Hindustan Times, flagship of the HT Media group, outdid every other English daily in IRS 08 R2. The Average Issue Readership (AIR or daily reach) for the Hindustan Times, showed a growth of 2.5 lakh, which is more than double any other English Daily in the latest IRS round.
Significantly this growth has been achieved on the more stringent AIR (or Daily Reach) measure, that is most relevant to advertisers and media planners, as it defines the eyeballs or readership that advertisers get, when they place an ad with the daily.
Hindustan Times saw a simultaneous strengthening of its brand across the two biggest markets –Delhi & NCR and Mumbai.
AIR for HT went up by a robust 1.7 lakh, over the previous IRS round ( 2008 R1), confirming its status as the No. 1 English newspaper of Delhi-NCR. Even in Total Readership (TR), HT grew by 3% while its nearest competitor declined by 8%. Also, demographically, HT at +13% is the only English daily to have shown growth amongst the elusive 20-29 years agegroup.
HT reached a 5.26 lakh AIR (daily reach) by recording a growth of 1.5 lakh, the highest growth by any daily in Mumbai. In TR terms, Hindustan Times grew by 1.58 lakh readers, about three times the total readership increase by the nearest competitor. This success story has been driven by a mix of aggressive product differentiation, an editorial focus to include younger readers, and, especially in the case of Mumbai, a fine-tuning and enhancement of circulation to reach larger numbers and the right reader-groups.
In terms of product differentiation, launch of HT Business and the re-launch of HT City and Café (the entertainment and lifestyle offering in Delhi and Mumbai respectively) have been the most visible structural changes. Equally relevant has been the consistent focus on large editorial campaigns that have had a high impact on significant blocks of readers.
These campaigns, which have ranged from city infrastructure and development, such as The Mumbai Project and Gurgaon Collapsing, to youth issues, such as Hot New Careers and Small Ideas, Big Change, have helped the newspaper build a strong city and youth connect. Such projects have also caught the readers’ imagination by creating a positive impact on their lives and society.
This phenomenal success and significant growth in numbers, is just the start for this iconic brand that turns 85 next year. It reflects a brand that continues to resonate and delight its readers in a truly relevant way – and deliver consistently for its advertisers, who value its high quality readership and ambience.