With all the data we received yesterday, we nearly overlooked the readership data via the JNRS. It’s unfortunate (or otherwise) that they use the release date for the Island of Ireland report to also release the findings of the readership survey. 

The survey is conducted face to face with 7,000 adults annually and questions them on their newspaper reading habits, both the physical product and online. It’s counterpart in the UK (NRS) takes a slightly different approach to the digital element in that they use comScore data to assess the online numbers.

The survey showed that just over 3m people read a newspaper (or newsbrand) every day. 2.8m read the physical product and 490,000 read a paper online. The Sunday Independent and the Sunday World top the readership list with 962, 000 and 740,000 respectively although the SI adds 69,000 from digital and the SW only11,000. 

In the mornings it’s the Irish Independent (666,000) and the Irish Times (385,000) that take first and second with the latter adding 30% with digital. Out of all the tabloids the Daily Mirror performs relatively the best adding 4% with digital – but they have made an effort on that front. 

The figures in the table are with some small additions worth mentioning. Just to explain the notation in the table below. P=Print Readership; D=Digital Readership; P+D=the combined total for Print and Digital (including overlap); D+=the extra readership a brand gets from the digital readership and Over=is an estimation of the numbers of people (%) who physically read and view digitally the same a publication in a day (i.e. buys the Independent and also reads it online in a day). 

I have a few grievances with these figures as they are at variance with figures elsewhere. And in some cases figures for which I’d run with quicker than those from a face to face interview. 

The figures would be much smaller than those produced by comScore last year – their figures showing a much higher readership online for many titles. But, I would add that they (comScore) gather information in different ways so some anomalies are bound to appear. But, we’ll allow that one.

But on a more serious note: In August last year the independent.ie produced an eABC certificate for independent.ie, only. The ABC verified that, on average, the independent.ie had 354,140 unique browsers every day. This JNRS survey concludes that 130,000 people read the Independent on line every day and 69,000 on Sunday - it still falls way short of the ABC figure.   

Honestly, if I had to pick a number I’d opt for a web logfile any day and an ABC audit any day. The audited traffic is close to two times greater than the current JNRS data (combining the daily and Sunday), but yet no one as alluded to this. Which version of events are we to believe?

So, with that in mind.. The main points are:

  • There are big differences in the uplift a paper gets when the digital readership is included.
  • The Irish Times gets a big life at 30%+ and the Independent 20%.
  • The Tabloids don’t get a look in, effectively tabloids don’t do digital and that bodes badly for them.
  • In general the Sundays are more the physical product than a digital one.

Paper P+D '000 P+D % P '000 P % D '000 D % D+ Over
Any Newspaper 3016 83.9 2896 80.6 490 13.6 16.20% 12.30%
Any Daily 2235 62.2 2047 57 401 11.2 17.90% 9.50%
Any Sunday 2144 59.7 2101 58.5 135 3.8 6.30% 4.30%
Daily Titles                
Irish Independent 666 18.5 572 15.9 130 3.6 19.50% 5.40%
The Irish Times 385 10.7 314 8.7 120 3.3 31.20% 12.70%
Irish Examiner 229 6.4 215 6 20 0.5 8.70% 2.60%
Irish Daily Star 353 9.8 349 9.7 5 0.1 1.40% 0.30%
Irish Daily Mirror 262 7.3 255 7.1 11 0.3 4.20% 1.50%
Irish Sun (Mon-Sat) 349 9.7 344 9.6 13 0.4 3.70% 2.30%
Irish Daily Mail 229 6.4 203 5.6 32 0.9 14.00% 2.60%
The Herald 303 8.4 299 8.3 5 0.1 1.70% 0.30%
Sunday Titles                
Sunday Independent 962 26.8 924 25.7 69 1.9 7.20% 3.20%
Sunday World 740 20.6 736 20.5 11 0.3 1.50% 0.90%
Sunday Business Post 143 4 135 3.8 14 0.4 9.80% 4.20%
The Sunday Times 411 11.4 387 10.8 40 1.1 9.70% 3.90%
Irish Sunday Mirror 162 4.5 160 4.5 3 0.1 1.90% 0.60%
Irish Mail on Sunday 359 10 353 9.8 12 0.3 3.30% 1.70%
Irish Sun (Sunday) 268 7.5 266 7.4 9 0.3 3.40% 2.60%