dhad added the same number of readers in the last survey. Its current AIR stands at 8.19 lakh compared with 8.07 lakh in IRS Q3 2012, 7.95 lakh in Q2, 7.77 lakh in Q1 2012 and 8.03 in IRS Q4 2011.

The Economic Times has lost a few readers for the third quarter in a row. It has lost 18,000 readers in the current survey. Its current AIR stands at 7.35 lakh against 7.53 lakh in previous quarter, 7.89 lakh in Q2, 7.92 lakh in Q1 2012, and 7.9 lakh in Q4 2011.

Continuous growth has pushed The Tribune one position up. The daily has added 18,000 readers to take its AIR at 6.71 lakh in IRS Q4 2012 compared with 6.53 lakh in the previous quarter, 6.40 lakh in IRS Q2 2012 and 6.24 lakh in IRS Q1 2012. The Tribune had 5.85 lakh readers in IRS Q4 2011.

The New Indian Express has slipped one position to No. 10 after three consecutive quarterly losses. The daily has recorded an AIR of 6.52 lakh in IRS Q4 2012 compared with 6.64 lakh in the previous quarter, 6.67 lakh in IRS Q2 2012 and 6.78 lakh in Q1 2012. TNIE had 6.37 lakh readers in IRS Q4 2011.

 
Top 10 English Dailies
Publication IRS Q4 2012 IRS Q3 2012
The Times of India 7615 7653
Hindustan Times 3820 3786
The Hindu 2164 2258
The Telegraph 1265 1254
Deccan Chronicle 1020 1051
DNA 972 962
Mumbai Mirror 819 807
The Economic Times 735 753
The Tribune 671 653
The New Indian Express 652 664
(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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