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IRS 2017: Dailies added 11 cr readers in 3 years, DTH/digital TV penetration up at 45%

MUMBAI: The daily newspapers have added 11 crore readers in the past three years to touch 40.7 crore in 2017, according to the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2017 report unveiled by the Readership Studies Council of India (RSCI) and Media Research Users Council (MRUC).

Rural India outpaced Urban India by adding 7 crore readers while the latter has added 4 crore readers.

The last one month readership of the dailies have grown 40% to reach 38.5 crore for All Languages, All India (U+R), 12+ TG. The yesterday readership is almost flat at 17.3 crore.

The dailies have seen growth across languages with Odia, Telugu, Urdu, and Punjabi showing highest growth.

The online readership of newspapers is highest among NCCS A1 at 26%. On an all India level, the online readership is just 4%.

The magazine readership increased by 75% to 7.8 crore in 2017 from 4 crore in 2014. Of the 3.8 crore added on all India bases, urban has added 2.2 crore readers while rural has added 1.7 crore readers.

DTH/ digital TV penetration is up from 26% to 45%. Many markets offer potential for non TV media. Since census 2011 there has been a 14% increase in TV ownership. Tamil Nadu has highest number of TV households while Bihar has the most non-TV homes.

Tamil Nadu has the highest penetration of cable without a set top box. Kerala has a high penetration of cable with a set top box. Punjab and Himachal Pradesh have the highest DTH/Dish penetration.

The penetration of radio on All India basis is 19% while many states have higher penetration. Andhra Pradesh/Telangana and Tamil Nadu have highest penetration of cinema.

Dainik Jagran is the top daily with a readership of 7 crore followed by Hindustan (5.2 crore) and Amar Ujala (4.6 crore).

In English, The Times of India leads with over 1.3 crore readership followed by Hindustan Times with a readership of 68 lakh. The Hindu English comes third with a readership of over 53 lakh.

India Today English and Hindi are the top magazines with a readership of 79.9 lakh and 71.5 lakh respectively. Sarita is the top fortnightly magazine with a readership of 29.5 lakh.

Ananda Bazar Patrika is the leading Bengali daily with 1.27 crore readership. Gujarat Samachar is the leader among Gujarat dailies with 1.17 crore readership. Malayala Manorama leads in Malayalam with 1.59 crore. Eenadu and Dina Thanthi are the Telugu and Tamil dailies with 1.5 crore and 2.3 crore readership. Lokmat is the leading Marathi daily with 1.8 crore readership.

IRS 2017 also noted that two thirds of homes are in rural India. NCCS D/E is fast shrinking. The household ownership of mobiles has crossed 90 per cent. Color TV ownership is 61 per cent. Every third home has a two wheeler. 19.8 crore homes have a gas connection.

The findings of IRS 2017 covers over 600 publications, 71 product categories (at penetration and brand level), covering 28 states and 4 union territories, 95 cities with 5 Lakh+ population, 91 districts and 101 district clusters.

It covered a full year sample of 3,20,000 households – the highest ever in the history of any readership study in the world. The large sample size was backed by a meticulously designed methodology, which saw the use of 100% Dual Screen CAPI followed by a tighter scrutiny process via continuous back checks, accompaniments, use of audio recordings, and third-party field audits.

These enhanced levels of Quality Control deployed by the IRS TechCom has ensured veracity of data capture for all quarters. The robustness of capture of media consumption across all media has been significantly enhanced due to the increased sample size and better representation across all pop strata.

MRUC chairman and DAN chairman and CEO South Asia Ashish Bhasin said, “The support we have received from across constituencies for bringing out this Report was phenomenal and it was very pleasing to see the key stakeholders contributing in many ways to improve the study that has been in existence since more than two decades.”

RSCI Managing Committee Chairman, and IPG Media Brands CEO Shashi Sinha noted, “I’m delighted to share that the findings of the IRS 2017 Report mirrors the market reality in terms of media reach and the performance of individual media channels be it newspapers, magazines and broadcasters. The methodology deployed to capture data quarter-on-quarter was the very best for a study of this scale and kind, and the sheer focus on Quality Control makes this Report a reliable one and a real stand out.”

RSCI Technical Committee chairman and DDB Mudra Group Executive Director NP Sathyamurthy echoed, “The IRS 2017 Report is the outcome of great minds from different streams working together toward a common and shared goal to come out with a research that sets the highest standards globally. Absence of readership data for four years meant that we had to work that much harder and smarter to bring the study back in action and in line with the market truths and expectations.”

NP Sathyamurthy further noted, “From 2016, when we began the fieldwork, up till last month when we completed the validations for all four quarters, the journey wasn’t easy, and had its own special twists and turns. Furthermore, we have strengthened the Report with additions such as TR, readership numbers for 7 days and 3 days and the separate reporting of newspaper variants. IRS 2017 marks a new inning for this trusted Industry study.”

Stakeholders welcome IRS 2017

India Today Group chairman and editor in chief Aroon Purie

“Delighted to see the IRS set global benchmarks in sample size, design, and tight monitoring. Very encouraged to see that the survey reinforces what we’ve 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 2nd to its sibling India today English and Business Today continues to be undisputed no.1 adds to the motivation of the team at 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 consumer seeks clarity in the midst of the information explosion.”

Lokmat Media Group chairman Vijay Darda

“Being the only Marathi publication in the top 10 dailies in India, I am pleased that Lokmat at the 6th position, is the undisputed No 1 publication in Maharashtra with a 72% higher readership than the 2nd Marathi daily. 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 the 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% 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.”

Jagran Prakashan president Apurva Purohit

“The recent figures by IRS are a 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.”