Print medium is still a very strong force to reckon with: Publishers on IRS 2017 findings

The Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2017 Report released yesterday (January 18, 2018), reveals that newspapers have added 11 crore readers in the last three years. Magazines reported a 75 per cent growth in their total readership during this period. 

Among the Top 20 dailies, Dainik Jagran has topped the list reported a total readership of 703,777,000, while Hindustan follows with a total readership of 52,397,000. 

The Times of India leads among the Top 10 English dailies with a total readership of 13,047,000. Hindustan Times is placed second with a total readership of 6,847,000. 

Tamil newspaper Daily Thanthi leads amongst the regional dailies, recording a total readership of 23,149,000. Marathi daily Lokmat has garnered a total readership of 18,066,000. 

Coming after a hiatus of around four years, the IRS 2017 Report covered a full year sample of 320,000 households – the highest ever in the history of any readership study in the world. 

Commenting on the release of the report, Aroon Purie, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of India Today Group, said, “I am delighted to see the IRS set global benchmarks in sample size, design and tight monitoring. It is very encouraging to see that the survey reinforces what we have always believed in. The magazines are far more relevant now than in the preceding years and the age of the discerning media consumer has returned. To have India Today as the most read magazine is very satisfying. To top it, India Today Hindi is a close second to its sibling, India Today English, and Business Today continues to be the undisputed No. 1 adds to the motivation of the team at the India Today Group. It makes me happy and validates my belief that good editorial works. The cross media comparison really helps us gauge the real headroom for each of the brands and there is every reason to believe that the print medium is still a very strong force to reckon with. Increasingly more relevant as consumers seek clarity in the midst of the information explosion.” 

For Apurva Purohit, President, Jagran Prakashan, the IRS 2017 are testimony to the fact that print media is not only relevant but also thriving in a fragmented market like India. “As the numbers have shown, the contribution of language media has been tremendous in the growth being experienced by the print industry in India and busts the myth around print being dead. We believe in keeping the reader at the heart of every business decision and this, in turn, has contributed immensely towards our stupendous success across languages. This strengthens our belief in the power of print and we will strive to work towards striking the right balance between print and digital to be able to cater to the audience at large,” he said. 

“Being the only Marathi publication in the top 10 dailies in India, I am pleased that Lokmat at the 6th position and is the undisputed No. 1 publication in Maharashtra with a 72 per cent higher readership than the second Marathi daily,” remarked Vijay Darda, Chairman Lokmat Media Group. He further said that IRS 2017, with its robust systems and improved methodology, has reaffirmed what advertisers and readers have always believed about Lokmat’s leadership. “Regional publications will pave the way for growth of New Bharat and rural readership has grown significantly, contributing to a higher pie in the overall readership and growth of print in India. Overall, 40 per cent growth in print is so heartening and it clearly shows readers only believe in true journalism. I take this opportunity to congratulate Team Lokmat for believing in themselves and thank all our readers, advertisers and partners for their trust and continued support,” Darda added. 

“Thanks to this report, we will actually be able to charge the right price as well as get the better share of the overall media pie between television, digital and print. It also gives us a good starting point for other additional work areas, for example, the readership of digital publication from publishers is 5 per cent that gives us a huge area for additional working in the areas of digital and to grow the ad revenues. Overall, it’s very good. Individually, I think some publishers will be happy, but at the same time some will have a little bit of concern,” remarked Pradeep Dwivedi, CEO, Sakal Media Group

According to George Sebestian, Senior General Manager, Marketing, Mathrubhumi Group, the IRS 2017 report is an improvement in terms of methodology. He added, “I am not talking about the numbers. We have not been able to understand it yet. For instance, they should have also shared the average issue. Secondly, if there has been a 40 per cent growth in readership, where is it? I did not understand, but overall I would say it’s a feel-good exercise because in terms of methodology and field work, the checks that have been incorporated into the whole survey have been a definite improvement over the years.”







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