IRS Q2 2011: Many regional dailies record a marginal loss of readers

By Prajjal Saha & Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | September 30, 2011
Daily Sakal, Eenadu, Dinakaran and Malayala Manorama have lost readers marginally, while Daily Thanthi and Sakshi have managed to maintain a status quo. Additionally, Rajasthan Patrika and Amar Ujala have also lost a few readers.

Though there hasn't been any significant change in the Top 15 publications in the second quarter of IRS, 2011, many regional dailies have recorded a negative growth in the total readership.

Dainik Jagran continues to be the lead publication with a total readership of 5.51 crore, followed by Hindustan at 3.71 crore. Both the Hindi dailies have added about 5 lakh readers each, in the current quarter. In fact, since Q1, 2010, Jagran has added more than 10 lakh readers. For Hindustan, it has been a rather modest growth this time, compared to 1 crore readers the newspaper added in the last three years.

Even Dainik Bhaskar, which was pushed to the No. 3 position in the last quarter of 2010, has added close to a lakh readers in the current quarter. The total readership of the Hindi daily currently stands at 3.35 crore. This quarter has spelled some good news for this Hindi daily as it had lost more than 5 lakh readers in the previous quarter.

The Marathi newspaper Daily Sakal has lost about 3.59 lakh total readers in the current quarter, though it will be too early to comment whether this is in effect of Divya Marathi's launch in the market.

Among others, Rajasthan Patrika, too, has lost about 1.4 lakh readers. In fact, even in the previous two quarters (Q1, 2011 and Q4, 2010), the Hindi daily had lost more than 2 lakh readers. The No. 4 Hindi daily, Amar Ujala, has also lost about 90,000 readers in the current quarter, and about 2 lakh readers since Q3, 2010.

The No. 1 Telugu daily, Eenadu, and the No. 2 Tamil newspaper, Dinakaran, have also lost readers. While Eenadu is down by one lakh readers, Dinakaran has lost about 92,000 readers in the latest quarter. Eenadu currently has 1.46 crore total readers and Dinakaran is at 1.6 crore readers. Even Malayala Manorama has lost marginally, about 52,000 readers, bringing down the total readership of the Malayalam daily to 1.26 crore readers.

The No.1 Tamil Daily and Dinakaran's arch rival Daily Thanthi, has managed to maintain a status quo, having added a mere 5,000 readers. But, the Tamil daily has lost around 5 lakh readers since Q1, 2010.

The No. 1 Marathi daily Lokmat, has added about 3.5 lakh readers in the current quarter. It now claims a total readership of 2.41 crore -- an addition of 5 lakh readers since Q3, 2010.

Anandabazar Patrika, the leading Bengali daily, has been lucky in this quarter, having added about 1.79 lakh readers. In fact, in the last few quarters, the daily lost more than 5 lakh readers.

The No. 2 Telugu daily Sakshi, has retained its total readership, having added a marginal 8,000 readers. The Times of India, too, has added around a lakh readers, taking its total readership to 1.37 crore.

(Total readership includes any reader who has read any of the last six issues; whereas average issue readership includes only readers who have read the last issue.)

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