Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Interesting trends - NRS 2006

The long awaited National Readership Survey 2006 (Key findings, as published by the Hindu) has finally been released. I always wait for the survey results to find about the interesting change in the trends – especially concerning internet usage, mobiles and newspapers. And trust me, the more you read it, the more it is insightful.

There are some interesting trends this year too.
The Internet as a medium seems to have paused on its growth trajectory. From 7.2 million users who logged in every week last year, the number has grown, though only to 9.4 million. As proportions, these represent 0.9% and 1.2% of India’s 12 years plus population.
What a disappointing country! 1.2% of the population accesses the net. Compare that with USA where 68% of the population accesses the net. Even the world average is somewhere around 10%. We are not clocking a tenth of the world’s average. Talk about being a developed country before 2010!

And, by the way, that explains the low blogging potential that I mentioned in my previous post.
Cinema has, on the surface, declined sharply from 51 million individuals going regularly to the movies (at least once a month) to 39 million. This has been the story for years now.
That’s a massive decline. Have people stopped going to cinema due to piracy? Or lack of good cinema? I’ll never be able to tell because I still go a movie a week!
The time spent reading has remained the same – at 39 minutes daily on an average per day over the last year. But there has been increase in urban India (from 41 to 44 minutes daily) and decrease in rural India (from 36 to 35 minutes daily).
I would love an explanation on what constitutes readership. 44 minutes daily as a urban national average seems too high. Would the common man spend this much time on reading?
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.
Not bad. I thought Hindu, which is my favorite newspaper, was constantly losing readership due to their ultra-conservative positioning – total lack of Page 3, glamour, celebrity, sex, gossip and other masala stuff, that seems to have made other newspapers a hit. Add to that the more recent competition from the likes of Deccan Chronicle. Not a bad performance at all.
Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh dominate the markets with TV reach of 76.2%, 76.2% and 78% respectively. These States also have high penetration of Cable & Satellite i.e. 60%, 53% and 59% respectively.
No wonder those creepy weepy late night soap operas are a major hit with household folks!

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