The IRS 2010 Q4 topline numbers show decline in most of the top magazines¿ readership. Eight out of top ten magazines have seen decline in the readership. The only ones to have grown are Pratiyogita Darpan and Malayala Manorama.
Malayalam magazine Vanitha with an AIR (Average Issue Readership) of 27,15,000 has maintained its lead in magazines, despite the marginal decline.
Pratiyogita Darpan has grown from 1,906,000 to garner 1,957,000 and has beaten Saras Salil to be the second most read magazine in India.
With an AIR of 1,942,000, Saras Salil has dropped to number three.
English magazine India Today has dropped from an AIR of 1,780,000 to 1,757,000 but stays firm on the number fourth spot.
The weekly magazine Malayala Manorama is the only other magazine in the top 10 to have shown growth from an AIR of 1,276,000 to 1,386,000.
Hindi magazine India Today is on the sixth position and Tamil magazine Kumudam follows.
Hindi magazines Meri Saheli, Grih Shobha and Cricket Samrat, in that order, form the last three of the top 1o order
With more and more regional languages being introduced in competitive exams in various states, ¿Pratiyogita Darpan¿, a general knowledge and current affairs magazine, plans to expand its base in regional language publication. While North and South regions in India are more adaptable to Hindi and English languages, respectively, there is also scope for GK magazines in other regional languages as well. Mahendra Jain, Editor-in-Chief, Pratiyogita Darpan, explained, ¿We mainly focus on students who are preparing for some kind of competitive exams. People who are preparing for professional exams or even for any interview for jobs require general knowledge to get through, and that is why this domain keeps on flourishing without any hindrance. Interviews and exams cannot stop and digital cannot take the place of print for now, as people like to read hard copy of information more than anything else.¿ When asked about the overall market in India for current affairs magazines, Jain replied, ¿North India is a Hindi-dominated market, whereas in the South, most of the students take the science stream and prefer English language. Now, we are planning to get into regional language publishing as well. However, it may take some time.¿ When asked about the effects of the slowdown on the publication, Jain said that there were not much challenges for this domain as entrance exams were the need of the day and would continue to be held. ¿So, it can be said that this particular domain of GK and current affairs magazine is recession-free. Other magazines not in this domain are struggling because the stuff that they carry is mostly covered by TV or newspapers,¿ he noted. ¿Pratiyogita Darpan¿ is a monthly magazine on general knowledge and current affairs and has captured the market with the strategic support of Upkar Prakashan, a publishing house for competition and general books. It carries topics ranging from national and international news/ issues, personality development, interviews of examination toppers, articles/ write-up on topics such as career, economy, history, public administration, geography, polity, social, environment, scientific, legal, etc., solved papers of various examinations, essay and debate contests, quizzes and knowledge testing features every month.