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IRS 2010 Q3: HT finds acceptance in Mumbai

By Prajjal Saha , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | December 03, 2010
Hindustan Times is slowly adding new readers in the city. In the last one year (since IRS 2009 R2), the English daily has added a little over 1 lakh readers.

The Times of India (TOI) continues to be the most read daily of Greater Mumbai -- which includes Mumbai City, Western Suburbs, Eastern Suburbs and Navi Mumbai -- with a total readership of 25.55 lakh. TOI is one of the few dailies to have gained readers in this quarter of IRS.

In the last one year (since IRS 2009 R2), the country's most read English daily has added around 64,000 readers. After losing 18,000 readers in 2010 Q1, the daily had gained 17,000 readers in 2010 Q2.

Hindustan Times (HT) is the second biggest gainer in the city, adding 25,000 readers and clocking a total readership of 8.94 lakh. The English daily had also added 60,000 readers in the previous few rounds. It's interesting to see HT gain readers in Mumbai, where it was initially perceived to be a Delhi-based newspaper.

In the last one year, HT has added more than 1 lakh readers, though it hasn't yet managed a place among the top 10 dailies in the city. The newspaper has gained readers in all the reporting centres of the city, except South Mumbai (also called Mumbai City as per IRS).

Since 2009 R2, HT has lost 16,000 readers in South Mumbai, but has gained 66,000 and 35,000 readers respectively in Navi Mumbai and Western Suburbs, areas which are home to the migrant population.

The other dailies to have recorded a growth in total readership are Loksatta and Mumbai Mirror.

Loksatta is the only Marathi daily in the city to have gained readers in the current round. It has added around 20,000 readers, though it has yet to make up for the 39,000 readers it had lost in 2010 Q1.

Amongst the other Marathi dailies, Navakal has lost more than 1 lakh readers in the current round. In the last few rounds, the newspaper has lost more than 3 lakh readers. However, it has retained its No. 3 position in the city with a total readership of 14.69 lakh. Lokmat has also lost 74,000 readers in the current round. Its total readership is 14.37 lakh.

Mumbai Mirror, which is now the No. 2 English daily in the city, has added a marginal 2,000 readers. It has also moved further ahead of its closest competitor, Mid-Day. In IRS 2009 R2, the gap between the two was 94,000 readers; this has now increased to 1.32 lakh readers.

Among the other English dailies in the city, Mid-Day and DNA have lost 53,000 and 43,000 readers, respectively. Both Mid-Day and DNA continue to be half the size of TOI with total readerships of 12.85 lakh and 11.66 lakh, respectively.

Mumbai City

In the last one year (since 2009 R2), most dailies have lost readers except the Hindi daily Yeshobhumi, Mumbai Mirror and Mumbai Choufer, in this part of the city, which hosts the elites and a few of the richest people of India. In fact, the readership of all newspapers has been almost stagnant in this market.

Yeshobhumi and Mumbai Mirror have gained 35,000 and 20,000 readers, respectively, in South Mumbai. Surprisingly, DNA has lost around 54,000 readers in this reporting unit in the said period. The next biggest loss is for Maharashtra Times, which has also lost some 50,000 readers.

In 2010 Q3, Yeshobhumi and Hindustan Times are the only two dailies two have maintained a status quo or a very marginal growth.

Western Suburbs

This part of the city hosts a large section of the migrant population as well as the Gujarati community. Thus, Gujarat Samachar has gained 1.17 lakh readers here in the last one year. Both Maharashtra Times and TOI have also gained 40,000 readers each in this market; while HT has gained 35,000 readers. The biggest losses in this reporting unit have been for Navakal and Saamna, which have lost 1.29 lakh and 95,000 readers, respectively.

Even in the current quarter, Gujarat Samachar has added some 40,000 readers, while Yeshobhumi and TOI have grown by 19,000 and 12,000 readers, respectively.

Eastern Suburbs

With 67,000 additions in its total readership, TOI is the biggest gainer in this reporting unit, followed by Loksatta, which has added some 51,000 readers in this area in the last one year. Meanwhile, Navakal, Mumbai Choufer, Mid-day, Maharashtra Times, Navbharat Times and Saamna have all lost readers in the Eastern Suburbs of Mumbai. Navakal has lost the maximum -- 57,000 readers, followed by Mumbai Choufer (loss of 27,000 readers).

In the current quarter, both TOI and HT have recorded growth in readership. TOI has grown by 17,000 while HT has added 15,000 readers.

Navi Mumbai

With an addition of 66,000 readers in the last one year, HT is, surprisingly, the biggest gainer in this part of the city since R2, 2009. The English tabloid, Mid-Day has also gained some 37,000 readers in the last one year. Navakal has lost about 1.2 lakh readers since 2009 R2. Maharashtra Times and DNA have also lost 57,000 readers and 45,000 readers, respectively.

In the current quarter, though, TOI is the biggest gainer in this area with a growth of 42,000 readers. Mumbai Mirror and Loksatta have added 19,000 readers each, while Gujarat Samachar and HT have gained 13,000 and 10,000 readers, respectively. Navakal has lost readers even in this market and recorded a loss of 44,000 readers.

The estimated 12+ population in Greater Mumbai is 1.66 crore and the sample size is 8527.

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