India Today English, India's most-read magazine, has recorded a remarkable upsurge in readership, adding 11.6 lakh readers in the last one year, according to the latest Indian Readership Survey (IRS). In the first quarter of the calendar year 2019, the readership of the magazine has shot up by 14.5 per cent to 91.52 lakh from 79.92 lakh, beating the country's magazine segment growth of 8 per cent. India Today English even went ahead of the magazine readership growth in the urban India, which is at 13 per cent.
India Today Hindi has come second in the overall magazine readership survey, registering a 7.72 per cent growth and its number of readers has increased to 77.12 lakh from 71.59 lakh a year ago. Media Research Users Council (MRUC), in association with research firm Nielsen India, conducted the survey in 3.24 lakh households, which they claimed that the world's largest sample size, between November 2018 and April 2019. The survey is based on the rolling average of data over a period of time.
Among the general news magazines in English, Outlook has 17.6 lakh readers (up from 15.17 lakh) and The Week has 16.34 lakh readers (up from 13.12 lakh). Ashish Bhasin, Chairman, MRUC and CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network said, "The print story continues to grow with total number of readers increasing to 42.5 crore from 40.7 crore, thanks to rising literacy rates and disposable income. The dailies have added 1.8 crore additional readers since IRS 2017, while magazines added 90 lakh readers." He added that the country has active Internet users of 384 million and it is growing significantly.
According to the survey, Television reaches 77 per cent of the India's population of above 12 years of age, while newspapers 39 per cent and magazine 6 per cent. Other media platforms that have better penetration include radio (20 per cent) and internet (24 per cent). Internet reach is growing faster than any other medium, especially after the roll out of 4G network in the country. It reflected in the online newspaper readership, which increased by 5 per cent in the last one of the survey. The online newspaper readership growth in urban India stood at 9 per cent.
Hindi daily Dainik Jagran is the most read newspaper in the country with a total readership (TR) of 7.37 crore in the last one month of the survey, up from 7 crore a year ago, followed by Dainik Bhaskar (5.14 crore). Average issue readership (AIR) of Dainik Jagran comes to 2 crore while that of Dainik Bhaskar comes to 1.54 crore. For AIR, the interviewee from the sample is asked which newspaper he or she read the previous day. TR is calculated on the question, which newspapers he or she read in the last one month. Times of India is the most read English newspaper with TR of 1.52 crore, while its AIR comes to 56.46 lakh. In the regional newspaper category, Daily Thanthi is the largest in terms of TR, while Malayala Manorama comes first in AIR.
Bhasin said that IRS will come up with quarterly updates now on. "Quarterly release of data will enhance the ability of the IRS to mirror the changing media and marketing landscape of India in a more timely and realistic manner," he said. Vikram Sakhuja, chairman of IRS Technical Committee said that the overall media consumption and print in particular is vibrant and growing in the country.