In the recent times, Madhya Pradesh has seen a flurry of publication launches. With Hindi being the most spoken language of the state, new and old Hindi dailies, in the last few years, have been aggressively charting out their plans, so much so that the Hindi daily readership in the state increased by nearly 72 per cent in the last two rounds.
Recently, most of the dailies in MP made changes in their existing products - from layout, pagination, news mix, price slides, news schemes for reader retention and offers to the advertisers - they are trying it all.
He adds that in 2008, the total advertising billing was Rs 747 crore, a growth of 87 per cent over 2007.
In the last two years, Rajasthan Patrika, which decided to shed the word 'Rajasthan' from its name, has become the biggest gainer in the state as per IRS Q2, 2010. It now covers entire Madhya Pradesh with six editions and after marking its presence in almost all the key markets of the state, it is heading towards Chhattisgarh. Patrika has editions in Bhopal, Indore, Ujjain, Ratlam, Jabalpur and Gwalior.
The daily has shown an increase of 4.10 lakh readers in this quarter. The newspaper has recorded total readership of 14.78 lakh in the latest quarter, as opposed to last quarters 10.68 lakh. Though, according to total readership of Hindi dailies in MP, the daily is at No. 6, it has gained 5.66 lakh readers in the last two rounds.
Arvind Kalia, national head, marketing, Rajasthan Patrika Group, says, "In 2008, at the time of the global meltdown, Patrika explored the potential of Bhopal and Indore regardless of the fact that the entire global economy was bogged down; the group went ahead to launch its editions in the state."
The second biggest gainer of MP is Nai Dunia, with a total readership of 30.84 lakh - a gain of 3.64 lakh readers in this quarter. This daily is at No. 2 and has registered a growth of 5.44 lakh readers in the last three rounds. In recent times, Nai Dunia has undertaken many reader based activities. The group's other offering for the market, NavDunia, is placed at No. 9 and has a total readership of 3.95 lakh, a gain of 2.37 lakh readers. The second daily of the group did not perform well in the last quarter and had lost about 4.32 lakh readers at that time.
Print penetration in MP is pegged at about 17 per cent.
The No. 1 daily of MP, Dainik Bhaskar, is the fourth biggest gainer of the state as per total readership. However, it still maintains a gap of 62.88 lakh readers. The daily, in its home turf, has registered total readership of 93.72 lakh in this quarter - a gain of 1.96 lakh readers and a growth of 18.35 per cent.
Hari Bhoomi, at No. 7, has registered a marginal growth of 1.12 per cent, increasing its total readership of 6.23 lakh in Q1, 2010 to 6.35 lakh in Q2, 2010. The Haryana based group entered the state with a single edition in Jabalpur, six months after Patrika's entry in MP.
The No. 8 spot is taken up by Dainik Agniban with a total readership of 5.73 lakh, registering an increase of 58,000 readers over Q1, 2010. At No. 10 is the daily Desh Bandhu, recording a total readership of 2.29 lakh - a decrease of 21,000 readers from the last quarter.
With big and established national players entering the state, what is the fate of single edition or state specific newspapers in MP? According to Mishra of Nai Dunia, "Single edition or state specific newspapers will also be there as we have seen that all the players in the market are very active in luring the readers. Currently, MP market is also seeing a lot of duplication of newspapers in households. However, in the long run, only established publications will have the major pie of the readership and ad billing. The top three players will rule the roost in the long run. I feel there is a huge scope for every player to play in MP, provided there is no cover price war."
In Chhattisgarh, the total readership of all Hindi dailies has grown from 49.84 lakh in Q1, 2010 to 50.14 lakh in Q2, 2010, showing a marginal increase of 30,000 readers. The No. 1 position in Chhattisgarh is taken up by Dainik Bhaskar, which has recorded total readership of 33.28 lakh, an increase of 31,000 readers.
Nava Bharat is at No. 2 with 27 lakh readers, a decrease of 1.03 lakh readers from the last quarter. The daily had registered total readership of 28.03 lakh in the last quarter.
Recording a marginal increase of 8,000 readers, Hari Bhoomi, at No. 3, has total readership of 26.95 lakh. The No. 2 daily of MP has lost 25,000 readers in Chhattisgarh this time. It has total readership of 14.13 lakh, as against 14.38 lakh in Q1, 2010. Desh Bandhu is at No. 5 with total readership of 5.30 lakh, a decline of 39,000 readers from the last quarter.