IRS 2010 Q1: HT, Telegraph, New Indian Express, Mid-Day and Mumbai Mirror gain readers

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | May 05, 2010
TOI, Hindu, Deccan Chronicle, ET and DNA have lost a few readers

Of the Top 10 English dailies, five dailies, including The Times of India (TOI), The Hindu, Deccan Chronicle, The Economic Times (ET) and DNA have recorded declines in their total readership figures. The dailies in the growth list are Hindustan Times (HT), The New Indian Express, Mid-Day and Mumbai Mirror.

TOI, the No. 1 English daily in the country, continues to maintain its clear leadership in the genre, although from 1.34 crore, the newspaper has lost about 85,000 readers in the current round. The newspaper has lost about 1.94 lakh readers in the last two years (between R1, 2008 and Q1, 2010). Even then, the newspaper is still about 71.93 lakh readers ahead of the close competitor, Hindustan Times. Two years ago, the gap between the top two was 72.95 lakh readers.

Hindustan Times, meanwhile, has also retained the clear No. 2 position with a total readership of 62.54 lakh readers - a gain of 1.11 lakh readers from the last round (R2, 2009). However, the daily still needs to compensate for the 2 lakh readers it had lost in the previous three rounds of IRS. As per IRS R1, 2008, the daily claimed a total readership of 63.46 lakh readers.

The Hindu, at No. 3, seems to have been affected by the growing competition in its home turf, Chennai, where Deccan Chronicle and TOI are trying to get a foothold. In the last two years, the daily has lost about 4.11 lakh readers. After losing 2.75 lakh readers in R2, 2008, it had gained about 97,000 readers in R2, 2009, but since then, the newspaper has been on a decline. In a way, it's still trying to correct the loss of readers in R2, 2008. Currently, the newspaper's readership stands at 51.4 lakh.

The Telegraph has moved up by one position from No. 5 to No. 4 in this round. The daily has added 77,000 to its total readership, though it's not enough to compensate for the 2.38 lakh readers it had lost in the previous three rounds. In the current round, the daily has recorded a total readership of 2.87 lakh.

Deccan Chronicle, which has been pushed to the No. 5 position by The Telegraph, has registered a loss of about 97,000 readers in its total readership since the last round. In the last round, the Hyderabad based daily had gained about 1.45 lakh readers but had lost about 2.6 lakh readers between R1, 2008 and R1, 2009. Currently, its total readership stands at 28.16 lakh, which is 2.12 lakh readers less than in R1, 2008.

The business paper from the TOI Group, ET, maintains a status quo at its No. 6 position, despite having lost 3.23 lakh readers in the last two years. The pink paper has been on a negative growth since R1, 2008. As of the latest data, IRS Q1, 2010, the daily has a total readership of 16.88 lakh.

The New Indian Express is also stable at No. 7 and has a readership of 15.61 lakh, an increase of 31,000 readers since the last round. However, in the previous three rounds, the newspaper had lost 4.47 lakh readers. While in R1, 2008, it claimed a total readership of 19.77 lakh readers, in the current round, it has 15.61 lakh readers.

The two Mumbai based tabloids, Mid-Day and Mumbai Mirror, have also shown increases in total readership. While Mid-day has jumped a single position in Q1, 2010, the tabloid has added 18,000 readers. However, the newspaper had lost 2.57 lakh readers in the previous three rounds (between R2, 2009 and R1, 2008) and it's still to make up for that loss. In the current round, the tabloid has recorded a total readership of 15.25 lakh.

Similarly, Mumbai Mirror, a tabloid from the TOI Group, has also climbed up a position to No. 9 this time. The tabloid, despite having lost 1,30,000 readers in the three rounds, has added a total readership of 62,000 in the current round. The daily has a total readership of 15.23 lakh as per IRS Q1, 2010.

At No.10 is DNA, which has gone down two steps from No. 8 as per IRS R2, 2009, after losing 68,000 readers in the current round. However, the daily is still ahead of what it used to be two years ago - a gain of 1.47 lakh readers since R1, 2008. In the current round (Q1, 2010), the paper has a total readership of 14.58 lakh.

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