Monday, May 08, 2006

Media Trail - Update April 2006

Beleagured Indian Express postpones its IPO & magazine division launch

A beleagured Indian Express group, for which problems just do not seem to end, has postponed the launch of its magazine division, while its proposed IPO too does not appear to be in sight.
In some major initiatives taken by the end of 1995, the Indian Express group had made major announcements of launching a Rs 100 crore (about US $ 22.7 million) IPO, a general and special-interest magazine division and a joint-advt sales partnership with Mumbai's Mid-day publications group.
Senior Indian Express officials say the postponements of the IPO and the magazine division are largely due to "logistical reasons", but internal family feud appears to be the major reason for the group's continued failures.
Our own assumption is that the magazine division plans were based on the success of the IPO. Ever since the announcement of the IPO plan, media skeptics had opined that the IPO may not do well because of the "huge" accumulated losses of the group as well as the internal family feud over the control and management of the business - consisting largely of the publications as well as real estate.
Sandipan Deb, a known publishing professional, was also employed by the Indian Express to head the magazine division and his status/plans are not clear as of now.
Indian Express already has a B2B magazines division, which has shown profitablity during its several years of operation. However, the group's failure to create a separate corporate entity for its B2B publications has kept several international B2B publishers away from partnering with the group.

Dainik Jagran tops dailies, Saras Salil rules magazines

Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2006, Round 1 has been declared. Looking at the dailies, the top three players have remained at the same positions as was seen in the last round. Dainik Jagran dominates at No. 1 position with 19,071,000 readers, Dainik Bhaskar at No. 2 position with 14,571,000 readers and Daily Thanthi is the third player with a readership of 10,228,000 readers. All three of them have registered some erosion in number of readers. Amar Ujala continues at number fourth position with 9,894,000 readers.
There has been some reshuffle at the lower half where Malayala Manorama has slipped from No. 5 position to No. 6 position and Hindustan has moved up a place to occupy the fifth rank. Lokmat, Eenadu, Mathrubhumi and Times of India take the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth ranks with 8,107,000, 7,944,000, 7,647,000 and 7,084,000 readers, respectively. Once again, ToI is the only English publication to find a spot amongst the top 10 publications.
Looking at the magazines, Saras Salil (Hindi) leads the segment garnering a total readership of 7,361,000, followed by Kungumam (Tamil) at 3,759,000 and Vanitha at number three positions with 3,516,000 readers. India Today English takes the fourth spot with a readership of 3,509,000. Grihashobha (Hindi) has moved to No. 5 position from No. 6 but again in terms of number of readers there has been some drop.
On the sixth position is Tamil weekly Kumudam with a readership of 3,071,000. The next slot is taken by India Today Hindi with a readership of 2,849,000 and Malayala Manorama is on the eight position garnering a readership of 2,760,000. Anand Vikatan occupies the ninth slot and Meri Saheli takes the tenth.
For the IRS 2006 R1 an annual sample size of 2.4 lakh was covered-spread equally over two rounds. A total of 1,178 towns and 2,894 villages were surveyed. The data represents fieldwork during the full year Jan-Dec 2005. The mid-point of the survey is June 1, 2005. Being a continuous survey, the reporting takes place every six months based on a Moving Annual Total.
Looking at some toplines from demographic profiles, the households have grown by 1.4 per cent over 2005 to reach a mark of 21 crore. Individual growth rate has been slightly lower than household growth rate at 0.85 taking the total 12 yrs + population to 78.4 crores. With single age-breaks now available from the Census, the age group data has been realigned. The proportion of the total share of 20-29 age group has declined from 25 per cent to 23.6 per cent.
The data also shows that reach of mass media seems to have stagnated in the last three years. Press reach has been hovering around at 24 per cent, TV at 55 per cent, Radio at 21 per cent and Internet at 1.5 per cent at the all India level.
In Urban India, Press and TV has actually declined in last three years. Press reach has declined from 42.9 per cent in 2004 to 41.7 per cent in 2006. Though TV has declined from 80.2 per cent to 78.9 per cent in the last three years, C&S has shown some growth, from 53.5 per cent in 2004 to 54.4 per cent in 2006.
While Press has maintained its status quo in rural, TV has grown by a meager 1 per cent in three years. Radio is the only medium where the incidence of listenership is almost same both in urban and rural and is around 21 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, in Urban and Rural.

Business publications register mixed performance

Much on the lines of what was seen in the general interest and other titles space, the business dailies offer a mixed bag of performance with Hindu Business Line (HBL) and Financial Express (FE) holding on to their readership unlike the leader in the segment The Economic Times (ET) and other players. In terms of business magazines, from Business Today to Business World all have recorded a fall in the IRS 2006 R 1.
Looking at the numbers of the business dailies, leader by a very large distance, ET, currently has a readership of 8.68 lakh, which is a 4 per cent drop from its previous 9.06 lakh. The next player in the pink paper space is HBL, which has grown by 3 per cent with a readership of 1.73 lakh. There is good news for the Express Group, too, with FE growing by 7 per cent, offering a readership of 93,000. Business Standard, with a readership of 75,000 has dropped significantly from its readership figure of 1.01 lakh, recorded in the previous round.
As far as business magazines are concerned, Business Today leads with a readership of 7.16 lakh, which is a decline of 5 per cent from its previous 7.54 lakh. Business India currently has a readership of 5.26 lakh, which is an 8 per cent fall from the 5.71 lakh readership it had in the last round. Business World has dropped by almost 10 per cent and is at a readership of 3.35 lakh. Outlook Money has dropped a whopping 32 per cent and is at 1.91 lakh readership at present.
Further niche in the space, Capital Market, has also declined by 4 per cent and is at 1.04 lakh readership. However, going against all trends, modest player Dalal Street Investment Journal has grown by 8 per cent and is currently at a readership of 82,000, perhaps aided by a buoyant Sensex.

Most leading dailies see a marginal decline in readership

In the last round of IRS (Round 2 of 2005), all top ten publications registered growth in terms of readership. However, the latest round of IRS (Round 1 of 2006) indicates a completely different trend.
Except for Amar Ujala and Hindustan, every other publication in the top ten list has experienced a marginal decline in readership.
Dainik Jagran, which continues to be the leading publication of the country, has seen a decline of around one lakh readers. Its readership today stands at 1,90,71,000.
At number two, Dainik Bhaskar, with a readership of 1,45,71,000, has gone down by 5,21,000 readers in comparison to the previous round of IRS. The number three position has been retained by Daily Tanthi, with a readership of 1,02,28,000, though even this publication has experienced a decline of 3,30,000 readers.
In fact, the top four positions have remained unaltered from the previous round. Amar Ujala has retained the number four position with a readership of 98,94,000. It is one of the few publications among the top ten which has experienced growth. In comparison to the previous round of IRS, the readership of Amar Ujala has increased by 49,000 readers.
Hindustan, which was at number six in the previous round of IRS, is the other daily among the top ten that has experienced growth. Its readership, which stands at 97,24,000 readers, securing it the number five position, has now seen an increase of 7,27,000 readers in comparison to Round 2 of IRS 2005.
Malayala Manorama, which was number five in the last round of IRS, has slipped to number six now, with its readership also marginally declining by 74,000 readers. As per the latest round of IRS, it has a readership of 93,52,000.
The readership of Marathi daily, Lokmat, which continues to be at number seven, has declined by 7,65,000 readers as compared to the previous round of IRS. Its readership as per the latest round stands at 81,07,000.
Among the other publications in the top ten list, Eenadu, Mathrubhumi and Saras Salil have also seen a decline in readership. While, the readership of Eenadu has declined by 8,31,000, Mathrubhumi has lost around 3,95,000 readers. The readership of Hindi magazine Saras Salil has remained almost stagnant with a marginal decline of 5,000 readers.
The readership of Eenadu, Mathrubhumi and Saras Salil stand at 79,94,000, 76,47,000 and 73,61,000, respectively.

Most top magazines experience decline in readership

Going by IRS 2006, Round 1, Hindi fortnightly magazine Saras Salil has maintained its numero uno position with a readership of 73.61 lakhs, which is quite consistent with last years IRS Round 2 figures (73.66 lakhs).
Coming in second is Kungumam, the Tamil weekly, with a readership of 37.59 lakhs, which wasnt among the top ten in the IRS Round 2 last year.
Malayalam magazine Vanitha, meanwhile, has slipped a notch from last years number two position. It has come in third this year, declining by 4.79 lakh readers. Its total readership now stands at 35.16 lakhs. This is the third round in a row in which the readership of Vanitha has declined.
India Today (English), which was last years number three, has slipped to number four this year, with a readership of 35.09 lakhs. In comparison to IRS 2005, Round 2, its readership has declined by 3.9 lakhs.
Hindi monthly Grihasobha continues to stand at number five, with a readership of 31.93 lakhs. Last year, this figure stood at 33.7 lakhs, which indicates that its readership has declined by 2.77 lakhs.
Tamil weekly Kumudam, which has registered a fall from fourth place last year to sixth place this year, has also experienced a decline in readership of 3.63 lakhs. Its readership, as per the latest IRS round, stands at 30.71 lakhs.
India Today (Hindi) and Malayala Manorama have both slipped a rank since last year to stand at Rank 7 and 8, respectively. While the readership of India Today has declined by 4.34 lakhs (from 32.83 lakhs in IRS 2005, Round 2, to 28.49 lakhs now), Malayala Manorama readership figures have dropped from 32.07 lakhs in Round 2 of 2005 to 27.60 lakhs in Round 1 of 2006.
Tamil weekly Ananda Vikatan and Hindi monthly Meri Saheli have finished at Rank 9 and 10, respectively, with corresponding readership figures of 25.50 lakhs and 24.81 lakhs. These two were not among the top ten as per IRS 2005, Round 2.

English dailies readership shoots up; Hindi dailies experience marginal decline

As per the IRS 2006 Round 1statistics, it seems that the Queens language is regaining its popularity. The readership of any English daily has increased by 2.24 per cent in comparison to the previous round of the IRS (Round 2, 2005). The current readership of any English daily stands at 1,73,96,000.
However, the study reveals that there are fewer takers for our national language. The readership of any Hindi daily has declined marginally by 0.28 per cent from 6,28,83,000 to 6,27,10,000. The difference in readership between the last two rounds is around 1,73,000 readers.
Among the regional dailies, the highest growth has been attained by the Assamese dailies. The readership of any Assamese daily has increased 11 per cent from 23,40,000 in Round 2, IRS 2005, to 26,00,000 readers in Round 1, 2006.
However, in terms of absolute numbers, the highest growth has been achieved by the Gujarati dailies. The readership of any Gujarati daily has increased by 8,38,000 readers. As per IRS 2006, Round 1, the readership of any Gujarati daily today stands at 1,25,82,000.
Other regional publications that have grown significantly are the Oriya and Bengali dailies 9.51 per cent and 2.93 per cent, respectively. The readership of any Oriya daily stands at 30,38,000, while that of any Bengali daily is 1,00,66,000.
Interestingly, most South Indian dailies have seen a decline in readership. While the readership of any Telugu daily has decreased by 6.57 per cent, the readership of any Tamil daily has seen a decline of 4.21 per cent. The readership of any Telugu daily is 1,08,75,000, while that of any Tamil daily is 2,03,61,000.
Similarly, the readership of any Kannada daily has declined 2.1 per cent to 92,54,000.
The only language dailies to have seen a slight increase are the Malayalam newspapers. They have seen a marginal increase in readership of 0.63 per cent. The readership of any Malayalam daily is 1,61,64,000.
The worst hit in this round of the IRS are the Urdu dailies, which have declined by 14.19 per cent. The readership of any Urdu daily was 7,54,000 in IRS 2005, Round 2, which has declined to 6,47,000 in the current round of the IRS.

HT continues to rule the Capital: TOI still number two

In Mumbai, they might have become friends, but in the national Capital, they are still arch rivals. We are talking about the two daily newspapers, Hindustan Times (HT) and The Times of India (TOI).
According to IRS 2006, Round 1, HT continues to be ahead of TOI by 4.14 lakh readers in Delhi and its Urban Environs. While HT has recorded a readership of 21,41,000, the TOI readership this year is 17,27,000. Incidentally, both these newspapers have seen a decline in readership in this round. While the HT readership has declined by 2.69 lakhs, TOI has seen a decrease in readership of 2.49 lakhs.
This decline in readership is not exclusive to these two English dailies. The other leading dailies in the Capital, too, have experienced a decline in readership.
Navbharat Times (NBT), which continues to be the leading Hindi newspaper in Delhi and its Urban Environs, has seen a decline in readership of 80,000 readers. As per the latest round of IRS, NBT has recorded a readership of 15,68,000.
Punjab Kesri, at number two, has lost out on 72,000 readers. While the daily had a readership of 11,95,000 in Delhi and its Urban Environs as per IRS 2005, Round 2, the current figures stand at 11,23,000.
Dainik Jagran, which continues to be the leading publication in India, has also seen a decline in readership of 96,000 readers. As per IRS 2005, Round 2, this Hindi daily has recorded 9,27,000 readers.
Hindustan, which went full colour recently, has also missed out on increasing its readership base. Its readers in Delhi and its Urban Environs have slid from 10,23,000 (as per IRS 2005, Round 2) to 9,27,000 in IRS 2006, Round 1.
Amar Ujala is the only newspaper among the top ten dailies to have recorded growth. Its readership has increased by 42,000 to 3,62,000 readers in IRS 2006, Round 1.
Among the other leading dailies, the readership of Rashtriya Sahara has declined marginally by 9,000 readers. Dainik Bhaskar, at number 10, has seen lost 41,000 readers. As per the latest round of IRS, the readership of Dainik Bhaskar is 74,000 in Delhi and its Urban Environs.
The only business daily among the top ten in this market, The Economic Times, has also lost 13,000 readers.

Battleground Mumbai: Who is the winner

Last year two English dailies Hindustan Times and DNA (Daily News and Analysis) -- were launched in Mumbai hoping to invade The Times of Indias strong castle.
A year later have these newspapers managed to make a dent in TOIs citadel Well not yet. The half period figures released by MRUC (Media Research Users Council) in the IRS 2006, Round 1 survey dont indicate so.
According to these figures, 'Hindustan Times' has managed 2.85 lakh readers, while 'DNA' has a readership of 4.02 lakh. In comparison, Mumbai Mirror, the tabloid launched by the TOI group has managed a whopping 7.65 lakh readership figure. So is Mumbai Mirror the real winner Not exactly. The newspaper is still distributed free along with TOI, so it was bound to get a share of TOIs readership. The real test for the newspaper will be now when TOI is planning to sell it independently.
Industry experts such as Amin Lakhani, director CTG, Group M, say, Among all the newspapers launched last year, Mumbai Mirror has the got highest amount of sampling because it was distributed along with the TOI main edition. But this again has had a negative effect. The newspaper is considered to be a supplement just like Bombay Times.
As a result people are not consciously reading Mumbai Mirror. Otherwise, its readership would have been equivalent to The Times of India with the same number of copies, adds Lakhani.
In terms of sampling, DNA has also had a good run thanks to its aggressive outdoor campaigns, and circulation drive.
A Mumbai-based senior media buyer says, DNA certainly has had a good start. It was also quick to identify what the Mumbai English readers want. But it got late in launching the newspaper. By this time, TOI already figured these change in readership trend and was quick to implement them in its newspaper.
Hindustan Times which managed a readership of 2.85 lakh is also quite satisfied with its achievement. In fact, at the time of the launch, senior executives at HT had clearly said that they were not looking at huge numbers, instead they want to build a base of quality readers.
Manish Porwal, executive director, India-west, Starcom, feels that among the new launches, HT is a superior product. He says, It is a great product but unfortunately it has not been successful in creating a brand. The daily now needs to get aggressive in its marketing initiatives.
Echoes Lakhani of GroupM. HT has managed around 20 per cent of the English readers in the city, that too without much of a marketing effort. This indicates that the daily has built itself as a credible product among readers. It has also a strong distribution set up, which will be helpful for the newspaper in the long run. The daily now needs to decide whether it wants to grow exponentially or aggressively.
According to these media planners, the second phase of the media war will now start, especially when TOI launches Mumbai Mirror as an independent newspaper.
But if one goes by these industry watchers, theres still time before these newspapers pose a threat to TOIs strong fortress.
Porwal asserts, In the micro-set of newspapers, TOI is unavoidable. If one wants both quality consumers as well as numbers, the advertiser will have to trust TOI.
It seems the trends will go on as of now. And both HT and DNA, now, have enough samples to figure newer strategies for this battleground Mumbai.

...and the case of the disappearing reader

Whether it is English, Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil or Telugu, the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2006 has shown a decline in readership for almost all publications and largely even across markets. Industry leaders offered mixed reactions to the finding where India Today is flabbergast, Outlook is perplexed, and media professionals try and give a rationale, saying that the days of borrowed readership are going.
The Hindu, Deccan Chronicle and Tribune are the only English dailies to have registered growth. Amar Ujala, Hindustan and Rajasthan Patrika have managed to defy the decline trend in Hindi dailies. Dinamalar, Deshabhimani and Andhra Jyoti are the exceptions for Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu dailies, respectively. Magazines have far lesser success cases. A point to ponder is what has led to this decline in readership for almost every player.
With IRS releasing only towards to end of last week, not many players offered comments on why they think there has been a readership loss. Maheshwar Peri, Publisher, Outlook Group, put it in so many words when he said, The NRS (National Readership Survey) saw us grow by 60 per cent and our circulation has gone up by 5-6 per cent in the period since. I need to look at the data more closely to understand why there has been a decline in our readership.
While on the one hand that is what one section of the industry chooses to express, Ashish Bagga, CEO, India Today Group, and President, Indian Newspapers Society (INS), on the other hand, voices a completely different set of reactions. There seems to be something seriously wrong with the IRS survey, he said.
Citing data, he further asked, How can such huge chunks of readers disappear just like that in a period of six months Especially for subscription driven magazines like India Today English and Readers Digest, which show a loss of 3.9 lakh and 3.3 lakh readers, respectively. In fact, magazines across the board have been hit badly, in some cases registering huge losses of up to 23 per cent. How do you explain a 20 per cent fall in Feminas readership in just six months or regional language magazines for that matter
Speaking specifically about the India Today Group, Baggas observation was the same as Peris when he said, If you were to look at circulation, sales have been at an all time high for Living Media magazine brands in the past six to eight months; how does one explain the fall in readership Strange isnt it This IRS survey has inherent flaws and should not be relied on.
Bagga sure is looking for some explanation for the declining readership expressing shock on even business publications showing a downslide despite the business environment in India per se experiencing bullish trends and buoyancy. Its shocking to see that all the three business magazines have lost readers, he exclaimed. Yet another set of views come from media experts who try and explain the loss. Manish Porwal, Executive Director, Starcom (West), said, Interestingly, the circulations of each one of these publications is increasing. The deductions are simple. More people are buying their own personal copy and borrowing less. Within a family, too, more people are reading their own choice of publication.
Commenting on English publications, Porwal said, With the choice in English readership markets most metros, led by Mumbai increasing, readership is growing, but is getting fragmented between more dailies. Having said this, we must not forget that over a long period in time, both readership and reach of media has not declined. Kunal Jamuar, Business Director, Insight, added, Mass media consumption per se is going down and the players will have to find a way to use the various opportunities present today to increase the time spent on it.
For IRS, it is a quite a baggage of mixed reactions and as they say, it isnt over till its over. Many in the industry are still taking their time in analysing data to understand the dipping numbers and we can only wait and watch what answers they will throw up.

Survey reiterates increase in mass media reach

When the percentage growth of various mediums is seen in the last three years, Cinema and Radio appeared to be the only ones that had any growth numbers to speak of. Based on the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2006, even as the other mediums havent shown any growth,IRS officials explain that when seen closely, reach of mass media has in fact increased.
Looking at the reach numbers that IRS 2006 R 1 findings throw, in the last three years, press maintained a 23.6 per cent reach, TV saw a slight change from 54.4 per cent in 2004 to 54.9 per cent in 2006, C&S increased from 26.1 per cent in 2004 to 28 per cent, Internet maintained a 1.5 per cent reach. Radio increased from 19.2 per cent to 20.9 per cent and Cinema increased from 10.3 per cent in 2004 to 11.8 per cent in 2006.
An official IRS press note on IRS 2006 R 1 data, stated, Reach of mass media seems to have stagnated in the last three years. Press reach has been hovering around at 24 per cent, TV at 55 per cent, Radio at 21 per cent and Internet at 1.5 per cent at the all India level. In urban India, Press and TV have actually declined in the last three years.
When asked what had led to the decline in mass media, IRS officials were quick to draw attention to the figures of the last three rounds of the IRS. Comparing reach of media of IRS 2006 R 1 with that of IRS 2005 R 1, Press has grown by 5.7 per cent, TV by 7.2 per cent, C&S by 13.5 per cent and Radio has increased by 5.4 per cent. FM Radio has increased by 21 per cent and Cinema by 21.5 per cent, Internet showing a modest growth of 6.8 per cent.
Explaining these figures, Suresh Nimbalkar, AVP, Hansa Research, said, The numbers clearly show that only Press has shown a marginal drop in reach in the recent IRS round, while all other mediums have registered healthy growth. However, if you compare the current Press reach with that of IRS 2005 R1, there is a decent growth of 5.7 per cent. Thus, press reach has increased over the period. To understand trends in mass media reach, lets look at the combined reach of TV and Press. It has consistently shown growth across the past three rounds. Thus, the reach of mass media is increasing.
As per the data, the combined reach of TV and Press has grown by 9.5 per cent since IRS 2005 R 1. Nimbalkar explained, The overall reach of mass media is on the rise, as one would expect due to increasing literacy levels. The relative share of each medium may vary depending on technology and market developments. For example, sudden increase in the number of 24 hour news channels, free Internet editions, level of promotions and so on. Another example is Kerala. Till some time back, it was the only state where press reach was higher than that of the TV. Today, the state is witnessing healthy growth in C&S penetration.
Even as IRS emphasises that media reach has increased in the last year, a point to be noted is that mass media consumption is still stagnating. Giving an explanation here, Manish Porwal, Executive Director, Starcom (West), said, This is the beginning of the end of saas-bahu serials and one size fits all media solutions. There is a general decline or stagnancy in very large genres and vehicles. The top five programmes on STAR Plus have gone down on their TVRs by 10 per cent Y-o-Y. Readership of individual dailies in geographies and segments where people have a real choice is showing a decline in the latest round of IRS. This was a trend waiting to show up. He further said, The good news is that this ebb is flowing into special interest media and vehicles and audiences here will not just consume but consume this media with far more affinity and interest. Having said this, its not that audiences are completely abandoning mass media or general interest. As it is, the difference between the genres is so huge that it would take years before real fragmentation starts to hit and a news channel may really threaten a general interest one. Its just that the polarisation of many people on a few media or vehicles will now stop.
Kunal Jamuar, Business Director, Insight opined on similar lines. Mass media consumption is going down due medias ability to customise for a specific consumer need (relevance) and the distribution of the medium. Most mass media needs undivided attention and has limited access. For example, you cant watch TV in office, two newspapers dont give different offerings, unless they are of different genres. Radio is one medium that has lately started occupying this down time through the mobile radio. This is a space that is likely to go up in the time to come, he said.
Porwal echoed Nimbalkars point when he observed, It is wrong to think that there is no increase in media reach, individually or collectively. Having seen noticeable drops within the last two rounds of IRS, we must not forget that over a long period in time, both readership and reach of media has not declined. There are more people in rural India who are no longer media dark and over last many years, people are spending more time on media both mass media like print and Television and relatively new media like FM and the Internet. Lets be careful to not mistake the trees for the woods.
Mass media consumption going down and the decline that is seen on that count perhaps means a road to more sticky and loyal audience. As experts say, choice means fragmentation and aligning of peoples media time by their passions and interests. But is that what is happening on the Indian media front today Many would answer that in the affirmative.

Fall in English dailies, but Hindu bucks the trend; drop in all magazines

Its not really good news for most publications given the fall, though marginal, in readership that the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2006 R 1 has thrown up.
In case of English publications, the trend is no different. Though on the whole any English daily readership has shown an increase from the 17,396,000 of the last round to 17,435,000 in IRS 2006 R 1, when seen closely, most English dailies like The Times of India (TOI) and Hindustan Times (HT) have registered a fall. The Hindu has, however, bucked the trend. In English magazines all have declined.
Looking at some of the readership numbers of the general interest dailies TOI has dropped from 72.87 lakh to 70.84 lakh. HT has come down to 35.08 lakh from the 35.21 lakh readership in the previous round. The Hindu holds the third position among English dailies. Unlike its competitors, The Hindu has managed to grow its base even if marginally from 27.87 lakh to 27.97 lakh. There is good news for Deccan Chronicle as well the publication has grown from 10.14 lakh to its current 11.32 lakh readership.
The Telegraph is the fifth largest English daily and has seen a decline in readership by 67,000, bringing it to its current 10.82 lakh readership. Mumbais reigning tabloid, Mid Day, too, has seen a drop and is at 7.37 lakh from 7.76 lakh in the previous round. Deccan Herald, too, has dropped and is at 6.04 lakh from 6.51 lakh, and given the drop in Indian Express readership, which is down to 5.65 lakh from 6.42 lakh the gap between the two has widened.
The Tribune has managed to hold its ground and currently has a readership of 4.83 lakh, which is 2,000 more than the previous round. The Statesman continues the decline trend, where it is at 4.22 lakh from 4.93 lakh. Assam Tribune follows with a drop by 21,000 to be at 3.45 lakh. The likes of Hitavada, Nagpur (1.48 lakh), Navhind Times (1.47 lakh), Herald (97,000), and Afternoon Despatch & Courier have all seen fall in readerships. In the English magazines section, the news isnt so good either given that every magazine has seen a fall in readership. The leader in the section, India Today, has dropped by 10 per cent, from 38.99 lakh to 35.09 lakh. Sister concern Readers Digest too has seen a 12 per cent fall and is at 23.06 lakh from 26.37 lakh. GK Today has dropped from 23.4 lakh to 22.14 lakh readership. Another strong player, Competition Success Review, has also dropped by 16 per cent and is currently at 17.3 lakh.
Filmfare has seen one the steepest falls among English magazines, its readership fell 21 per cent to 16.71 lakh. Outlook has dropped by 11 per cent and is at 11.44 lakh. Stardust, too, has dropped and is currently at 10.95 lakh in comparison to the 13.11 lakh in the previous round. Wisdom and The Week have dropped by 6 per cent and 10 per cent, bringing them to 10.31 lakh and 8.67 lakh, respectively. From general interest magazines to womens magazines Femina, Womens Era, Cosmopolitan, New Woman, Elle and Savvy to special interest titles like The Sportstar, Auto India, Overdrive, Outlook Traveller, Capital Market, Living Digital, all have seen a dip in readership, with some titles like PC Quest and Junior Science Refresher dropping by almost 23 per cent.
IRS has definitely brought some disturbing news for all English magazines, given that the trend doesnt bring loyalty to even special interest titles, which many media experts thought was the way to go for magazines.

New Launches

'Rashtriya Sahara' daily to launch three new editions‘Rashtriya Sahara’, the Hindi daily will soon launch three new editions. The first new edition will come out from Patna in May which will be subsequently followed by Kanpur and Varanasi editions. The Hindi daily currently has three editions from Delhi, Lucknow and Gorakhpur.
The group had recently announced expansion plans of launching 10 new editions of its Urdu language daily, 'Roznama Rashtriya Sahara’.
Kolkata gets a new mid-day newspaperA new Bengali language eveninger, ‘Aaj Ekhon’, modelled on Mumbai’s ever popular ‘Mid-Day’, hit the stands in Kolkata on April 15, the Bengali New Years day. ‘Aaj Ekhon’ is the first publication from Freedom Media Pvt Ltd, a company promoted by three former print media professionals with interests in television production as well, having designed programmes for ETV Bangla and Alpha Bangla. The eveninger’s Siliguri and Durgapur editions are reportedly also on the anvil and will be launched shortly.
Dainik Jagran launches Indore editionAfter securing the No. 1 position, according to IRS 2006 Round 1 data, Dainik Jagran has launched its Indore edition from April 20. Madhya Pradesh has become a lucrative destination for Hindi dailies and now Indore is gaining momentum with some other players also contemplating to enter there.

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