The Times of India remains the dominant market leader among English dailies with its total readership of over 1.73 crore, almost equal to the combined readership of the three biggest dailies outside the Times Group – The Hindu, Hindustan Times and The Indian Express. This has emerged from the just released Indian Readership Survey for the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019.
The data shows that while readership of all English dailies rose by 5.9 lakh over the previous quarter, this was mainly driven by a 3.6 lakh-rise in the readership of the TOI main paper. The share of group publications (The Economic Times and Mirrors besides TOI) among English dailies continued to grow to reach 52.6%.
The all-India dominance is also reflected in the country’s largest cities. In almost every case, the TOI main paper has either consolidated its leadership and widened the gap with its closest rival or, in the few cities where it is not the leader, it has narrowed the gap with the leader. In Delhi and its satellite cities, TOI’s lead of 92,000 readers in the third quarter has widened massively to 2.9 lakh readers in Q4.
In Mumbai, the paper’s readership has increased by 1.2 lakh to 28.9 lakh, giving it a clear 8.5 lakh more than HT’s 20.4 lakh. In Bengaluru, the lead over Deccan Herald, which was 6.6 lakh just a quarter ago, has now reached 7.3 lakh.
No real competition for TOI in Ahmedabad, Pune, Lucknow
TOI’s readership of 13.6 lakh in India’s Silicon Valley is over twice as large as Deccan Herald’s 6.3 lakh. Indeed, the closest rival to TOI in Bangalore now is Bangalore Mirror, a group publication.In Pune and Ahmedabad, TOI has had no real competition for quite some time now and that remains the case. In Jaipur and Lucknow too, TOI has no rivals to speak of. In Kolkata, TOI gained 7% readers and narrowed the gap between itself and The Telegraph from 81,000 readers to 48,000 over just this one quarter.
In Chennai too, while TOI continues to lead over The Hindu readers on average issue readership, the gap with The Hindu on total readership has also reduced by 4,000 readers during Q4, while in Hyderabad, Deccan Chronicle’s lead was cut by 6,000 readers over this period.