It is true that despite holding a nationwide popularity ‘The Hindu’ is not acknowledged as much as other equally popular newspapers.
For beginners, entertainment is the bomb that sells in the prevailing arena even if it accounts print media. The newspapers like Times of India and Hindustan Times; which are known to have acquired a brand name are no longer a source of spreading the quality news to the nation. They reside by the anthem of "selling masala over the news." The Hindu strictly complies by the opposite. More than selling masala, The Hindu believes in presenting news in the rawest nature without getting influenced by any external sources. Other than that it is not Bollywood-friendly. You can rarely witness news about celebrities breaking up, another nose job, cat fights or movies earning crores published in the newspaper. It sells information without compromising on the quality of the report. Saying that, it is one of the factors that influence the readership of The Hindu.
The another reason is the difficulty of the language the people face. Despite having a large number of an English-speaking population the vocabulary of the people in our country is not wide. The newspaper doesn't compromise with the quality of English as compared to the other newspapers. Most of the times it is difficult to decode the headlines. The vocabulary used is extremely hard which is also the reason of having less readership.
Coming to the third and the most important point: revenue generation. The Hindu outcomes as one of those newspapers which are less focused on revenue generation. It might seem like a foolish move, but The Hindu believes in selling quality instead of quantity. It rarely invests on the advertisements section, especially in North India.
The last factor influencing its readership is that The Hindu is a newspaper published in Chennai; it mostly focuses on South-Indian news hence is not preferred across the country as compared to other dailies.