Newspaper readers in Mumbai prefer sports news to business, while the front page is surer to get more eyeballs than any other section in a daily, points out SPARR, short for Sections, Pullouts and Attitudinal Readership Research, conducted by Media Research Users Council (MRUC) and presented in Mumbai earlier this week. The front page readership of the 11 dailies that qualified for the study in Mumbai ranged between 82-88 per cent, while that of the business section was the lowest at 15-42 per cent.
The survey, which aimed to go "beyond demographics for sensitive reader analysis to facilitate more informed selling and buying", was conducted between July and August 2003 in Mumbai with a sample size of 1,920 (12-plus years, all SECs). The 11 dailies surveyed included The Times Of India, Loksatta (Marathi), Maharashtra Times (Marathi), Mid Day, Gujarat Samachar (Gujarati), Saamana (Marathi), Lokmat (Marathi), Mumbai Samachar (Gujarati/English), Indian Express, The Economic Times and Sakal (Marathi), with 50 pullouts included in the purview of the study. MRUC is expected to release a study on FM Radio in the first quarter of next year.
The pecking order, in terms of readership, for the various sections in a daily stands like this. While the front page stands at the top of the heap, city news readership ranges between 64 to 81 per cent, national news is consumed by 59-75 per cent, international news by 39-66 per cent, sports news attracts anywhere between 43 and 65 per cent, while the much-respected editorial section stands at 24-46 per cent. Business news, as is obvious, stands at the tail end with the lowest readership among all.
Explaining the implications, NP Sathyamurthy, director general, MRUC, says, "While one should not aim to generalise within a particular language (English, Marathi, Gujarati), the advance level of insights here seek to explain the nuances of readership across various demographic indicators, such as age, sex and their combinations. These insights would be potential tools in the hands of publishers, media planners and buyers." Adds Ashok Das, chief operating officer, Hansa Research Group, the agency that did the fieldwork for SPARR, "The topping of the psychographics dimension makes this study a unique and invaluable one."
SPARR unravels the readership patterns in individual newspapers as well. In the case of The Times Of India, for example, the international and edit pages score higher among the SEC A audience, while the business section is a hit among the 35-44-year age group, with markedly lower interest demonstrated by the 12-19 year olds in the edit or business sections. Mid Day, on its turn, has higher interest for SEC A readers, with the 25-34-year age group lapping up a whole host of its sections, such as, city news, national, sports, international and the classifieds sections.
Among language dailies, while Gujarat Samachar is a big draw among the SEC A readers in the 45-years-plus age group, Mumbai Samachar, in sharp contrast, has some interest for SEC A, with the bulk of its readership coming from the below-40 age group.
In a parallel of sorts among Marathi dailies, Lokmat scores high among SEC B 35-years-plus readers, while Maharashtra Times gets bulk of its readership from the 25-34-year age group with a high interest among SEC C sections for its editorials and classifieds.
As SPARR promises to unravel the psychographics and lifestyles of readers in a never-before format, the Delhi leg of the survey is nearing completion with the release expected sometime in early 2004. © 2003 agencyfaqs!