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Dailies add 12.6 million readers: NRS
Chennai, August 29: There is a robust growth in print media, the National Readership Study 2006 released today says. Following are some of the highlights issued by 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. It must be remembered that this refers only to mainstream magazines. A host of niche titles that continue to be launched regularly are not fielded and their collective readership estimate is outside the purview of the study.
Over the last 3 years the number of readers of dailies and magazines put together among those aged 12 years and above has grown from 216 mn to 222 mn – a growth of almost 3 per cent over last year.
There is still significant scope for growth, as 359 million people who can read and understand any language do not read any publication. Of this 359 million, 68 per cent read Hindi. It is not just affordability that is a constraint, since 20 million of these literate non-readers belong to the upscale SEC A and B segments.
The Hindi belt has been witness to intense activity from large dailies and is an indicator of the general growth in the vernacular dailies segment. To elaborate, vernacular dailies have grown from 191.0 million readers to 203.6 million while English dailies have stagnated at around 21 million.
Magazines overall show a decline in the reader base, both in urban and rural India. The reach of magazines has declined from 75 mn in 2005 to 68 mn in 2006. Magazines have lost 12 per cent of their reach since 2005.
The battle heats up in English & Hindi Dailies arena
There are now two dailies that have captured more than 2 crore readers – Dainik Jagran (with 2.12 crores) and Dainik Bhaskar (with 2.10 crores). The gap between Dainik Jagran & Danik Bhaskar has reduced from 38 lakh readers to 2 lakh readers this year.
The Times of India is the most read English Daily with 7.4 mn readers, but The Hindu has taken the second spot with 4.05 mn readers, pushing Hindustan Times, to the third spot with an estimated readership of 3.85 mn. Though Hindustan Times adding 3.6 lakh new readers in Mumbai, it has but lost readership across the Hindi belt.
Today the average urban adult spends 44 minutes per day reading dailies and magazines. The average reading time used to be 41 minutes.