Internet boosts readers for newspapers
Ian Burrell is Assistant Editor and Media Editor at The Independent, i paper and Independent on Sunday. He covers news from the whole media sector from television, press, radio and advertising to technology. His weekly column on the media appears every Monday in The Independent and i paper. He also writes on media, music and culture, including long-form pieces for The Independent’s Saturday magazine and the Independent on Sunday’s magazine, New Review. He is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s What The Papers Say and a specialist commentator to Monocle 24 radio. He has contributed to most major broadcast outlets including BBC television and radio, CNN, Sky News, Al Jazeera and LBC. He has also written on media for GQ magazine. Ian has been reporting on the media industry for The Independent for more than a decade. Previously he was the newspaper’s Home Affairs Editor. He worked at The Sunday Times for five years, including as a member of the investigative Insight team, covering stories on political funding, industrial espionage and the arms industry. Previously he worked in ITV for London Weekend Television, on a weekly current affairs programme presented by Danny Baker. Ian trained at the Birmingham Post & Mail and was Regional Reporter of the Year in Press Gazette’s national awards.
Wednesday 12 September 2012
Far from being the ruin of newspapers, the internet revolution has increased the number of readers of the British press and taken them upmarket, with quality papers now matching tabloid audiences.
Research for the National Readership Survey, combining print and online audiences of publications into a single audience for the first time, shows that websites from what was once known as the "broadsheet" press are outperforming those of red-tops. Both have total print and online monthly UK audiences of about 36.5 million.
The findings also reveal the collapse of The Times's online traffic since News International introduced a paywall strategy in July 2010. The Times website, which requires readers to subscribe, has a monthly UK audience of 295,000 users, rising to 497,000 when the Sunday Times site is included, but still a tiny fraction of its rivals.
Despite this, the rest of the quality sector has grown immensely thanks to the internet. More people now read The Guardian online than buy the newspaper, with the online audience adding 119 per cent to the monthly readership. The Daily Telegraph's audience has grown by 97.5 per cent with the addition of its website readers and The Independent's by 70.2 per cent.
Websites increased the total UK audience of the quality press by 49 per cent by bringing in readers that do not read the print products.
The figures also showed that young people are heavily engaged with newspaper brands. The NRS found that 38 per cent of 15-34 year-olds look at a paper in print or online every day.
News International said its strategy was based on increasing revenues from a smaller base of users.
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