NRS PADD: Mobile delivering huge readership gains for newsbrands
In its first period reporting without print, the now online-only Independent has seen an increase in readership, the latest figures from PAMCo reveal.
The ESI-owned title abandoned print at the start of the year after record circulation declines, but has since witnessed its readership grow to more than 21 million - a boost of 2.3m. The growth is largely driven by mobile, which now accounts for 18.2m.
Like most titles, however, the substantial boost to readership is almost certainly due to coverage of the EU referendum - making the next quarter a key milestone for the digital-only experiment (post-Brexit ABC circulation figures already show a sales slide across the market).
The Guardian also did well during the July 2015 - June 2016 period - again, largely down to Brexit, but also perhaps by mopping-up some stray Indy print readers.
The title has a total print and digital audience of 27.6m (net) - a boost of 3.4m. Mobile is the chief driver at 22.5m, followed by desktop at almost 9m and print at a little over 4m.
In contrast, News UK titles The Times and the Sun have much smaller digital audiences, with both continuing to retain a loyal print following.
With a combined print and digital readership of just over 5.2m, 4.5m Times readers come from print. However, its online paywall model means it is able to monetise its digital audience more effectively. It certainly failed to experience the same Brexit-effect seen elsewhere in the market.
Similarly, almost 11m people read a printed copy of the Sun - more than any other newsbrand - with PC and mobile readers accounting for 2.1m and 3.2 million, respectively.
Freebie Metro bucks all trends and has a similar audience in both print and mobile - 10.6m and 10.4m, respectively. The title has updated its mobile and tablet app in June to help improve user experience while offering advertisers more to play with.
The Daily Mail remains the most popular newsbrand (30.6m, net) with a strong audience across all platforms: print (10.2m), PC (8.6m) and mobile (21.5m).
Elsewhere in the market, the Daily Telegraph made further gains and took its total print and digital readership to almost 27m (again, driven by mobile), while the Daily Mirror was up to 25.1m - driven by mobile, but still with 6m print readers.
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Correction: This article was updated on Wednesday 24th August at 16:30. The original stated in the copy that the Sun had 14.2m print readers. This has been changed to 'almost 11m'.