The IOS's 2010 first quarter ABCs are 51 053 which is up from 50 895 for the same period last year. Small growth perhaps but healthy nevertheless with readership sitting quite comfortably on 301 000.
The IOS dominates the Saturday market in KwaZulu-Natal with the emphasis quite positively on a light read - the newspaper's boast being that it is entertaining, informative, sporty and the perfect way to start the weekend.
Popular features of The IOS include the Football on Saturday section, a Personal Finance supplement, a comprehensive 48-hour TV guide which includes a separate sports section, the "then and now" series which highlights old and new photographs of Durban and the Independent Punter supplement.
Editor Clyde Bawden said one of the reasons he is on Lotus FM every weekend is to promote the Independent Football on Saturday section. "We go behind the scenes in English football and also give away soccer jerseys, often of an English club of the winner's choice but recently only Bafana-Bafana jerseys as the World Cup draws ever closer.
"The focus of the short radio programme is to give listeners a taste of what is in the paper with the aim of getting them to buy it! The programme has been running since 2005 and I get some very positive feedback.
"The old and the new picture feature remains popular. At the outset, we hoped it would last for about a year but it is now into its third year and the contributions from readers keep pouring in. It is popular among all age groups - those who can remember how things were, those who have a hazy memory of the past and younger readers fascinated by what the city was like before they came onto the scene," said Bawden.
"We concentrate on lighter content, because we believe that come Saturday, people are focused on being entertained and planning their leisure activities - be it sport, watching TV or going to the movies or theatre. Entertainment and sport are integral parts of the weekend and naturally comprise important ingredients of our mix. However, hard news is also well covered.
"Our main focus is on people and lighter, fun-type, easy to read articles," added Bawden.