51.2 million C&S homes in India: IRS 2006

The Media Research Users Council (MRUC) has released the topline findings of the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2006 (Round 16). The study, conducted for the period July 2005 to June 2006, covers 4,686 towns and villages across the country and involves a sample size of 250,357 individuals.

The survey notes that the number of C&S homes has increased from 49.1 million in in the previous R15 (January 2005 to December 2005) survey to 51.2 million in the latest R16 one. The total number of TV homes in India has grown from 90 million to 91.9 million. The total TV viewing audience in the country meanwhile, has grown from 430.7 million to 437.8 million.

As has been the trend in the recent past, the IRS numbers are far more conservative than those thrown up by the National Readership Studies Council‘s (NRSC) findings of the National readership Survey (NRS) 2006. According to the NRS 2006 findings (released in end-August 2006), the number of C&S homes has increased from 61 million in 2005 to 68 million this year. NRS 2006 showed that there are 112 million TV homes in India compared with 108 million last year.

Avg Time TV 108 92
Avg Time Radio 80 70
Avg Time press 31 29
Avg Time Internet 58 68
All Media – Av time spent 132 119

If there is one common thread running through the IRS findings, it is that the explosion in media offerings is leading to increasing casualness in consumption and therefore a concommitemt reduction in stickiness. Viewers are cutting back on time and frequency in consumption.

There is an overall dispersion in media consumption. More media is being consumed, but time spent has gone down. This is fairly consistent with the changes in urban lifestyles where traveling, socialising, maintenance all eat into leisure time.

Key Trends in Audience Dispersion

*More media is being consumed

*It is being consumed more casually than before

*With lesser frequency

*And lesser time being devoted

This is the case with both TV and Print. Both are experiencing a churn in their relationship with media consumers. On the one hand, there is an explosion in media vehicles, both TV and Print. On the other hand, audiences have really got busy and are compromising on media consumption - in terms of time as well as frequency. They are sharing time across media.

What this is resulting in is that regular viewers are giving way to occasional viewers. The number of channels watched yesterday increased to 2.2 suggesting higher surfing. While on the other hand, a decline in the number of channels watched in the last one week just suggests further fragmentation.


*Declining stickiness

*Polarisation in frequency of viewing

*Overall time spent - a downward trend

*Audience skew towards lower time slabs


10 Lakhs=1 million

News & Current Affairs is the fastest growing genre on TV. At 31 per cent reach in the population, it has the highest penetration by genre.

While News and CA audiences have grown at a faster pace, dailies have grown much more in terms of size - 55 million vs 51 million.


Explosion in media offerings Vs In-elastic Time

Media proliferation has provided more consumption opportunities. But the consumer is time-constrained. He is cutting back on consumption within the medium, as reflected in the lowering of duplication. But is adding on another medium, as reflected in the increased inter-media duplication.

He is also cutting back on time and frequency. And clearly moving towards casualness in consumption.

Impact of TV on Print - Medium is not the message



Quality news and information available more than before through means other than newspapers

Consumption of news not restricted to newspapers alone

TV and Internet serve the news-seekers immediacy

While TV News channels provide specific styles

Internet is a on-demand medium

DD1 (National Network)
Star Plus
Dainik Jagran
Aaj Tak
DD News
Zee Cinema
Sun TV
Sony TV
Gemini TV
Zee TV
Dainik Bhaskar
Amar Ujala
All figs in Millions

Channels – Last 1 week

Dailies - Claimed Reach

The great news here for all news media owners is that this increased appetite for news is fuelling readership growth as well so it is not as if TV is eating into print but that both are growing and expanding.

Readership has grown in absolute numbers, led by Dailies

*But the AIR Reach has reached a plateau:

*Regular reading giving way to casual reading

*Decline in average number of titles read and a gravitation towards reading a single title, within a language & periodicity

*All this leading to decline at vehicle-level readership, but keeping the AIR constant at an aggregate level

Dainik Jagran has the highest readership in the country with 18.19 million readers, followed by Dainik Bhaskar with 13.48 million readers.

Among English newspapers, The Times of India leads with 6.92 million readers, followed by hindustan times with 3.5 million. As before, The Times of India is the only English daily among the top 10 publications.

In conclusion, the challenge in front of media is to reassemble and deliver to advertisers a mass audience for news, not in one place but across different geographies, different genres and different platforms.

Click below for bigger picture

Snapshot of population SEC changes Household penetration of ent. durables
Exposure to various media Press reach by age Top 10 dailies
Top 10 language dailies Top 10 English dailies Top 10 TV channels Tuned
Top 10 watched channels Top 10 GEC/ lifestyle channels Variations in Press Reach
Top 10 radio channels Top 10 movies channels Top 10 music channels

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