UK NRS Data September 2016

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It’s a bit much in terms of data, but none the less very interesting given the happenings across the pond over the last twelve months. The UK NRS readership data was released this week giving a plethora of data across various media where publications are available.

It’s worth pointing out that the categories are not exclusive: print is not print only. A person answering that the saw a print edition of a paper may also have seen it via a PC or mobile/tablet. And the same applies across all categories.

I’ve concentrated on print but want to pause at the overall market briefly. Every month, the newsbrands under the microscope here reach 49m people across all media in the UK and this year, mirroring markets elsewhere, mobile is the dominant medium. More people use their mobiles/tablets to access newsbrands than print whereas last year the reverse was true showing a definite shift in tastes.

[tables don’t really like the ‘responsive web’! They refuse to conform – these tables just wont fit into a sensible screen size so you can download them here as a pdf]

 Total Print PC Mobile
 Sep-16Sep-15ChCh Sep-16Sep-15ChCh Sep-16Sep-15ChCh Sep-16Sep-15ChCh
Market49,36448,7326321% 41,39342,335-942-2% 16,21417,581-1,367-8% 36,45933,4003,0599%
Newsbrands47,70446,8328722% 34,62635,680-1,054-3% 14,63516,153-1,518-9% 36,28833,0913,19710%
Magazines37,78238,016-234-1% 30,37731,675-1,298-4% 8,3409,054-714-8% 16,00214,6431,3599%

Readership of newsbrands has risen whereas the readership of magazines has fallen marginally (there were fewer magazines surveyed in 2016 which might have a small influence on the overall figure in terms of robustness). Print readership and PC readership declined and mobile increased but in the case of the magazines not enough to cover the losses elsewhere.

A raging question (in my own head anyway): do magazines make the ‘whole’ transition to online. What people dismiss outwardly as dis-likeable in a print magazine may, in fact, be an integral part of the reading experience. The ‘intrusive’ advertising for example, which they pause and look at for example – is it actually intrusive or part of the experience? (at £28,000 for a run of paper FPA in Vogue UK – publishers pray you pause and have a look!).

 Total Print PC Mobile/Tablet
 Sep-16Sep-15ChCh Sep-16Sep-15ChCh Sep-16Sep-15ChCh Sep-16Sep-15ChCh
Daily Mail29,26326,8332,4309% 10,06810,320-252-2% 7,4188,808-1,390-16% 20,43716,9103,52721%
Guardian26,19723,0803,11714% 4,0373,9301073% 6,9728,922-1,950-22% 21,83916,5055,33432%
Daily Mirror24,96922,9512,0189% 5,9026,122-220-4% 4,3744,575-201-4% 19,25616,0673,18920%
The Sun24,02213,02610,99684% 10,66111,531-870-8% 2,0771,09098791% 16,5441,64014,904909%
Daily Telegraph22,22322,926-703-3% 3,8193,840-21-1% 6,7408,031-1,291-16% 16,60016,0975033%
Metro17,63916,8777625% 10,58210,488941% 1,5172,068-551-27% 9,3747,7531,62121%
independent.co.uk16,94017,190-250-1% 02,196-2,196-100% 4,2114,666-455-10% 14,56912,8811,68813%
Daily Express12,03311,1808538% 2,7242,793-69-2% 3,1042,39870629% 7,6467,0236239%
Evening Standard11,0128,9672,04523% 4,9865,267-281-5% 1,5301,443876% 7,0694,0812,98873%
Daily Star6,3625,61874413% 2,5692,608-39-1% 1,06978428536% 3,3832,65872527%
Times5,7634,90785617% 4,3784,399-210% 662316346109% 1,487517970188%
Daily Record4,5613,83572619% 1,2301,168625% 588677-89-13% 3,6502,65199938%
The Scotsman1,3021,698-396-23% 336355-19-5% 412581-169-29% 729994-265-27%

The UK nationals had mixed fortunes. The Sun made the biggest strides adding 85% to its total footprint. But they did tear down the paywall in December 2015 and the survey relates to readership between October ’16 and September 16 and comscore data from September 2016. So the year on year comparisons is slightly skewed in its case.

It dropped 870k from its print readership figure but more than compensated through a 1.4m increase in their mobile readership and 987k in the PC figure.

However, many of the 870k that got out of the print reading habit would have been paying customers (and the same would be true of all print publications). So let’s hope that they can monetize the increased readership from PC/Mobile to the same value as the forgone circulation revenue (doubtful).

The Independent is the other big mover but that as well can be explained away. Over the survey period they ceased the printed product and moved completely to digital which accounts for the digital gains.

The brand with the biggest footprint is the Daily Mail reaching 29m people every month. This is followed by the Guardian at 26m and the Daily Mirror at 24m.