In a strongly-worded letter, AIM has urged MRUC to immediately withdraw IRS 2013 as “such faulty reporting of readership numbers can have extremely damaging impact on business, apart from misleading media planners and advertisers”
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | February 5, 2014
Strengthening the newspapers’ move to withdraw from IRS 2013, the Association of Indian Magazines (AIM) has also called upon MRUC to withdraw the IRS 2013 data. In a letter sent to MRUC, AIM has urged MRUC to immediately withdraw IRS 2013 as “such faulty reporting of readership numbers can have extremely damaging impact on business, apart from misleading media planners and advertisers”.
AIM’s strongly-worded letter to MRUC states that IRS 2013, which claimed to have used “better technology for data capturing, population estimates based on the recent 2011 Census and a similar sample size, had thrown up more anomalies than the previous rounds. While newspapers have pointed out many such discrepancies in the last few days, a closer look makes us realise how bizarre and unfathomable the magazine readership figures are”.
The letter states that to begin with, 144 magazines have not been reported individually and have been clubbed as ‘Other magazines’, of which 61 are in English and 24 in Hindi.
- The only business magazine reported, Business Today, has a variance of -34%, dropping to 2.64 lakh readers from 4.03 lakh. Business Today had been consistently growing in the previous few rounds of IRS
- It is absurd that 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:
- Bihar (from 73,000 to 2 lakhs)
- Kerala (from 71,000 to 2.68 lakh)
- UP (from 1.6 lakh to 2.13 lakh)
- Though Outlook (English) has maintained its readership, in Bihar its readership has grown three times, but it has no readership in Hyderabad!
- The Week, which has an ABC of 1.9 lakh copies, has dropped to 2.5 lakh readers from 4.2 lakh. That gives it 1.25 readers per copy! Further, The Week has no readers in Ahmedabad, Pune and Kolkata
- Junior Vikatan has seen 82% of its readers evaporating, having fallen to 54,000 from 3.05 lakh
- Naanayam Vikatan, which had a decent 51,000 readership as per its niche category of Personal Finance, has lost all its readers!
- Chuti Vikatan, children’s magazine from the same group, has climbed 80% to beat India Today (Tamil)!
- The SportStar has seen an unprecedented growth of 94% going up to 5.43 lakh from 2.8 lakh. Also, interestingly, The SportStar has grown to 1.98 lkh from 17,000 in Kerala, 1.55 lakh from 37,000 in Tamil Nadu, and 65,000 from 6,000 in UP. And in West Bengal, the land of sports enthusiasts, The SportStar has declined to 4,000 from 30,000
- Time Magazine has seen a phenomenal growth of 145% going up to 2.05 lakh from 83,000. Quite an incomprehendable increase for a niche international magazine in such a short span.
- Meri Saheli, the leading Hindi magazine, has lost 51% of its readers in this round of IRS
It may be recalled that Indian Newspaper Society had yesterday issued an advisory to its members to withdraw from IRS after MRUC turned down its demand to withdraw IRS 2013. Now, with a similar demand from Association of Indian Magazines, the magazine publishers are also on the verge of opting out of IRS.