Let us call this magazine W. Now, in the first survey that came out a couple of months ago, W had a readership of around 650K. They promptly proclaimed themselves #1 in their space (albeit by a very small margin) and didn’t give a damn that deeper digging into the results showed that almost three-quarters of their readers didn’t ‘own’ their copies. Anyway, it has to be said that their product is better than what it was earlier, and they had made significant gains. That said, the organizers of the first survey claim that there might have been a sampling error regarding us.
But, the surprise came in the second survey. My publication, which we will call T saw readership quite similar to the first survey, in fact more or less the same, which kinda works. W on the other hand saw the second survey give it a readership of 240K and a third magazine, which I will call I saw readership go from 300K in one survey to 500K in another. Now, these two results made me become very skeptical of surveys, not that I wasn’t earlier. But a 400,000 variation is a bit weird for anyone.
I mean, there are broad trends can be sensed from reading survey numbers – magazines are steady (slightly down), ET is declining even more (which says a lot about the product) and at least one business daily claims to have a circulation higher than its readership in BOTH surveys – now that as someone described was akin to someone shutting their eyes, buying the papers and then cleaning their bums after a shit. Even though, I can pretty much testify from personal experience that newsprint is a very bad substitute for TP.
Anyway, the problem therefore is what can you trust? Which survey can you trust? I mean in
Anyway, at the end of the day, my publication pulls in two-thirds of all the ad-revenue in the segment, so really readership surveys or not, we make a ton of money and as someone said, that is what really matters right now. But, honestly, there needs to be a significant overhul in the way readership surveys are conducted in India, firstly I believe that we should have one independent survey rather than two 'competing' surveys and there also needs to be a major overhaul of the methodology, so that large widespread marketing and advertising campaigns which are timed to coincide with surveys get negated. Anyway, these are just my two little itsy-bitsy paise on the topic.
On another note, traffic has collapsed all over Delhi today, I'm still sitting in office too scared to face the traffic.