Mahendra Mohan Gupta, director and managing editor, Jagran Prakashan Ltd, is decidedly happy. Dainik Jagran, the flagship Hindi daily from the media house, has displaced archrival Dainik Bhaskar to be the No 1 publication in the universe of 'all-India urban and rural' with a readership of 140.1 lakh, according to the latest figures released by the Indian Readership Survey (IRS). Bhaskar is second with a figure of 134.6 lakh, followed by Malayala Manorama at 93.9 lakh, Daily Thanthi at 87.4 lakh and Eenadu at 80.2 lakh.
Amar Ujala, Mathrubhumi, Dainik Lokmat, Hindustan and The Times of India are the next five dailies in the Top 10 list (urban plus rural) with figures of 75.4 lakh, 73.9 lakh, 68.5 lakh, 63.4 lakh and 60.9 lakh respectively.
Bhaskar however is the leader in the category of 'all-India urban' with a readership of 76.8 lakh, followed by Jagran with 69.4 lakh, The Times of India with 58.3 lakh, Daily Thanthi at 53.6 lakh, Eenadu at 37.2 lakh, Gujarat Samachar with 36.6 lakh, Lokmat 36.5 lakh, Ananda Bazar Patrika 35.5 lakh, Amar Ujala 35.4 lakh, and Punjab Kesari with 33.2 lakh.
Notwithstanding the figures for the urban sector, Gupta of Jagran is categorical when he states, "We have been number one for the last decade or so. But there were moments when we were displaced because we were consolidating."
With 21 editions published out of eight states and "two or three more editions" in the pipeline, Gupta is hopeful that the group can maintain its lead in forthcoming rounds as well. "We have relaunched our editions in Punjab and Madhya Pradesh as well as expanded into Jharkhand. Our initiatives in Punjab and Jharkhand have not reflected in the current round since they were recent efforts. These are bound to reflect in the forthcoming rounds."
Apart from this important shift, the Round 10 of the IRS released yesterday in Mumbai had no major surprises to offer. Print medium, according to Suresh R, chief operating officer, NFO MBL India Ltd, is stagnating while C&S viewership, Internet and radio, precisely private FM, are growing. "Readers in the age-group of 12-34 years are moving away from print," he emphasised.
N P Sathyamurthy, director general, MRUC, also raised a similar point in his presentation citing "increasing infrequent readership and decline in readership among certain target groups including females and the not-working population" as the main areas of concern for the print segment. "Leaving aside Hindi publications, and to a certain extent Marathi and Gujarati publications, all others, including English, show negative figures when Average Issue Readership or AIR is calculated as a percentage of Claimed Readership or CR. This goes to show that there are more casual rather than loyal readers," he highlighted. "Reader per copy or RPC showed a declining trend as well," he added.
The Top 10 television channels as per viewership in the urban plus rural sector is as follows: DD1 - 31.4 per cent, DD Metro - 13.9 per cent, STAR Plus - 7.8 per cent, Sony - 5.5 per cent, ZEE TV - 4.7 per cent, ETV - 4.5 per cent, SUN TV - 4.5 per cent, Gemini TV - 4.4 per cent, ZEE Cinema - 3.5 per cent and Aaj Tak - 3.3 per cent.
STAR Plus, Sony and ZEE showed good viewership in the urban sector owing to high C&S penetration. DD1 stood at 39.4 per cent, DD Metro 19.5 per cent, STAR Plus, 25.1 per cent, Sony 17.4 per cent, ZEE TV 14.8 per cent, ETV 5.6 per cent, SUN TV 9.1 per cent, Gemini TV 5.8 per cent, ZEE Cinema 10.9 per cent and Aaj Tak 10.4 per cent.
The impact of private FM can be gauged from the fact that the percentile figure in the urban sector for the medium stands at 7.9, while the awareness of Internet in the urban sector is predictably high with a figure of 37.1 per cent. Usage of Internet, however, stands at 2.8 per cent only.
Meanwhile, putting all speculation to rest, Jenny Abraham, managing director, NFO MBL, the field research agency for the Indian Readership Survey, issued a statement indicating that her agency would cease to be associated with the study in the forthcoming rounds. She said, "The largeness and complexity of doing a survey of this magnitude does not justify the return on investment or ROI, which is not commensurate with the effort and resources put in. The parting is sad, and we will continue to provide support to MRUC and IRS clients towards the seamless transition to Round 11."
Her parting words notwithstanding, Abraham has a final message: "Raise the pricing at which the report is made available to clients". This, would no doubt, ring a bell with MR agencies negotiating with MRUC (read Hansa Research Group) for the forthcoming rounds. © 2003 agencyfaqs!