The revamped Dinakaran clocked a five-fold growth in readership during March-May 2006 after it underwent a makeover with a new tagline, "Oru Pudhiya Anubavam (A New Experience)," in February and cut its price from Rs 3 to Re 1.
According to the National Readership Study 2006, Dinakaran's readership has grown to 96,39,000 in 2006, compared with 14,85,000 in 2005. All India, the daily has moved to the eighth position in 2006 from 39th in 2005.
The other two top Tamil dailies - Daily Thanthi and Dinamalar - have also reported decent growth in readership during 2006.
While Daily Thanthi's readership grew by 10 per cent to 10,389,000 from 9,445,000 in 2005, Dinamalar reported growth of 23 per cent, going up to 5,977,000 from 4,877,000 in 2005.
V Kathir, editor-in-chief, Dinakaran, attributed the growth to a combination of factors, though, he said, the Re 1 pricing strategy was a key factor. The market was expanding, and there was a slot in it for the third player.
Besides, Dinamani, another Tamil daily, was steadily on the decline. "Pricing helped us penetrate the market in a big way, and we gained an unexpected reach very quickly," he said.
The attractive entry price of Re 1 seems to have worked well for the dailies in Tamil Nadu. Deccan Chronicle also launched its edition in Chennai with a Re 1 price tag. However, it increased the price to Rs 1.50 recently.
Kathir claimed that Dinakaran's circulation had reached 1.5 million in April, while its circulation was estimated at about 300,000 copies prior to February.
The newspaper had to revamp its strategy to attract more advertisements. It was also required to reduce its losses, and hence increased the price to Rs 2 a couple of months ago.
However, Dinakaran, which has nine editions, has not been considered by the Audit Bureau of Circulation for its statistics.
According to ABC figures, Daily Thanthi, with 13 editions in Tamil Nadu and an edition in Bangalore, has the largest circulation in Tamil Nadu, with 817,000 copies in the July-December 2005 period.
The ABC said Dinamalar had posted 3.5 per cent growth over the last six months to reach 590,000 copies, with 10 editions in the state.