NEW DELHI: Hindu daily Dainik Jagran tops the list of most-read publications in India, with an average issue readership (AIR) of 15,526,000, while the Times of India is the only English-language paper to make the top ten with an AIR less than half that, according to the latest Indian Readership Survey (IRS).

The Media Research Users Council, which publishes the survey, also announced that the IRS methodology had been overhauled with a shorter interview length and the use of new technology to capture data so that the resulting figures were "much more robust".

Ravi Rao, MRUC chairman, cautioned that the data was not comparable with previous surveys "as this data is unique and very different" and advised comparisons with survey findings due in the next quarter.

The other titles in the top ten included Hindustan, Dainik Bhaskar, Malayala Manorama, Daily Thanthi, Rajasthan Patrika, Amar Ujala, Mathrubhumi and Lokmat.

In the magazine sector, Malayalam fortnightly Vanitha headed the list with an AIR of 2,762,000, followed by the English version of India Today (AIR 1,531,000).

The survey also put the figures in a wider context, noting that TV remained the dominant medium, consumed by 603m, compared to 282m for print (figures for other media were 84m for radio, 51m for the internet and 76m for cinema).

A breakdown of the country's demographic profile revealed that the rich and middle classes were expanding, the AB groups accounting for 26% of the populace and the C1C2s a further 20%.

And while 27% of consumers were illiterate, almost two thirds (63%) had completed school and a further 10% were graduates.

Across the country just 9% owned a PC or laptop, the same proportion as had a washing machine. Two-wheelers were the most widely possessed consumer durable, owned by 23%, followed by refrigerators, owned by 21%.

Firstpost noted that publishers, advertisers and agencies would be grateful to have data for at least one major medium, as TV faced months without any ratings information as new measurement guidelines issued by the government were worked through.

Data sourced from Firstpost, Afaqs!, Campaign India; additional content by Warc staff