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IRS Q3 2011: Top 10 Language Dailies

Several changes in the pecking order of top 10 language dailies according to Average Issue Readership

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | December 22, 2011

The third quarter of Indian Readership Survey (IRS) has brought a lot of changes in the pecking order of the top 10 language dailies. On the basis of AIR (average issue readership), Tamil newspaper Daily Thanthi has overtaken Marathi daily Lokmat by a small margin to become the second most read language newspaper. Telugu daily Eenadu has dislodged Bengali daily Ananda Bazar Patrika from the No. 5 position while Tamil daily Dinakaran and Telugu daily Sakshi have pushed Gujarat Samachar from No. 7 to No. 9.

India’s largest read language daily, Malayala Manorama, has maintained its leadership. However, the daily has lost 50,000 readers in IRS Q3 2011. Its current AIR stands at 99.12 lakh compared to 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.

There has been a big change in the No. 2 position with Tamil newspaper Daily Thanthi dethroning Lokmat in terms of AIR. Daily Thanthi has added 1.57 lakh readers to its AIR in IRS Q3 2011 to take its AIR to 74.47 lakh compared to 72.90 lakh in IRS Q2 2011. It had also added 1.03 lakh readers in Q2 and 1.73 lakh readers in Q1.

The most read Marathi daily Lokmat is now the No. 3 language daily of the country. Lokmat has recorded an AIR of 74.38 lakh in this round of the survey compared to 75.95 lakh in the previous quarter. The daily had added 1.09 lakh readers in IRS Q2 2011.

Another Malayalam daily, Mathrubhumi, has also registered a slight decline in its average issue readership. By losing 60,000 readers in this quarter, the daily has recorded an AIR of 66.30 lakh compared to 66.90 lakh in the previous quarter. Mathrubhumi had lost 1.1 lakh readers in IRS Q2 2011 but added 1.63 lakh readers in IRS Q1 2011.

There is a change at No. 5 too, where Eenadu has replaced Ananda Bazar Patrika to acquire the status of 5th most read language daily in the country. Eenadu has added 69,000 readers in IRS Q3 2011. It had also added 41,000 readers in IRS Q2 2011 but lost 50,000 readers in IRS Q1 2011. Its current AIR stands at 61.01 lakh against 60.32 lakh in the previous quarter.

Anand Bazara Patrika lost the fifth position to Eenadu despite growth in its AIR in IRS Q3 2011. ABP has added 35,000 readers to record an AIR of 60.98 lakh compared to 60.63 in the previous quarter. It had lost 55,000 readers in IRS Q2 2011 and 54,000 readers in Q1 2011.

Again, there is a new No. 7 language daily this quarter. Growing on quarter-on-quarter basis, Tamil daily Dinakaran has replaced Gujarat Samachar to take the seventh spot. The daily has 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. Dinakarn has recorded an AIR of 52.53 lakh in IRS Q3 2011 compared to 51.67 lakh in IRS Q2 2011 and 51.23 lakh in IRS Q1 2011.

Sakshi has also climbed up to 8th spot by adding 1.13 lakh readers to its AIR. Its current AIR stands at 52.19 lakh against 51.06 lakh in the previous quarter. The Telugu daily had added 64,000 readers in IRS Q2 2011 and 88,000 readers in the first quarter of IRS 2011.

Two consecutive losses have pulled down Gujarat Samachar from No. 7 to No. 9. However, the loss in the current quarter is of 34,000 readers only. The daily has recorded an AIR of 51.86 lakh compared to 52.2 lakh in the previous quarter. 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 to be at No. 10. It has registered an AIR of 42.73 lakh compared to 44.48 lakh in the previous quarter. The daily had lost 1,20,000 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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