has been an increase in the overall Tamil daily total readership (TR) base, but most dailies have witnessed a decline in readership. As per the Indian Readership Survey 2008 Round 2 (IRS 2008 R2) data, released by MRUC and Hansa Research, Tamil dailies have added 2.28 lakh new readers. The current total readership (TR) of Tamil dailies stands at 2.85 crore. Tamil Nadu, the biggest market for Tamil dailies has added 2.78 lakh readers in this round, followed by Karnataka, which has 56,000 more readers.
The states that failed to lure more Tamil daily readers readers were Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Kerala has lost as many as 80,000 readers, while Andhra Pradesh has lost 21,000.
City-wise, Chennai is the biggest market for Tamil dailies with a readership of 38.48 lakhs, despite losing 1.11 lakh readers. Cities such as Coimbatore (9.76 lakhs), Tiruchirappalli (5.87 lakhs) and Bengaluru (2.46 lakhs) are some of the Southern cities which have recorded an increase in readership.
The Top 5 Tamil dailies are Daily Thanthi (20.5 crores), Dinakaran (16.8 crores), Dinamalar (10.4 crores), Malai Malar (3.2 crores) and Dinamani (2.4 crores). Of these, Daily Thanthi and Dinakaran feature in the Top 10 list of dailies nationally as per TR, in the 5th and 7th ranks, respectively.
Daily Thanthi has added 40,000 new readers in Tamil Nadu and 13,000 readers in Karnataka. However, in Kerala, it has lost 48,000 readers, and in Andhra Pradesh, 21,000 readers. Daily Thanthi has gained readers in cities such as Tiruchirappalli, Coimbatore, Madurai, Salem, Bengaluru and Tiruppur. In Tiruchirappalli, the daily has expanded its reader base by 95,000 new readers, and in Coimbatore, by 54,000. It has seen a marginal loss of readers in Chennai, Pondicherry and Thiruvananthapuram.
The Times of India launched an edition in Chennai during this period. It took the whole city by storm with its high-blitz marketing campaign. The existing English dailies in Chennai, The Hindu and Deccan Chronicle, also went all out with their promotions, so much so that from small shop to airport, everything was branded.
Media consultant AS Raghunath believes that the entry of TOI has had a considerable impact on the Chennai print market. "All the three English dailies have created a certain aspiration among readers to read English. And since the Tamil dailies did not respond or try to woo their readers, they have had to pay the price," he reasons.
Raghunath also said that in terms of parameters such as layout and presentation, the Tamil dailies were far behind, still following the traditional way. Only Dinakaran has all its pages in colour. "Most Tamil dailies are yet to become all colour. The other language dailies - Hindi, Marathi, Telugu - have adopted all colour layouts," he says.