Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006
Marketing - Marketing Research
Industry & Economy - Radio/TV
Dailies add 12.6 m readers: NRS
Satellite TV has grown considerably in reach, while cinema has declined
Chennai , Aug. 29
The Hindu has taken the second spot among the most read English dailies with 4.05 million readers, pushing Hindustan Times to third spot with an estimated readership of 3.85 million, says the National Readership Survey 2006 (NRS 2006).
The National Readership Studies Council, which released the findings of NRS 2006, has The Times of India as the most read English daily with 7.4 million readers. While HT added 3.6 lakh new readers in Mumbai, it lost readership across the Hindi belt, says the study. The battle for readers is also hotting up among Hindi newspapers. There are now two dailies that have captured more than two crore readers - Dainik Jagran (with 2.12 crore) and Dainik Bhaskar (2.10 crore). The gap between the two papers has reduced from 38 lakh readers to two lakh readers this year, says the study.
With an additional 7 million readers over last year, the reach of the press medium comprising dailies and magazines has increased from 206 million to 222 million over last year, according to the NRS. Dailies continue to grow, adding 12.6 million readers from last year to reach 203.6 million while there has been a drop of 7.1 million magazine readers.
As a proportion however, press reach has stabilised in urban India at 45 per cent. Press reach in rural India has also stayed at the same at 19 per cent albeit on a much larger population base. The number of readers in rural India (110 million) is now roughly equal to that in urban India (112 million).
Elaborating on reading habits, the study says the time spent reading has remained the same - at 39 minutes daily on an average per day over the last year. But there has been an increase in urban India (from 41 to 44 minutes daily) and decrease in rural India (from 36 to 35 minutes daily).
Literacy as measured in the NRS has risen from 69.9 per cent to 71.1 per cent over the last year. The rate of growth has been marginally lower in urban areas (84.4 per cent to 85.3 per cent) than in rural areas (63.6 per cent to 64.8 per cent). One would expect this to boost the market for the press medium, says the study.
Resurgence of radio
Satellite TV has grown considerably in reach - from 207 million individuals watching in an average week in 2005 to as many as 230 million individuals in 2006 - further expanding its lead over the number of readers.
Radio is one medium that has shown considerable resurgence. Its reach has increased from 23 per cent to 27 per cent of the population listening to any station in the average week.
Radio FM has driven this explosion in reach - from 76 million individuals listening in an average week in 2005 to as many as 119 million individuals in 2006 - a 55 per cent increase over last year.
Cinema has, on the surface, declined sharply from 51 million individuals going regularly to the movies (at least once a month) to 39 million. However, the cinema audience seems to have been reversed in urban India - from 23 million regular theatre-goers last year NRS now estimates there are 25 million.
The Internet as a medium seems to have paused on its growth trajectory, says the NRS. From 7.2 million users who logged in every week last year, the number has grown, though only to 9.4 million. These represent 0.9 per cent and 1.2 per cent of India's 12 years plus population. However, urban India has shown faster growth in Internet reach - from 2.3 per cent to 3.4 per cent.
Mobile phones must now be given their due place as media. Reach of this medium - as measured by the proportion of the population accessing value-added-features (VAS) at least once a week - has grown from 1.1 per cent last year to 2.7 per cent translating to nearly 22 million individuals.
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