SPARR reveals differences in popularity of sections among dailies

Front page readership is very high while sports and edit sections get less readers. These are just a few of the findings that the survey SPARR conducted by Media Users Research Council (MURC) has thrown up for newspapers.

SPARR stands for Sections, Pullouts and Attitudinal Readership Research. The survey was conducted for Mumbai. It came about because publishers and agencies felt the need to understand evolving options for dailies. For example readership of Pullouts, Sub-metro offerings. The survey also went beyond demographics for sensitive reader analysis.

The front page reads range from 82-88 per cent. The Times Of India (TOI) also does well when it comes to city news readership at 80 per cent. Mumbai Samachar is one per cent higher. Mid-day and the Sena mouthpiece Saamna are much lower at 64 and 68 per cent respectively. They also lag behind the other publications when it comes to following the national news with figures of 59 and 60 per cent. TOI‘s figure is the highest at 75 per cent no doubt because its coverage is perceived to be more complete.

Not surprisingly the international news readership for Saamna is a mere 39 per cent. TOI‘s figure has also come down to 63 per cent. Mid-day fares decently here with a figure of 56 per cent. Because its devotes a lot of coverage and analytical pieces to sports the figure goes up to 60 per cent. Only TOI has a higher figure of 65. Most of the others are in the 40‘s.

However Mid-day scored poorly when it came to the Edit section. Only 24 per cent of the readers check it out. For business readership the overall figure falls. It is between 15-42 per cent. The study also noted that for TOI the edit and international pages score higher among SEC A. Also the readership profile is higher at 35-44 years. The teens are not interested. The picture is the same at Loksatta. SEC A is also interested in editorial, sports, business.

Interestingly for the Maharashtra Times the edit section is frequented by SEC C. The Gujarat Samachar readership profile is higher than the other dailies at 45+ years. The Times of India and Gujarat Samachar derive most of their readership from the priviledged consumer segment. This is a proactive consumer with the money and the will to spend.

Besides family dramas and Hindi movies, they also like to watch watch sports and news. They watch films regularly. The average consumer reads TOI, Loksatta and Navakal. Mid-day derives most of its readership from the aspiring consumer. Area wise TOI is well read in the city area and in the western suburbs i.e. Bandra to Dahisar.

As reported earlier by, when it comes to television serials rule the roost. 70 per cent of the females check it out and more importantly the soaps engage half of SEC A. As expected women display little or no inclination for sports where the figure is just one. For men it is much higher at nine. Star Plus scored the highest across the board. For SEC A the figure is 38 while for D, E it is 36. The number of women interested is more than double the number of men 46 as opposed to 20. Star‘s arch rivals Sony and Zee are languishing far behind in the single digits.

Among radio stations Radio Mirchi comes out on top with a figure of 57 followed by Star‘s Radio City at 49. Vivid Bharati‘s share is 34 while Red FM is still further back at 16. Those aged 12-17 tune into Radio Mirchi and Radio City the most. Vivid Bharati has older viewers in the age bracket 46+ tuning in. Coming to the cinema the priviledged and aspirational consumers frequent theatres the most while the constrained consumer tends to ignore it.

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