Media Research Users Council India (MRUC India) has released the last and final quarter – Q4 of IRS 2019, which states that even as the internet continues its surge, Newspaper readership is on a slow decline and is a trend seen across Hindi, English and Regional languages. There are more number of internet users (Last 1 month) in rural now than urban, and Radio listenership is growing, and TV viewing too is showing growth even on a very big base. (Only, MRUC doesn’t answer questions that beggar a reply – How does a readership survey measure listenership and viewership of Radio and TV respectively. The measurement of TV viewing is best left to BARC India, and Radio to TAM [with the backing of the Radio industry once better days arrive after the Radio operators receive the government support and backing they truly deserve]).
Other important points from the IRS executive summary: It’s a rapidly evolving media landscape with multi-media adoption seen across consumer strata. There is a better NCCS profile and growth in electrification across country. More gas stoves and toilets – indicating better living standards in rural. The education parameters are improving – lowering of illiteracy and a rise in the number of graduates in the country. Most important – consumers are better equipped, more connected and more informed.
The IRS 2019Q4, remember, is a rolling average of four quarters of IRS 2019 data i.e. Q1+Q2+Q3 and Q4 2019, the fieldwork (Q4) of which covers from December 2019 through March 2020. The sample size of IRS 2019 is 3.27L Households across India out of which urban sample size is 2.14L Households and rural is 1.13L Households. IRS 2019Q4 is the full year report covering four quarters of a continuous and uninterrupted IRS 2019 fieldwork.
The IRS report says the Media landscape is rapidly evolving with multi-media adoption seen across consumer strata. Overall Media reach continues to grow even as the consumption of each media remains more or less stable, with internet making a noteworthy exception by leading this growth curve, particularly in rural India.
Among other highlights from IRS 2019Q4 data – Electrification in India has surged, premium durable ownership in households have increased and so has individual’s online shopping and smart phone ownership across both urban and rural India
Pratap Pawar, Chairman of MRUC India and Chairman of Sakal Media, said, “We have successfully completed and released all four quarters of IRS 2019 data. I thank our Board of Governors and IRS Technical Committee for their unwavering commitment and their resolve in providing the industry with a robust, reliable and timely research study.”
Vikram Sakhuja, IRS Technical Committee Chairman and Group CEO Madison Media & OOH, Madison World, said, “With 4 Quarters of 2019 data now complete we are reporting a complete year’s picture. Earlier quarters had also included some part of 2017 data.
“A few trends are emerging. Internet penetration has increased substantially and is now mainstream along with TV and Print; NCCS D&E are reducing quarter on quarter faster than HH socio economic status thereby suggesting the need to Relook at the NCCS definition; ability to read and understand English has increased and while overall Print Readership is holding, daily readership has started showing signs of decline,” Sakhuja said.