Eighteen leading publications of the country have condemned the newly published Indian Readership Survey (IRS 2013) in the strongest possible terms. Pointing out at several anomalies in the survey, they have urged advertisers and media agencies to not rely upon or use the recently published IRS results.
Several publications claimed that the latest IRS survey has shocking anomalies that completely defy logic, and also contradict the audited circulation figures of ABC. These publications include The Times of India, Dainik Jagran, Bhaskar, India Today, Anandabazar Patrika, Lokmat, Outlook, Daily News and Analysis (DNA), Sakshi, The Hindu, Amar Ujala, The Tribune, Bartaman Patrika, Aaj Samaj, The Statesman, Mid Day, Nai Duniya and Dinakaran.
Some of the anomalies include wild swings in the overall newspaper readership across states such as Punjab, which reportedly lost one third of its readers in the last year, and Haryana that reportedly gained 17 per cent readers; de-growth of 30-60 per cent of all language newspapers in Andhra Pradesh market; Mumbai showing a 20.3 per cent growth in overall English readership, while Delhi (a faster-growing city overall on all macro indices) showing a drop of 19.5 per cent; Hitavada, an English daily from Nagpur, which has no readers now while The Hindu Business Line has thrice as many readers in Manipur as in Chennai.
The IRS figures were announced recently and it indicated that Dainik Jagran is the most preferred choice of newspaper among the people of the country. Jagran is closely followed by Hindustan, Dainik Bhaskar, Malayala Manorama, Daily Thanthi, Rajasthan Patrika, TOI, Amar Ujala, Mathrubhumi and Lokmat.
According to the new numbers, Dainik Jagran leads three categories, namely, Top Dailies, Top Publications and the Top Hindi Dailies with an average issue readership (AIR) of 155.26 lakh. The Times of India tops the English Dailies flock with an AIR of 72.53 lakh. Meanwhile, Malayala Manorama is the most read language daily with 85.6 lakh average issue readership (AIR). Vanitha (27.62 lakh) is the most read magazine, followed by India Today (15.31 lakh) and Pratiyogita Darpan (14.92 lakh).
There are two changes in the methodology of the research of the IRS. All the interviews are conducted face to face and through a double screen computer-aided personal interview (DS CAPI). Also, there is data fusion such that the questionnaire splits into two sets.
Four new territories have been included in the sample - Jammu, the seven Northeastern states, Dadra Nagar Haveli and Andaman. Overall, though the sample size has reduced marginally, it remains at about 2.5 lakh.