NEWS25 August 2009

Rival Indian readership studies to merge

Asia Pacific M&A

INDIA— Rival print media studies the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) and the National Readership Survey (NRS) have been given the go-ahead to merge.

The boards of the National Readership Studies Council (NRSC) and the Media Research User’s Council (MRUC) – producers of the NRS and IRS respectively – approved the plan following favourable recommendations from committees tasked with assessing the proposal.

Two members from each council are to meet over the next month to plot a way forward for the merger. Hormusji Cama, president of the Indian Newspaper Society and a board member of both the NRSC and the MRUC, expects the combined survey to be ready to launch by the end of the year, with the first data due back sometime in 2010.

Speaking to Research, Cama said the merger of the NRS and IRS would be welcomed by both advertisers and publishers. “It is better to have one robust survey than two half-baked surveys,” he said.

The NRS has not been published for three years because of concerns over the data, and funding concerns raised by the economic downturn has strengthened the case for a single survey – a change that some in the industry have been demanding for years.

Nielsen was the contractor for the NRS before its suspension while Hansa Research carried out the IRS. A new tender is likely to be issued later in the year for the combined survey contract.

@RESEARCH LIVE

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