IRS 2010 Q4: Seven of the language dailies register decline in AIR

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | March 15, 2011
Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Bengali, Oriya and Punjabi dailies have lost average issue readership, while Hindi, Malayalam, English, and Kannada language dailies register growth.

In the latest quarter of Indian Readership Survey, IRS 2010 Q4, any Gujarati daily has registered the maximum loss in readership than any language daily this time, as per AIR (average issue readership). But, since IRS 2010 Q1, the language has added 2.09 lakh AIR.

All the top three Gujarati dailies including Gujarat Samachar, Sandesh and Divya Bhaskar and have recorded a loss of 72,000, 74,000 and 60,000 in average issue readership, respectively, this time.

Any Tamil daily is the second biggest loser, having recorded a loss in the AIR of 1.81 lakh this quarter. Tamil language is also the biggest loser since IRS 2010 Q1, with a loss of 7.62 lakh readers. Dinakaran's gain of 1.16 lakh AIR could not help the language, in fact, the only Tamil daily to feature in the Top 10 list of publications, as per AIR, has registered a decline in readership this time. Daily Thanthi has lost 2.31 lakh readers this quarter, the maximum by any daily in the Top 10 list. Another top daily to lose readership is Dinamalar, having lost 1.37 lakh readers this quarter.

A close third biggest loser is any Bengali daily, having lost 1.76 lakh readers this time. In fact, the Bengali dailies have lost 3.14 lakh AIR since Q1 2010. The only Bengali daily to feature in Top 10 list, Anandabazar Patrika, has lost 3.60 lakh AIR since Q1, 2010. The No. 2 Bengali daily Bartaman also registered a marginal decline of 24,000 readers this quarter.

Though any Marathi daily has lost AIR this time -- a loss of 1.39 lakh -- it has gained 3.61 lakh readers since Q1, 2010. The only Marathi daily to feature in the list, Lokmat, has recorded a gain of 3.51 lakh since the first quarter of IRS 2010. Though the No. 2 Marathi daily, Daily Sakal, added a paltry 13,000 this time, the third largest local daily - Pudhari, recorded a loss of 56,000 in AIR.

Any Telugu daily, any Oriya daily and any Punjabi daily have also registered a marginal decline of 21,000, 25,000 and 48,000, respectively, this quarter. The Punjabi dailies, Ajit and Jag Bani, have lost 8,000 and 25,000 readers.

Amongst Telugu dailies, Eenadu, has added 98,000 readers since Q1, 2010, though it has recorded a loss of 1.20 lakh in the current quarter, as per AIR. Andhra Jyothi has also witnessed a loss in AIR this time -- a loss of 1.45 lakh. The only Telugu daily amongst top three to register a gain is Sakshi, adding 1.38 lakh readers this quarter.

As far as Oriya dailies are concerned, the No. 1 Oriya daily, Sambad has lost 53,000 readers. Dharitri is now the No. 2 Oriya daily and has added 62,000 readers. Samaj, which has been pushed to the No. 3 position, has lost 33,000 readers in this quarter.

Any Hindi daily is the biggest gainer, registering a gain of 15.42 lakh AIR in the current quarter of IRS. In fact, the national language has added 39.90 lakh readership since Q1, 2010. Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar, Hindustan and Amar Ujala are among the top five dailies -- they have collectively added 12.90 lakh AIR. While Hindustan has added 6.13 lakh average issue readers, Dainik Bhaskar has added 5.04 lakh.

The second biggest language to register gain, as per AIR, is Malayalam -- any Malayalam daily has added 3.64 lakh this time and 12.05 lakh, since the first quarter of IRS 2010. While Malayala Manorama has registered a marginal gain of 3,000, Mathrubhumi has lost 41,000, as per AIR.

Any English daily is the third biggest gainer this time, having added 2.79 lakh readers in the latest quarter. The language is on a growth spree and has added 5.27 lakh AIR since Q1, 2010. All the top three English language dailies including The Times Of India, Hindustan Times and The Hindu have registered a gain this time.

A close next is any Kannada daily, with a gain of 2.33 lakh this time. The top three Kannada dailies, Vijay Karnataka, Prajavani and Kannada Prabha, have registered an increase in the AIR of 50,000, 2.70 lakh and 1.22 lakh, respectively.

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