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Will newsbrand digital subscriptions replace newsagent deliveries?

22 Jun 2020  |  Rob Laurence 
Will newsbrand digital subscriptions replace newsagent deliveries?

It was about this time last month when ABC announced that newsbrands would be entitled to either go public with their audit certificates or keep them private. There were mixed industry reactions, but ABC noted that the change was being introduced to “create a balance” in how the national newspapers “tell their story of growth to the market”, in other words, enabling them to factor in their other audiences alongside print sales.

The print industry has been grappling with the challenge of reporting “total audience” figures for some time. The transition from NRS to PAMCo was a major step in addressing this challenge and it probably shouldn’t have come as a surprise when ABC announced that they were evolving as well. The narrative derived from declining ABC figures has been painting an unfair picture of an industry distributing its highly valued content through multiple outlets to maintain and build reach, whether that be free or paid for content. The latest total brand reach figures from PAMCo data clearly demonstrate this point.

Analysis of the latest data from Mediatel’s Connected Screens survey paints a positive outlook for the national press with a distinct upward trend in the number of readers who are prepared to pay for their content through a website. This trend can be seen across all screens measured in the survey, although probably not surprisingly desktop pc dipped slightly last year. The same can be seen for readers choosing to use an app, again with growth reported across all mobile devices.

No doubt the current COVID pandemic has focussed minds on the need to offset the inevitable drop in sales of print copies with an increase in the digital audience. The outbreak has delivered a captive audience, but even before it all started, our indicators were pointing in the right direction for growth. It will not be long before the next wave of Mediatel’s Connected Screens data is released and we will find out how subscriptions have fared.

Mediatel’s Connected Screens survey is exclusively available through Mediatel Connected and is part of the recently launched Consumer Surveys app which also contains data from YouGov Video and Voice, RAJAR Midas, BARB Establishment Survey and Ofcom’s Technology Tracker. For more details, please contact

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05 Aug 2020 

Data from Mediatel Connected
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