The industry has welcomed the new IRS survey and has said that it will go a long way in setting up acredible readership currency for both publishers and media agencies.
However, the IRS is yet to address some scepticism as the players believe that the devil lies in detailand a clear picture will only be revealed once the Average Issue Readership is available.
The MRUC has claimed that the robustness of capture of media consumption across all segments hasbeen significantly enhanced due to the increased sample size and better representation across allpop strata in the new IRS.
In the new design of IRS, reach analysis across all media types has been brought to a commonplatform with the introduction of one-month penetration numbers for all media types, enabling apples to apples comparison.
“Apart from the standard and well-established Average Issue Readership metric, one can now look at data from the perspective of TotalReadership (TR), and Readership of publications by timeframes of last seven days and last threedays. These new metrics have been introduced to provide a true representation of the changingconsumption habits among newspaper readers,” MRUC has said.
Here’s what the industry experts had to say about the IRS 2017:
Aroon Purie, Chairman and Editor-in-chief, India Today Group
“Delighted to see the IRS set global benchmarks in sample size, design and tight monitoring. Very encouraged to see that the survey reinforces what we've always believed in. The magazines are far more relevant now than in the preceding years and the age of the discerning media consumer has returned. To have India Today as the most read magazine is very satisfying. To top it, India Today Hindi is a close second to its sibling India today English and Business Today continues to be undisputed no.1, adding to the motivation of the team at India Today Group. It makes me happy and validates my belief that good editorial works. The cross media comparison helps us gauge the real headroom for each of the brands and there is every reason to believe print is still a very strong force to reckon with. Increasingly more relevant as consumer seeks clarity in the midst of information explosion.”
Apurva Purohit, President, Jagran Prakashan
“The recent figures by IRS are a testimony to the fact that print media is not only relevant but also thriving in a fragmented market like India. As the numbers have shown, the contribution of language media has been tremendous in the growth being experienced by the print industry in India and busts the myth around print being dead. We believe in keeping the reader at the heart of every business decision and this inturn has contributed immensely towards our stupendous success across languages. This strengthens our belief in the power of print and we will strive to work towards striking the right balance between print and digital to be able to cater to the audience at large.”
Vijay Darda, Chairman, Lokmat Media Group
“Being the only Marathi publication in the top 10 dailies in India, I am pleased that Lokmat at the sixthposition, is the undisputed No. 1 publication in Maharashtra with a 72 per cent higher readership than the second Marathi daily. IRS 2017 with its robust systems and improved methodology has reaffirmed what advertisers and readers have always believed about Lokmat’s leadership. Regional publications will pave the way for growth of a new Bharat and rural readership has grown significantly contributing to a higher pie in the overall readership and growth of print in India. Overall 40 per cent growth in print is so heartening and it clearly shows readers only believe in true journalism. I take this opportunity to congratulate Team Lokmat for believing in themselves and thank all our readers, advertisers and partners for their trust and continued support.”
Pradeep Dwivedi, Group CEO, Sakal Media Group
“Notwithstanding individual publishers’ ratings, depending on the feedback that we have received so far, I think it’s overall a positive day for the industry because after a gap of four years, we now have a robust currency that is scientifically evaluated and statistically validated. It shows an overall growth of print readership. With an increase in the overall readership, the print industry will get its due share from the market. When you look at the cross media metric between television, digital and print monies, because there was no common currency, so the print players were getting the short trip. Now, at least there is a currency and we will be able to get a share.
I think once the quarterly reports start coming in, any publisher who feels that there is a gap/ or correction that needs to be done, they will do it in the market.
The ratecards were very much present but they have not been able to take a rate improvement and that is where the concern was. One has to sell at much lower than the rate card, in the absence of a justification. Anyway the sanctity of rate card metric to sell the product has declined. The real metric is the current operating rate.
I don't think this IRS will bring back the days of rate card as current operating rate is the only truth today.”
Vikram Sakhuja, Group CEO Madison Media & OOH,Madison World
“It is a nice feel-good meeting. First of all, it’s very good to have IRS back. I think that’s most important. The presentation has painted a picture of buoyancy which is nice. The devil lies in the details and that’s what we are going to see tomorrow. We are using to reading average issue readership which they decided not to give as they all talked about total readership, which doesn’t allow us to sort of compare. At this point in time, it all looks very nice.”
Sundeep Nagpal, Founder, Stratagem Media
“On the face of it, it seems to be a well done study and I don't think there is any glaring inconsistency or anything that is outside of the expectations as of now.Obviously, when you deep dive into the data and slice and dice it after tomorrow, then you will know the study.One must understand that times have changed over years.Now the stick to measure readership should be looked at in a new way.This total readership they are talking about is different from what used to be talked about earlier.Total readership used to be, do you read this newspaper?That's all.There was no time frame.But now there is a time frame of one month, which they are calling total readership.
This is a recall-based study and hence, if a person is asked what radio station you heard in last one week, answers are being given. So, if I assume that there is an error in remembering the station, it will not be a relative error. There are chances of not being able to recollect what the listener heard that particular month.
This is coming after four years. They are keen to wipe out the previous benchmarks. People used to have a thought that I have to perform in a certain way to be good. But they want to wipe out the whole yardstick of what is good. This is not a wrong way to go about it.”