The NRS readership data was released today and it shows definite patterns emerging in UK readership data. The research covers April 13 to March 14 and combines the traditional face-to-face research to determine the ‘print’ element and comscore data to determine the web portion of the research.
The first item you’ll notice is the proliferation of minuses in the Print +/- column showing the decline in print readership in the past twelve months with the Guardian group falling the most. The rest of the qualities managed to save some face – but only relative to the Guardian fall.
The readership trouble at the Guardian is further compounded by a fall in their web visitors meaning that both channels to readers are in decline. The Mail/Mail on Sunday also suffered a decline in numbers in both print and digital. The Sun’s sharp decline in web traffic is because we are measuring paywall only visitors now as opposed to and non paywall visitors previously.
Interestingly, the numbers migrating to popular newspapers websites is particularly strong. Last time out the Mirror was looking at a brand footprint increase of about 10% when digital was added. This survey they can expect to increase their footprint by 25%+ when the digital element is included.
Digital has suddenly become a force to be reckoned with in the popular market and is a double edged sword. My personal view on this is that capable technology for reading newsbrands online is being adopted at a much faster pace in the popular readers’ strata now as opposed to one and two years ago. It could be the price of technology and a realisation that you can get the papers free every morning! But there’s definitely a move from print to online in the popular market.
The more worrying aspect overall is that combining the print and web traffic, on a daily basis none of the papers have fared better than the year before – all papers bar the Telegraph have lost ‘combined’ readership. The readership losses in print are not being outweighed by gains on their digital platforms meaning that news is being sourced elsewhere (aggregators perhaps) or that some apathy towards news has set in.
The FT was not surveyed this time around. Is this the metric on which they want to be measured – clearly not. They have made great headway with their digital first strategy and perhaps the NRS survey is not the currency they wish to deal in at this point.
|Web||Totai||+ Online||Web||Total||Print +/-||Web +/-||Total|
|The Daily Telegraph||1313||812||2125||61.9||1352||742||2094||-3%||9%||1%|