IRS 2017 has brought regional dailies and magazines into the limelight: Varghese Chandy

The Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2017 data released in January this year reveals print media on a growth trajectory. According to the Survey, dailies added 11 crore readers in the last three years. The dailies’ readership base has also expanded across demographic groups, with maximum growth seen in the 16-19 age group (50 per cent). Meanwhile, the total readership of magazines increased by 75 per cent. 

Dailies have also seen growth across languages, with Odia language dailies registering the highest growth of 83 per cent over IRS 2014 figures. 

Malayalam language dailies have seen a growth of 19 per cent. Malayala Manorama (Daily) is placed eighth among the Top 20 dailies – All Languages, with a total readership of 15,999 [Figs in 000s (12+ Years); Urban+Rural]. In the Regional Languages space, Malayala Manorama is placed third after Daily Thanthi and Lokmat. 

Malayala Manorama leads the Malayalam publications market, followed by Mathrubhumi, Deshabhimani, Madhyamam and Kerala Kaumudi. 

Among the Top 10 Magazines (Regional), as many as 6 Malayalam language publications feature in the list – Vanitha, Mathrubhumi Arogya Masika, Mathrubhumi Thozilvartha, Grihalakshmi, Balarama and Manorama Thozil Veedhi. 

Speaking on the latest IRS 2017 data, Varghese Chandy, Vice President - Marketing, Advertising Sales, Malayala Manorama, said, “Data from the IRS 2017 re-affirms the strength of print and the reach offered by the medium. Moving forward, I see print occupying an even more prominent position in a media plan.” 

“Higher readership will definitely lead to a higher OTS,” he affirmed. 

Chandy further said that the Malayala Manorama group’s content has been constantly evolving to cater the needs of the readers. He added, “The emphasis is on staying in tune with our readers and, therefore, we need to continuously update ourselves with the demographic trends. We believe that if the content is relevant, readership will follow – be it offline or online.” 

While he acknowledged that there had been an overall growth in the young readership base, Chandy noted, “The proportion of our readers of age 29 years and below has stayed almost the same (as IRS 2014) at roughly 36 per cent.” 

Commenting on the 75 per cent growth registered in magazine readership, Chandy said, “The IRS 2017 has brought regional dailies and magazines into the limelight. Multiple studies have brought out the fact that magazines as a medium have the highest reader engagement. With this combination of reach and high reader engagement, I think media planners will look at how best to utilise this medium in a media campaign.”

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