The latest quarter of IRS (Q3, IRS 2012) suggests that Bengalis prefer to read magazines - even if they are of the employment kind. According to the report, among the top 10 language magazines, Bengali is the only language in which titles have registered steady growth in average issue readership over the past year. Malayalam titles have suffered the maximum since Q3, 2011.
Three Bengali magazines that have made their way to the top 10 language magazine list include Karmasangsthaan, Karmakshetra and Saptahik Bartaman. Interestingly, all the three magazines are weeklies.
The employment weekly, Karmakshetra, is the No. 2 language magazine, with an AIR of about 12 lakh - a gain of 1.4 lakh readers. The standalone Bengali weekly is the second biggest gainer since Q3, 2011.
Malayala Manorama takes up the No. 3 spot. The magazine, like Vanitha, has recorded a decline in readership. In fact, it is the second biggest loser among the top 10 language magazine list. Since Q3, 2011 the Malayalam weekly has continuously lost readership. While it lost 82,000 readers this time, the title lost the maximum in Q4, 2011 - a loss of more than one lakh readers.
At the No. 4 position is another Bengali employment magazine, Karmasangsthaan. The standalone title has emerged as the biggest gainer, registering an increase of 1.4 lakh average readers in the last one year. The weekly has added 32,000 readers this quarter.
Kumudam, a general interest magazine, takes up the No. 5 position with an AIR of 8.2 lakh. In the last one year, the Tamil offering has been on a constant decline, and its losses have mounted to more than 2 lakh readers since Q3, 2011. This time, too, the weekly has lost about 50,000 readers.
Yet another Malayalam title to feature in the top 10 list is Balarama (No. 6), having registered an AIR of 7.8 lakh in the latest quarter of IRS (Q3, 2012). The weekly is the only magazine other than the Bengali titles to have registered growth in readership in the latest quarter. It has recorded a gain of 40,000 readers this time, and despite the gain, the magazine has lost 73,000 readers in the last one year. It is the only children's magazine to feature in the list.
The No. 7 position is taken up by yet another employment weekly, Mathrubhumi Thozhil Vartha. The standalone title, like other Malayalam periodicals, has lost readership - a decline of 84,000 average readers since Q3, 2011. In the latest quarter, the magazine has lost 37,000 readers.
Mathrubhumi's other title, Mathrubhumi Arogya Masika, takes up the next spot. The Malayalam magazine has an AIR of 7.4 lakh and has lost 2.2 lakh readers in the last one year and 49,000 since Q2, 2012. It is a health magazine.
Saptahik Bartaman, with 7.2 lakh average readers, is at No. 9. The Bengali weekly general interest magazine has added marginally this quarter (an increase of 3,000 readers). It has recorded a growth of 56,000 readers in the last one year.
Ananda Vikatan takes up the next position in the list, with an AIR of 6.4 lakh. The Tamil weekly, too, is a general interest title. It has lost 1.45 lakh average readers in the last one year.
(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.)