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HT vs DNA: The Great No. 2 Debate For Mumbai

Best Media Info and Stratagem Media put a full stop on the fight for the No.2 newspaper of Mumbai; read the comprehensive analysis.

Concept & Content: The Stratagem Media team

Mumbai | December 22, 2010

Every time a new round of IRS is released, newspapers try to out-shout each other so as to find a niche with advertisers. For better or for worse, this now happens every three months. And the last 2 weeks have been no different when Hindustan Times and DNA kept claiming for the No.2 chair in Mumbai. Hindustan Times claimed acquiring the 2nd spot as per the average issue readership (AIR) while DNA countered with its own claim to remain as the No.2 newspaper of Mumbai according to the total readership (TR) numbers released in 3rd quarter of Indian Readership Survey 2010.

The TR v/s AIR debate doesn’t show any signs of fading out. It seems as though publishers are desperate to latch on to any quirk of fate, no matter how slim, that may show them in a slightly better light than their competition. Perhaps they would do well to understand and utilize only those measures / claims that could be relevant to advertisers /media practitioners.

Well for whatever it be worth, let it be categorically said that for dailies AIR (Average Issue Readership) is the measure that newspaper publishers ought to be more concerned with, only because it is a better indicator of readership regularity. Just as a matter of information, the readership figure for multiple insertions, (which comes into calculation in any media plan, for instance), is not the TR figure, but something else which is called the cumulative readership figure, for that many insertions. And this figure, even for several insertions, is only a fraction larger than the AIR, and mostly much lower than the TR figure, in case of most dailies. (Most media planners are only too familiar with this).

A case in point would be the recent claims and counter claims, to the no. 2 position amongst English dailies in Mumbai. To set the record straight, it is Mumbai Mirror, of course. But the claim for the ‘numero deux’ position, as is well-known, has lately been between two other papers – DNA and HT – in Mumbai.

And one may ask, why has Mumbai Mirror been conveniently ignored in any such claim? Well, prima facie, because the competitors only seem to be talking of broadsheets. Not that that is of much relevance to the advertiser, but the reason to exclude Mumbai Mirror from this article, is that being an add-on to the TOI for most readers, it duplicates heavily with TOI, as well (63 % of MM readers read TOI). Secondly, in terms of editorial profile, Mumbai Mirror is considered to be significantly different from the broadsheets. And most importantly, the purpose of this article is to understand the implication of the latest position of HT v/s DNA, on the media plans for Mumbai, and not to debate rankings.

As evident from the graph alongside, in terms of AIR, HT marginally edges out DNA in the latest Q3 round whereas DNA leads in terms of TR. (refer to the graph below)

But at the same time, while HT has dislodged DNA from the position of being the 2nd largest broadsheet, in terms of AIR, DNA seems to have a better readership profile in terms of some key demographic (refer to the graphs below).

However, this piece attempts to examine the ultimate difference between the two papers in a media plan for Mumbai city.

So, just to make it more meaningful, let us examine the performance of these two dailies in the following 2 TG’s

TG1 : Males, 15-30 years, SEC AB – a TG that would be relevant for scores of financial products like Banking, Insurance, other services.

TG 2: Males, 30 – 49 years, SEC A – a TG definition that would be relevant for let’s say, Premium Automobiles, Airlines & high-end Consumer Durables like Air-conditioners, HD TV’s, etc.

(These two TG definitions would be applicable for a significant proportion of brands advertised in dailies).

Firstly, in terms of reach, HT delivers 16 % more than DNA, in TG1 whereas DNA delivers about 10 % more than HT in TG2 (refer to the graph below)

However, in both TG’s, HT seems to be significantly more cost-effective than DNA, at card rates (refer to the graph below).

So, how does this manifest for either of these dailies in any media plan for the above TG’s, which feels the need to include a 2nd morning broadsheet, over and above the TOI? Here’s a simple case study.

Let’s assume that the media plan for any brand (for both TG’s), already includes 3 insertions in TOI (typically for a 3 ad campaign). What would be the effect therefore, of adding on, let’s say, 3 ads in either one of the two dailies in question, versus the other?

The tables below are self-explanatory.

Note : Cost calculations are based on card rates and are for 240 ads

Conclusion :

DNA delivers better in terms of additional reach in case of TG2, whereas HT scores better in TG1.

However, by virtue of being more cost-effective, the addition of HT to a media plan which already includes TOI for Mumbai city, renders the plan considerably more cost-effective as against the addition of DNA.

Stratagem Media is an independent media buying company which also provides ad sales support services to Publishing houses / TV channels / Radio stations, etc.


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Comments (1)
  • kumar- 11 years ago

    all reads well in the article but how can one even draw a cpt comparision when the base difference between toi and others are so huge ?it just can be grossly misleading .