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IRS Q3 2012: Not an encouraging quarter for Language dailies

Seven out of top 10 language dailies witness decline. Daily Thanthi displaces Lokmat from No. 2 position

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | January 30, 2013

The third quarter of IRS 2012 has not been encouraging for language dailies as seven of the top 10 language dailies lost readership while only three registered growth. There is only one change in the pecking order with Daily Thanthi displacing Lokmat from the No. 2 position.

India’s No. 1 language daily, Malayalam daily Malayala Manorama, has reversed the trend after losses in two consecutive quarters. According to the Average Issue Readership (AIR), the daily has added 42,000 readers in Q3 of IRS Q2 2012. Its current AIR stands at 97.52 lakh compared with 97.10 lakh in the previous quarter, 98.75 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 99.37 lakh in IRS Q4 2012.

Tamil paper Daily Thanthi has displaced Lokmat from the No. 2 position despite losing some readership for the third quarter in a row. With a loss of 14,000 readers in IRS Q3 2012, its AIR stands at 74.17 lakh against 74.31 lakh in the last survey and 74.77 lakh in IRS Q1 2012.

A loss of 98,000 readers has brought Marathi daily Lokmat down to No. 3. The daily has recorded an AIR of 74.09 lakh against 75.07 lakh in the previous quarter, 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 third quarter in a row. It has lost 78,000 readers and recorded an AIR of 64.15 lakh compared with 64.93 in the previous quarter, 66 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 66.66 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

Telugu daily Eenadu has strengthened its position at No. 5 which it had acquired from Anandabazar Patrika in the previous survey. By adding 32,000 readers, it has recorded an AIR of 59.57 lakh compared with 59.25 lakh in the previous quarter, 59.06 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 59.91 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

For the fourth quarter in a row, Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika has witnessed a decline in its AIR with a loss of 71,000 readers. It has recorded an AIR of 57.88 lakh in IRS Q3 2012 against 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. The daily has added 37,000 readers to take its AIR at 53.43 lakh in IRS Q3 2012 against 53.06 lakh in the previous quarter, 52.44 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 53.03 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

 

Gujarat Samachar has witnessed decline in its readership for the second quarter in a row. The daily has recorded an AIR of 51.53 lakh in IRS Q3 2012 against 52.05 lakh in the previous quarter, 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 87,000 readers in IRS Q3 2012 and recorded an AIR of 49.12 lakh against 49.99 in the previous quarter, 51.08 in IRS Q1 2012 and 52.27 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

Marathi paper Daily Sakal has registered an AIR of 44.03 lakh compared with 44.37 lakh in the previous quarter, 43.96 lakh in IRS Q1 2012 and 44 lakh in IRS Q4 2011.

Top 10 Language Dailies

Publication IRS Q3 2012 IRS Q2 2012
Malayala Manorama 9752 9710
Daily Thanthi 7417 7431
Lokmat 7409 7507
Mathrubhumi 6415 6493
Eenadu 5957 5925
Ananda Bazar Patrika 5788 5859
Sakshi 5343 5306
GujaratSamachar 5153 5205
Dinakaran 4912 4999
Daily Sakal 4403 4437

(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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