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After INS, Indian magazine fraternity ridicules IRS 2013

MUMBAI: A day after the Indian Newspapers Society (INS) called for pulling the plug on the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) by withdrawing subscription, the Association of Indian Magazines (AIM) has joined the bandwagon against Media Research Users’ Council (MRUC).

On Wednesday,  AIM sent a letter to the MRUC, asking it to ‘immediately withdraw IRS 2013 findings’. As per the association, such ‘faulty’ reporting of readership numbers can have ‘extremely damaging impact’ on business, apart from ‘misleading media planners and advertisers’.

In its letter to the MRUC, the AIM maintained that the latter’s better technology for data capturing, population estimates based on the recent 2011 Census and a similar sample size has thrown up more anomalies than the previous rounds.

It pointed out that newspapers have already highlighted many anomalies and discrepancies, and a closer look has made the association realise how ‘bizarre and unfathomable’ the magazine readership figures are.

AIM said that the new data has 144 magazines clubbed as ‘Other magazines’ and are not reported individually. Out of these, 61 are in English and 24 in Hindi.

Other anomalies that AIM has pointed out include:

  • The only business magazine reported, ‘Business Today’, has a variance of -34 per cent, dropping to 2.64 lakh readers from 4.03 lakh.
  • ‘Readers Digest’, which had a readership of 9.68 lakh earlier, has de-grown to 3.62 lakhs.
  • ‘India Today’, the largest read English magazine, shows a growth to 15.32 lakh from 14.80; however, the increase from the following states makes no logic. In Bihar, it grew from 73,000 to 2 lakh; in Kerala, from 71,000 to 2.68 lakh; and in Uttar Pradesh, from 1.6 lakh to 2.13 lakh.
  • ‘Outlook’ (English) has maintained its readership. While in Bihar its readership has grown three times, it has no readership in Hyderabad.
  • ‘The Week’, with an ABC of 1.9 lakh copies, has dropped to 2.5 lakh readers from 4.2 lakh, or 1.25 readers per copy. Moreover, it has no readers in Ahmedabad, Pune and Kolkata!
  • ‘The SportStar’ has seen an unprecedented growth of 94 per cent going up to 5.43 lakh from 2.8 lakh. It has grown to 1.98 lakh from 17,000 in Kerala; 1.55 lakh from 37,000 in Tamil Nadu; and 65,000 from 6,000 in Uttar Pradesh. However, in West Bengal it has declined to 4,000 from 30,000.
  • ‘Time Magazine’ has seen a phenomenal growth of 145 per cent going up to 2.05 lakh from 83,000.
  • Leading Hindi magazine ‘Meri Saheli’ lost 51 per cent of its readers in this round of IRS

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