Global market research giant Hansa Research revealed the latest Indian Readership Survey (IRS) for Q1 2012. The survey noted that while Radio and Cinema consumption decreased 4.2%, the Indian consumer’s appetite for Internet and Cable & Satellite (C&S) grew by 47.3% and 12.4% respectively on a compound annual growth rate basis since Q3 2011.
Growth: Literacy & Media Consumption – 2012 Q1
Top 10 English Dailies in India
There was little change in the rankings for top English dailies as Sahu Jain family owned The Times of India retained its number one spot with more than 76.5 lakh readers. In fact, TOI added more than 36,000 readers in Q1 2012 as compared to Q4 2011. The International Federation of Audit Bureax of Circulations has put TOI as the world’s largest circulating English daily, followed by The Sun in UK.
(AIR numbers; All figures in ‘000)
With 38.05 lakh readers and ranking second, HT Media publication Hindustan Times (HT) had less than half of TOI’s readership. HT’s Editorial Director is Shobhana Bhartia who was recently ranked amongst the top Indian woman CEO’s by ET. With support from loyal readers from TN, The Hindu was ranked third with 22.33 lakh readers nationwide. Interestingly, in 1995 The Hindu became India’s first newspaper to offer readers an online version of its daily.
Top 10 Dailies in India
IRS also noted that Indians are still loyal to their local language publications. India’s highest circulating daily Dainik Jagran’s readership remained stable with more than 1.64 crore readers. Ranking second was Dainik Bhaskar with 1.45 crore readers, followed by Hindustan with 1.2 crore readers.
(AIR numbers; All figures in ‘000)
What the TOI / HT reading Indian may not realize is that a significant chunk of print readership is for Hindi language dailies. For example, Dainik Bhaskar alone boasts of a readership that is more than the combined readership volume of the top 3 English dailies in India – The Times of India, Hindustan Times and The Hindu.
Magazine Readership in India
Readership for the top English magazines in India remained almost constant, with marginal movements. India Today grabbed top spot with a readership of 16.1 lakh followed by 10.86 and 10.43 lakh for General Knowledge Today and Readers Digest respectively. Reader Digest is published in India under license by none other than the India Today group.
Readership for English magazines is not even near to the strong footprint of local language and Hindi magazines in India. Vanitha, a Malayalam magazines controls a readership of more than 24.44 lakh, nearly 52% more than India Today. Hindi Magazines Pratiyogita Darpan and SamanyaGyan Darpan control a readership of 18.93 and 16.44 lakh respectively. They are often used by students preparing for the civil services exam. Figures from the IRS survey reveal that the total readership of Vanitha, Pratiyogita Darpan and SamanyaGyan Darpan is nearly 60% more than the top 3 English magazines in India.
The viewership for print media in Hindi and local languages is far more than English. However the IRS also reveals a spike in the consumption for Internet based media. Back in Q3 2011 we had discussed a Juxt market research survey signaling a 27% increase in internet users in India. By end of 2011, ET reported that there were more than 100 million internet users in India and similar growth trends were expected in 2012 and 2013.
It will be interesting to see how India Inc’s turning attention towards online content affects circulation of print media.
But for now, even in the day when newspapers are being tagged as ‘obsolete’ in western countries, print publications still command a thriving readership in India.
Download IRS Q1 2012 full pdf