One of the most important findings of the recently released NRS 2002 was the drop in the readership of magazines from 93.8 million in 1999 to 86.2 million in 2002. However, an even greater surprise is the increase in readership of certain language magazines, namely Bengali, Tamil and Telugu.
Bengali magazines registered the highest readership of 25 per cent, followed by Telugu magazines with 7 per cent and Tamil magazines with 0.4 per cent. In sharp contrast, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi and Urdu language magazines registered a double-digit decline. In contrast, Assamese and English magazines saw drops of 8 per cent and 3 per cent respectively.
A closer analysis of the reading habits of urban India by genre throws up some more interesting findings. English business magazines have increased their reader base by 40 per cent since 1999, which in absolute terms is a jump from 1.24 million in 1999 to 1.74 million in 2002. Growth of English business magazines is the highest in West Bengal with 131 per cent followed by Tamil Nadu with 68 per cent and Maharashtra with 55 per cent. However, in absolute terms, Maharashtra has the highest number of English business magazine readers, which is 0.4 million. Also, 0.16 million out of the 0.17 million English business magazine readers of West Bengal reside in Kolkata alone.
On the other hand, English film magazines have lost 13 per cent of their reader base in urban India representing a drop from 7.1 million to 6.2 million respectively. But the reader base in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu increased by 79 per cent and 23 per cent respectively. Also, in the state of West Bengal, there has been a growth of 23 per cent for Bengali film and women's magazines and 38 per cent for general interest. This again is diagonally opposite to the readership pattern of Bengali magazines in the north-eastern states and Bihar. Here the drop in readership has been 53 per cent and 42 per cent respectively.
General interest English magazines have managed to retain their reach of 2.2 per cent. At the same time, their reader base has increased from 4.07 million to 4.43 million in 2002. Incidentally, English sports magazines have seen a decline of 43 per cent, which in absolute terms is a drop from 2.28 million to 1.29 million in 2002. Interestingly, readers in the southern state of Tamil Nadu seems to have bucked this trend with readership of sports magazines having increased by 31 per cent from 0.14 million to 0.19 million in 2002. This increase has predominantly come from the non-metros.
Women's magazines in Telugu have grown by 18 per cent in terms of readership both in urban India as well as in the state of Andhra Pradesh. On the other hand, Telugu film magazines have marginally increased by 4 per cent whereas general interest magazines have lost 11 per cent of their reader base in Andhra Pradesh.
Finally, readership of film and entertainment magazines and Tamil women's magazines in the state of Tamil Nadu have declined by 8 and 3 per cent respectively whereas the readership of Tamil news and current affairs and general interest magazines has increased by 9 per cent each. © 2002 agencyfaqs!First Published : August 05, 2002