IRS 2011: What four quarters show

IN Media Business | 08/03/2012
The IRS 2011 Q4 figures as always record both gains and losses. The Times of India maintains the top spot among English dailies.
INDIRA AKOIJAM reviews the IRS 2011 findings.

The IRS 2011 Q4 figures as always, record both gains and losses. Among Hindi dailies, the Madhya Pradesh edition of Rajasthan Patrika renamed as Patrika showed the steepest rise in its readership by adding 357,000 readers in the fourth quarter of IRS 2011. The newspaper appeared in the top 10 list of Hindi dailies only in the third quarter and it recorded the highest addition of AIR among the other Hindi dailies. On the other hand, Rajasthan Patrika itself recorded a drop in readership over the year, losing 71,000 readers from Q3 to Q4 and 92,000 from Q1 to Q2 which is one of the sharpest declines in Average Issue Readership for a Hindi daily.

The Times of India maintains the top spot among English dailies and showed the sharpest rise in AIR numbers by adding 149,000 readers from Q3 to Q4 and 29,000 from Q1 to Q2. The Economic Times, the only business daily among the top ten English papers, showed the sharpest decline by losing 21,000 readers in both Q4 and Q2 respectively. 

Among regional language dailies, the Marathi daily, Lokmat, registered the sharpest rise in 2011 by adding 130,000 and 109,000 readers in Q4 and Q2 of IRS 2011 respectively. The Bengali daily Ananda Bazar Patrika lost 49,000 readers in Q4 and 55,000 readers in Q2 of IRS 2011, registering the sharpest decline among the language dailies.

As has been the trend over the past five or eight years, Hindi publications dominate the list of all top publications, followed by language papers in Malayalam, Marathi and Tamil. The Times of India is the only English newspaper that figures in the list of top 10 publications in India. Most of the publications have been able to maintain its readership with slight increase in their Average Issue Readership (AIR) numbers. Dainik Jagran, though consistent in maintaining its top spot, lost 48,000 readers in IRS 2011 Q4. Similarly Dainik Bhaskar has lost 2, 74,000 readers in the fourth quarter.  But for Hindustan, it has been a steady growth in all the quarters. There has been an increase of 12,000 readers in IRS 2011 Q4 for the Hindi daily. Language papers continue to grow in their readership figures in the fourth quarter. Malayala Manorama ranks ahead of The Times of India by registering an AIR of 99, 37,000 compared to an AIR of 76, 16,000. Overall, seven of the top 10 publications have seen growth as per IRS 2011 Q4 results.

Among the Hindi dailies, clearly, Dainik Jagran registered the highest AIR of 16,410,000 followed by Dainik Bhaskar with an (Average Issue Readership) AIR of 14,602,000. However, Dainik Bhaskar has lost 274,000 readers during the fourth quarter. Hindustan saw a marginal rise in its AIR at 12,045,000 from 12,033,000 in Q3, by adding 12,000 readers. Other newspapers that registered growth include Amar Ujala by adding 6,000 readers, taking its AIR to 8,842,000 in Q4. On the other hand, Rajasthan Patrika lost 71,000 readers during the quarter taking its AIR down to 6,847,000 in IRS 2011 Q4 from 6,918,000 in Q3. Punjab Kesari saw a marginal hike in AIR at 3330,000 from 3326,000 in Q3. Navbharat Times lost 8,000 readers during the quarter and its AIR stood at 2,573,000 in IRS 2011 Q4. The paper that showed a tremendous growth this quarter is Patrika, which saw a 24.9 per cent hike in its AIR. It  added 357,000 readers during the fourth quarter taking its AIR to 1,787,000 from 1,430,000 in the previous quarter. 

There has been steady growth in most of the English dailies and newspapers, for instance, The Times of India has registered a growth of 2% since the last quarter. The Times of India leads the list with an AIR of 7,616,000, up 2 per cent from the AIR of 7,467,000 in Q3. In Q4, it added 149,000 readers thereby maintaining the top spot among the English dailies. Hindustan Times added 58,000 readers and hence, follows with an AIR of 3,791,000 in this quarter, up from an AIR of 3733,000 in the previous quarter. The paper added 149,000 readers during Q4. Following TOI and HT is The Hindu with a growth of 3.27 per cent with an AIR of 2,240,000 in Q4. The paper added 71,000 readers during the quarter. The Telegraph has seen a marginal growth in AIR from 1,266,000 in IRS 2011 Q3 to 1,273,000 in this quarter. Deccan Chronicle, on the other hand, has lost 60,000 readers during the quarter. The paper’s Q4 AIR stands at 1,034,000, down from 1,094,000 in the previous quarter. The Economic Times is the only English Business daily in the list. It has recorded an AIR of 790,000 in IRS Q4, losing 22,000 readers in the quarter, a decline of 2.7 per cent. DNA and Mumbai Mirror have seen steady growth in AIR numbers throughout the four quarters. DNA’s Q4 AIR stands at 897,000, while Mumbai Mirror has recorded an AIR of 803,000, with a growth of 5.65 per cent, and the highest among the English dailies.

Among the language dailies, six of the top ten language dailies registered growth. Malayala Manorama, by adding 25,000 readers, leads the language dailies’ list with an Average Issue Readership (AIR) of 9,937,000 in IRS 2011 Q4. Similarly, Lokmat added 124,000 readers taking its AIR to 7,562,000 in IRS 2011 Q4. Daily Thanthi, too, has registered a growth in its Q4 AIR at 7,503,000 from 7,447,000 in the previous quarter. Mathrubhumi, ranked fourth among language dailies and has added 36,000 readers during the quarter, registering an AIR of 6,666,000. Sakshi, has also registered growth with an AIR of 5,303,000 in Q4, as against 5,219,000 in the previous quarter. While for Bengali daily, Ananda Bazar Patrika, it is a decline in its AIR at 6,049,000. The paper lost 49,000 readers during the quarter. Eenadu registered a sharp decline with a loss of 110,000 readers during the quarter taking its AIR down from 6,101,000 in Q3 to 5,991,000 in IRS 2011 Q4. And Marathi daily, Daily Sakal has added 127,000 readers since the last quarter. 









Malayala Manorama












Daily Thanthi












Ananda Bazar Patrika
























Gujarat Samachar






Daily Sakal







Interesting trends can be observed in the list of English magazines in the IRS 2011 figures for all quarters. There has been a steady increase for General Knowledge Today, Business Today, and Wisdom. Magazines like India Today, though widely read, are the only magazine that showed a decline in its readership. It lost 25,000 readers in IRS 2011 Q4. 

India Today's current AIR stands at 16.11 lakh compared to 16.33 lakhin the previous quarter, 17.24 lakh in Q2 and 16.50 lakh in Q1 of IRS 2011. Evidently, it registered the highest AIR of  1,724,000 in the second quarter of IRS 2011. General Knowledge Today recorded an AIR of 10.92 lakh this quarter compared to 10.87 in the previous quarter, 9.77 lakh in Q2 and 10.02 lakh in IRS 2011. Reader's Digest has grown by 5.5 percent in the fourth quarter. RD has an AIR of 10.58 lakh against 9.98 lakh in Q3 and Q2 rounds. Competition Success Review grew by 6 per cent this quarter, weekly magazine Outlook has also grown by 10 per cent in IRS Q4 2011. A new magazine, Pratiyogita Darpan features in the list with an AIR of 404,000 in the fourth quarter. Stardust added 18,000 readers in Q4 to bring it's AIR to 4.03 lakh against 3.85 lakh in the IRS Q3 2011.

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