After a disappointing first quarter in 2012 when most of the top 10 language dailies posted a fall in the average issue readership (AIR) over the previous quarter, some of them fared slightly better in the second quarter.
IRS Q2, 2012 reveals four of the top 10 language dailies have managed to register a rise in the number of readers in Q2, 2012 over the previous quarter. However, the rest of the dailies have continued to lose readers and in most cases, worse than before.
Malayalam daily Malayala Manorama that continues to be the No. 1 language daily of the country also registered the steepest fall in the latest quarter. The newspaper's AIR at the end of Q2, 2012 stands at 97.10 lakh (versus 98.75 lakh in the previous quarter). Malayala Manorama, after losing 62,000 readers in the last quarter (over Q4, 2011), lost another 165,000 in Q2. An annual analysis shows how the daily has lost 252,000 readers (Q2, 2012 over Q2, 2011).
At No. 2 remains Marathi daily Lokmat, with an AIR of 75.07 lakh. The newspaper that lost 77,000 readers in Q1, 2012 has had a healthy quarter to gain 22,000 readers in Q2, 2012 over the last quarter. Compared to Q2, 2011, the daily's AIR has dropped by 88,000.
Tamil newspaper Daily Thanthi at No. 3 did not have a healthy quarter either. The daily lost 46,000 readers in the latest quarter and its AIR stands at 74.31 lakh (versus 74.77 lakh in Q1, 2012). Over Q2, 2011, Daily Thanthi's AIR has risen by 1.41 lakh.
Fourth-ranked Mathrubhumi, the other Malayalam daily in the list, continued to lose readership. With an AIR of 64.93 lakh in Q2, 2012, it registered a fall of 107,000 over the last quarter. When compared to a year ago, Mathrubhumi's AIR has fallen by 1.97 lakh.
Telugu daily Eenadu that has moved up a position to No. 5 gained 19,000 readers this quarter. The daily's AIR in Q1, 2012 had posted a quarter-on-quarter fall of 85,000. Eenadu's AIR in the current quarter stands at 59.25 lakh as against 59.06 lakh at the end of Q1, 2012. Since Q2, 2011, the newspaper's AIR has fallen by 1.07 lakh.
Popular Bengali newspaper Anandabazar Patrika is the sixth-ranked language daily in the country in terms of AIR numbers. With its latest AIR at 58.59 lakh, the newspaper has lost 1,11,000 readers in the last quarter. The numbers continue to dip as Anandabazar Patrika's AIR had fallen by 79,000 in the previous quarter. The daily's AIR has dipped by 2.04 lakh when compared to Q2, 2011 figures.
The other Telugu newspaper, Sakshi, has had a good run in the latest quarter, gaining 62,000 readers and holding on to its seventh rank. Its latest AIR stands at 53.06 lakh compared to 52.44 lakh in Q1, 2012. Sakshi's AIR had dipped by 59,000 in the previous quarter. Compared to Q2, 2011, the daily's AIR has gone up by 2 lakh.
Ranked eighth is Gujarat Samachar, which was the only newspaper to have registered an AIR growth in Q1, 2012. In the latest quarter though, the daily has lost 19,000 readers taking its AIR to 52.05 lakh. When compared to Q2, 2011 figures, the AIR has gone down by 15,000.
Sun Networks' Dinakaran continues to go through a bad patch. Its AIR has yet again fallen after witnessing the sharpest fall (a loss of 119,000 readers) in the first quarter of 2012. Losing 109,000 readers, Dinakaran's AIR at the end of Q2, 2012 is 49.99 lakh (compared to 51.08 lakh in the previous quarter). Since Q2, 2011, the daily's AIR has fallen by 1.68 lakh. Dinakaran is ranked ninth among the top 10 language dailies.
At No. 10 is Marathi daily, Daily Sakal that has had a comparatively healthy quarter. Gaining 41,000 readers, Daily Sakal's latest AIR stands at 44.37 lakh. The newspaper had registered a quarter-on-quarter fall of 4,000 in Q1, 2012. Compared to its Q2, 2011 AIR, Daily Sakal's numbers have dipped by 11,000.
(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.)