readership of Hindi dailies has recorded a marginal increase of 0.14 per over the previous round. As per the Indian Readership Survey 2008 Round 2 (IRS 2008 R2) data, the Hindi daily segment has attracted 1,81,000 more readers. As per the current round of IRS the total readership for Hindi dailies is 12.91 crore readers
Uttar Pradesh continues to be the biggest market for the Hindi dailies with a contribution of 4.1 crore readers. In fact, Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh has seen the maximum increase in Hindi readers among cities with 82,000 more readers. This is followed by Ghaziabad and Moradabad among the UP cities, where the number of Hindi readers has increased by 51,000 and 20,000, respectively. In terms of total readership, Allahabad is the third biggest market for the Hindi dailies in UP after Lucknow and Kanpur with a contribution of 5,90,000 readers. Surprisingly, Kanpur which is one of the key markets for Hindi dailies has seen a decline of 62,000 readers.
Rajasthan, which is less than half the size of the UP market is the second biggest market for the Hindi dailies. It contributes to around 1.71 crore readers and has added a little more than 5 lakh readers. The state capital Jaipur is the third biggest city for Hindi dailies after Delhi and Greater Mumbai. In this round, the city has added around 77,000 readers which is second only to Lucknow in terms of growth. Jodhpur and Bikaner are the two other major contributors here.
After UP and Rajasthan, Bihar is the next biggest market for the Hindi dailies with a total readership of 1.54 crores. In fact, it has registered maximum growth in Hindi readership in the current round of IRS by adding 6.13 lakh readers.
Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal has also seen an increase in Hindi readership. While Jharkhand has added 4.39 lakh Hindi readers, Madhya Pradesh another 1.42 lakh readers, and West Bengal has added around 1.14 lakh readers.
Surprisingly, Maharashtra, especially Mumbai, and Chhattisgarh have lost a considerable number of Hindi daily readers. While Maharashtra has lost around 6 lakh Hindi daily readers, Chhattisgarh has lost even more - 6.5 lakh readers. Haryana is also amongst the biggest losers of Hindi daily readers as it has lost around 2.7 lakh readers.
"Dailies such as Navabharat Times and Nava Bharat have hardly any presence in Maharashtra. In areas such as Bilaspur and Raipur in Chhattisgarh, the readership of the dailies has declined," he explains.
States such as Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have also witnessed a huge decline in readership. Raghunath attributes this to the launch of new Telugu dailies such as Sakshi and Andhra Jyoti. "When the new dailies were launched, the traditional Hindi dailies such as Swatantra Vartha and Hindi Milap did not do much to retain their readers," he says.
Among the Southern India states, Tamil Nadu has seen a 37 per cent rise in Hindi readership, owing to Rajasthan Patrika's launch there three years ago. The Hindi daily seems to be consolidating its presence in that state. The increase in the population of North Indians working for the IT sector in the state could be another contributing factor.
The Top 10 Hindi dailies as per R2 are Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar, Amar Ujala, Hindustan, Rajasthan Patrika, Punjab Kesari, Aj, Navbharat Times, Prabhar Khabar and Nava Bharat.
Among the Hindi dailies, Dainik Bhaskar has gained the most - 18.94 lakh readers. Its growth has come mainly from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. Hindustan is the second biggest gainer, adding 14.68 lakh readers from R1, courtesy Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
Among the biggest losers are Aj, Dainik Jagran and Nava Bharat. Aj has lost 9.73 lakh readers, of which 3.47 lakhs are in Bihar and 6.77 lakhs, in Uttar Pradesh.
Dainik Jagran was the second biggest loser. On the whole, it has lost 8.14 lakh readers. Its largest losses were 10.4 per cent readers in Himachal Pradesh and 7.47 per cent readers in Bihar.