NRS PADD: Newspapers' combined print and web readership for the first time
The Sun leads the way with the greatest number of combined print and website readers, according to NRS PADD (Print and Digital Data), which has been released for the first time today.
The most-read UK national newspaper has an overall average readership figure of 17.8 million over the month - with a print-only figure of 14.5 million, a web-only total of 1.7 million for thesun.co.uk and 1.6 million people reading both the print version and the website.
The Daily Mail is close behind with a total of 16.4 million - 9.6 million print-only readers; an impressive 4.7 million online-only; and a duplicated audience of 2.2 million. Paul Dacre's Mail brand - incorporating both the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday - reaches around 18.5 million readers. (The Sun on Sunday's print and digital data is expected to feature in the second NRS PADD release).
The Mirror brand and the free title Metro follow, though The Sun and The Daily Mail (and overall Mail brand) are a fair way ahead of other newsbrands.
On the whole, the tabloids and mid-market titles follow the same trend - with higher print readerships and much smaller online audiences, with the exception of the Mail brand.
The qualities, on the other hand, have a much more balanced audience. In some cases the online-only audience makes up the majority of a title's readership. The Guardian, for example, has around 2.5 million print-only readers, 4.9 million online-only readers and 1.5 million people reading both the print version and the website offering.
The debut NRS PADD figures show that national newspaper brands reach 22.2 million UK adults (44%) on a daily basis and 35.5 million UK adults (70%) each week.
According to the NRS, newsbrands reach nearly half (48.2%) of all adult males daily and nearly three-quarters (74.2%) weekly. It also reveals a significant female reach with two in five women (40.1%) daily - and more than two thirds (66.9%) weekly - consuming newsbrand content.
Positively, more than one in three (36.9%) young adults (aged 15 to 24) consume newspaper content on a daily basis, rising to two in three (66.2%) weekly.
On a weekly basis newspaper content is read by 67.5% of adults aged 15 to 34, rising to 68.9% of those aged 35 to 54 years, and 70% daily of those aged 55+ years.
Commenting on the new data, Rufus Olins, CEO of Newsworks, said: "This research explodes a number of myths that surround the newspaper industry. It is great to see that newspapers are reaching a growing audience across all generations, that people are engaging with the content across all platforms - and that it continues to set the nation's agenda.
"You need look no further than Andy Murray's dramatic US Open victory for evidence of this. Murray won in the very early hours of the morning UK time, several hours after newspapers' printed editions were published - yet broadcasters turned to newsbrands' online coverage, images and analysis to review the story. This is a timely illustration of how newsbrands are relied on for their content irrespective of their format."
Last week, Barry McIlheney, chief executive of the PPA, explained to Newsline why he thinks the release of NRS PADD marks a historic moment for the industry.
The data comprises average monthly data taken over a yearly period between April 2011 and March 2012. It does not include users who access national newspaper titles via tablets.
MediaTel.co.uk NRS and UKOM subscribers can download the new NRS PADD data here.