NRS PADD: The Daily Mail closes on The Sun

31 Oct 2012  |  Stuart Corke 

The Daily Mail has closed to within 600,000 readers of The Sun, according to the second release of NRS PADD research that combines the audience for print and online. Last quarter highlighted a 1.4 million gap between the newsbrands.

The first release of NRS PADD was on 12 September and covered the period April 2011 to March 2012 for print measurement and April 2012 for digital (UKOM/Nielsen). The second release covers print measurement a quarter further on - from July 2011 to June 2012 and the month of July 2012 for the digital data.

The most read UK national newsbrand across a month is still The Sun with 17.4 million readers.  Print readership is 15.8 million and 3.3 million for its respective website. However, the Daily Mail is closing the gap on The Sun with a total combined readership of 16.8 million - (a monthly print readership of 11.7 million and 7.4 million web).

The combined audience for the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and MailOnline is now over 19 million. As yet The Sun on Sunday combined readership is yet to be released so a comparison with the Mail titles across the publishing week is unavailable.

Rightly, comparing different NRS data over time comes with all the usual health warnings around sample sizes and what changes are statistically significant. And more so if you analyse periods that overlap.

However, comparing the first release of PADD data with the second throws up some interesting changes.  We will have to wait and see whether these develop into trends or further releases prove that snapshots of comparative data are fraught with difficulties.

The Daily Telegraph's reach has increased by 4.6% - or a net increase of over 400,000 readers. The yearly print figure is down 195,000 but this figure is a comparison on two datasets, with six months common to both.

However, the key change that has moved the overall reach up can be found in the title's online metrics. The Daily Telegraph has seen an increase of 585,000 readers. In April, the audience was 5.4 million and in July this year the site recorded nearly six million readers.

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The Daily Mail and The Guardian have also seen readers increase, driven mainly by their online offerings. The Daily Mail is up 2.4% overall and The Guardian up 2.3%. In July, the websites for both these titles increased their audience - the Daily Mail by 561,000 and 303,000 for The Guardian compared to April this year.

The Sun, on the other hand, has seen its audience decline by 2.2% or 388,000 since the last PADD data. This change is down to print readership claims dropping 282,000 since the year ending 31 March and its online audience remaining fairly static (-29,000) when all the other newsbrand sites increased their audience online.

The different figures available with the PADD data mirror the strategies of each publisher. The Guardian figures, for instance, show that two out of every five of their print readers also read the online version - a proportion way ahead of any other brand - reflecting its 'digital first' strategy.

The Daily Telegraph has 24% of its print audience reading online too and the Daily Mail (with massive growth seen over recent months in traffic audited by ABC) has 19%. As expected, The Times - with its 'paywall' strategy - only has 2.7% of its print readers reading online too.

And then there are those whose online strategy is to have a presence - the Daily Express and Daily Star with one in a hundred of their print readers consuming the online version too.

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The NRS has launched its new app in conjunction with the second NRS PADD report. The new app, which you can download onto your mobile devices directly from the NRS website, will include data from both NRS print and NRS PADD reports.

The new tool allows anyone in the industry, including non-subscribers, to access topline NRS readership data for both online and offline platforms, as well as total net reach for newsbrands.

Mike Ironside, CEO of NRS said: "Following the launch of NRS PADD it was crucial for us to ensure that NRS continues to provide the industry with easy-to-use methods of accessing and using our data. The new mobile and tablet app allows media owners, buyers and planners to have NRS data at their fingertips wherever they are."


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