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Daily Titles Make Bounce Back in JNRS

Readership of Daily Newspapers 2012

No of Readers
Irish Independent 521,000 (+44,000)
Irish Times 321,000 (+11,000)
Irish Examiner 189,000  (+8,000)
Irish Daily Mail 184,000  (+ 39,000)
Irish Daily Star 360,000 (- 13,000)
The Irish Sun 306,000  (+ 31,000)
The Irish Mirror 223,000 (+ 9,000)
Evening Herald 250,000  (+ 16,000)

Readership of Sunday Newspapers 2012

Sunday Independent 905,000 (-34,000)
Sunday World 801,000 (-18,000)
Sunday Times 380,000 (-6,000)
Irish Mail on Sunday 371,000 (-1,000)
Irish Sunday Mirror 195,000 (+ 12,000)


The latest batch of figures from the JNRS for 2012, show that most daily newspapers boosted their readership figures while the cut-throat Sunday market continued to be difficult.

The biggest winners in the daily market were the Irish Independent and the Irish Daily Mail, both of which gained 44,000 and 39,000 readers respectively. The Irish Times, meanwhile, gained 11,000 readers ending the year with 321,000, a 4% increase.

Elsewhere the Irish Examiner gained 8,000 readers while the Irish Sun and the Irish Mirror were up 31,000 and 9,000 readers respectively. The only daily to shed readers was the Irish Daily Star which ended the year with 360,000 readers, a decline of 13,000 on the previous year.

In the Sunday market, however, the only titles to gain readers over the period were the Irish Mail on Sunday and the Irish Sunday Mirror. The Irish Mail on Sunday ended the year with 184,000 readers, an increase of 39,000 while the Irish Mirror finished up with 195,000 readers, an increase of 12,000.

Even though the Sunday Independent lost 34,000 readers to end up on 905,000, it still remains the biggest selling newspaper in the Irish market. It’s sister in the IN&M stable, the Sunday World holds on to the number 2 slot with 801,000 readers, a drop of 18,000.

For its part, the Sunday Times ended up with 380,000 readers a drop of 6,000 while the Sunday Business Post shed 14,000 readers or 9% to end the period with 140,000 readers.

However, Millward Brown Lansdowne, which conducts the research for the JNRS notes that the current report is a “transitional report” as the survey methodology was changed during 2012 and that direct comparisons with the figures for 2011 may not accurately reflect readership trends.

The JNRS report also noted that 81% of the adult population now reads a newspaper. Some 54%  or 1.9m read a daily title while 60% or 2.15m read a Sunday title.

Commenting on the latest JNRS report, Claire Butterly of media agency OMD says that the challenges facing newspapers in Ireland are still significant, despite the gains recorded in the daily sector.

“According to the latest JNRS report, the difference in total daily press readership between 2011 and 2012 is statistically insignificant. This is big news; in the previous 3 years the decline was considerable, with the proportion of adults reading a paper every day falling from 87.3% to 80.7%,”she says.

“Since that 2009 high, there has been a marked change in the profile of  newspaper readers. At that time, 43% of ‘everyday’ readers were aged 45 or over. This figure is now 48%, and this fact has serious short and long term implications for the newspaper industry. In the short term, the changing profile of readers means that for many advertisers, newspapers are simply no longer relevant for their audience. In the longer term, the issue is the recruitment of new readers and the survival of the industry as a whole. Still, the market will no doubt welcome this stabilisation as good news, even if it does prove to be only a short term reprieve,” adds Butterly.

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