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Online Figures Boost Newspaper Readership

The Irish Daily Mail and the Irish Farmers Journal were the only two newspaper titles to buck the trend of declining circulation figures in the Irish market according to the latest batch of ABC figures.

In the cut-throat daily market, the Irish Daily Mail managed to add one new sale to hold steady at 50,054 copies a day in the period between July and December 2013. In the case of the Irish Farmers Journal, a 0.55% increase in circulation saw its average weekly sales hit 70,496 during the same period. Overall, however, the daily market was down by a total of 36,065 copies, a 6.3% decline on a year-on-year basis although on a period-on-period basis the decline was a more modest 3.17%.

The overall figures for the daily market show that it declined by 36,065, a 6.3 % year-on-year drop.

It was a case of year-on-year decreases for most titles, ranging from 4.6% for the Herald to 8.7% for the Irish Daily Star. In the case of the Irish Times, it ended the year down 6,297 copies to 82,059, a drop of  7.13% while the Irish Independent was down by 5.34% to 117,361 making it the largest circulated daily newspaper in Ireland. Elsewhere the Irish Examiner was down by 6.4% to 37,099 while the Irish Sun  was down 8.6% to 63,535.

The Sunday market saw a 53,000 decline overall meaning that 812,285 papers are sold every Sunday, a 6.1% year-on-year decline. The largest selling title, the Sunday Independent, was down by 3.29% to 229,382 copies while its popular stablemate, the Sunday World saw a 4.08% decline to end the period at 208,281 copies. The Sunday Business Post was down 12.9% year-on-year to 34,322 while the Sunday Times was down by 8% to 92,643. Elsewhere, the Irish Mail on Sunday was down 5.92% to 102,717 while the Irish Sunday Mirror .

The latest batch of JNRS figures, however, add a bit more gloss to newspaper consumption habits and reflect the growing importance of online to the different news brands in the marketplace. While newspapers may have lost print readers, it would appear that they are moving online to consume their content.  Published yesterday, the JNRS figures, which are compiled by Millward Brown, show that 84% of all adults read a newspaper, either online or in print, every day. The JNRS survey also shows that online daily readership of NNI member websites rose by 40,000 or 9%. The figures also show that 14% of the population, or 490,000 people, read or accessed a newspaper title online either yesterday in the case of daily titles or during the past week in the case of the Sunday titles.

“This is the first JNRS report that allows for comparison of online readership figures with a previous report and thus, it provides evidence of emerging trends.  It is very positive, but not surprising, to see that online readership is growing at such a healthy pace. Our members have invested heavily in digital media and we believe that readership will continue to grow well in this area,” said Frank Cullen, Co-ordinating Director of National Newspapers of Ireland (NNI).

Note: A full report and analysis on the latest ABC and JNRS figures will appear in the next issue of IMJ.

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