UK Readership – NRS Jan-Dec 2013NRS

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It’s infinitely easier to amalgamate some of the data that’s appeared of late in one block. They all have a close association to each other, all hail from the UK and therefore it’s as well to marshal them all together. The data relates to the latest quarter of the NRS readership survey and the recent eABC certificates for the UK nationals.

The readership survey appeared on Wednesday and it shows what everybody knows that print is in decline and web was on the up. The print research side is a face to face interview and the web portion comes from comScore data from September 2013.

Some of the web increases look excellent, on the face of it, but many of the substantial gains come from a very low base in the first place. The FT, from the comScore data, shows that web visits are down 25% on the previous six months. But I’d suggest we look at the reality here in that the FT is a behind a paywall and currently has 343,000 subscribers (paying $5 per week) which is up 14% on the previous year (FT accounts 2013).

The Guardian didn’t manage to increase its online numbers in the six months, unlike the Mail which increased its online readership by 8% and to maintain it #1 status, 888,000 in front of the Guardian and growing. The Mirror managed a respectable 11% increase possibly in the back of the Sun’s decline of 79% driven by its retirement behind a paywall in August.


NRS Survey – Online Readership Daily – UK Only

12 Months To : Dec-13 Jun-13 +/-
  Website Website Change
  000s 000s %
Financial Times* 68 90 -25%
The Daily Telegraph* 808 815 -1%
The Daily Telegraph/Sun Telegraph* 808 815 -1%
The Guardian 1390 1391 0%
The Guardian/The Observer 1390 1391 0%
The Independent/i 402 331 21%
Independent/The Ind on Sunday/i 402 331 21%
The Times* 50 38 31%
The Times/The Sunday Times* 59 48 23%
Daily Express 156 60 160%
Daily Express/Sunday Express 156 60 160%
Daily Mail 2278 2110 8%
Daily Mail/The Mail on Sunday 2278 2110 8%
Daily Mirror 534 480 11%
Daily Mirror/Sunday Mirror 534 480 11%
Daily /Sunday Mirror/Sunday People 534 480 11%
Daily Star 76 35 116%
Daily Star/Star Sunday  76 35 116%
The Sun* 149 717 -79%
The Sun/The Sun on Sunday* 149 717 -79%
* Paywall      


In terms of print, The Sun & Sunday Sun are still the most read newsbrands followed by The Mail and The Mirror groups of papers. All of the papers in the print table are showing declines over the six months with in or around a 4% drop being the norm.

The contribution that the web makes to a newsbrand’s overall readership figure varied dramatically and can run anything from a 119% increase in the case of the Guardian to 2% in the case of The Sun. In general the tabloids don’t get such an uplift from the web, although the Mirror has made some strides in that department and the dividend is a 16% increase in readership for the Web.

In the NRS data was also a few stats on some of the regional titles who participate in the survey. In the main the regional’s add +20% to their readership from online. Perhaps it’s an idea that the flagging regionals in Ireland should adopt.

  NRS Survey – Newspaper Readership Daily – UK Only

12 Months To : Dec-13 Jun-13 +/-
  Print Print Change
  000s 000s %
Financial Times 296 305 -3%
The Daily Telegraph 1312 1348 -3%
Daily Telegraph/Sunday Telegraph 1381 1415 -2%
The Guardian 890 935 -5%
The Guardian/The Observer 963 1005 -4%
The Independent/i 929 397 134%
Independent/The Ind on Sunday/i 956 931 3%
The Times 1240 1261 -2%
The Times/The Sunday Times 1514 1534 -1%
Daily Express 1114 1123 -1%
Daily Express/Sunday Express 1186 1216 -2%
Daily Mail 4269 4298 -1%
Daily Mail/The Mail on Sunday 4537 4580 -1%
Daily Mirror 2639 2775 -5%
Daily Mirror/Sunday Mirror 2800 2949 -5%
Daily/Sunday Mirror/Sunday People 2885 3035 -5%
Daily Star 1158 1211 -4%
Daily Star/Daily Star Sunday  1201 1244 -3%
The Sun 6123 6435 -5%
The Sun/The Sun (Sunday) 6379 6729 -5%


The final part is somewhat inconclusive as the data provided by each of the publishers varies dramatically. There is very little uniformity in their ABC certification and conclusions, therefore, are not definitive.

But looking at the traffic for some of the publishers they provide us with some extra data pertaining to mobile traffic. Again, depending on the publication, we get different results. In the case of the Guardian they get 30% of their web traffic via ‘mobile’, whereas in the Mirror Group it accounts for 43% of their web traffic. From other sources the Telegraph is about 30% mobile and the FT is 50%.

But then there is further division in that some of that mobile traffic comes through the ‘app’ and some simply your website viewed on a mobile device (sim and non-sim). App Traffic accounts for varies 5% of the Mirror’s total mobile traffic and 16% of the Guardian’s, which is all pretty poor given all the emphasis publishers placed on apps.

The way forward is to build websites, responsive ones and ones that till facilitate a variety of browsers.    MailOnline     Mirror Group     
Unique Browsers  5,000,952 11,768,620 %l  2,449,876
Page Impressions  19,551,483   156,254,407      
Mobile Traffic 1,438,912 28.77%   n/a  1,066,349 43.53%
iPhone App            
App Unique Browsers  71,442 1.43% 540,039 4.59% 39,959 1.63%
App Page Impressions  1,179,392   74,075,641      
Android App            
App Unique Browsers  152,432 3.05% 334,843 2.85% 17,372 0.71%
App Page Impressions  1,861,834   29,040,015      
App Total Unique Browsers  223,874 4.48% 874,882 7.43%  57,331 2.34%
App Total Page Impressions  3,041,226   103,115,656      

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