UK free readership increases

In the last National Readership Survey (NRS) all three major UK free titles increased their readership compared to previous periods. (click on picture for better view)

Metro had less than 2 million readers three years ago, but saw this increase to 3.2 million now. Compared to the whole year 2007 the increase was 20% in readership.

In London, Associated’s London Lite leads with 1.1 million readers before thelondonpaper (News International) with 989,000 readers. London Lite increased its readership with 28% compared to 2007, thelondonpaper gained 22%.

An average Metro is read by 2.4 people, London Lite even has 2.6 readers per copy while thelondonpaper has 2 readers for every copy distributed.

7 Responses to “UK free readership increases”

  1. Andreas Says:

    If I am right, the overall readership increased despite a drop in circulation, right? Although I am not sure how to interpret the numbers, especially the net and gross stats. Maybe you like to explain it ;-)

    Also interesting: The obvious difference in time spent reading the papers. While the free ones are mainly read up to 15 minutes (Metro 67%, Lite and Londonpaper 77 %), the paid-for papers are consumed considerably longer. Probably, because there is more content and the people tend to read more when they have paid something.

    Do you know, whether the difference between Metro and the free evening papers can be explained with the page count/content? Or could it be related to the fact, that a) many people grab both evening papers and therefore don’t spend too much time on each one or b) most news are not new because you already read them online while on work?

  2. Andreas Says:

    By the way: The average time spent reading a weekday paper was 40 minutes in 2007 – astonishing long compared to other countries (e.g. in Germany it is about 30 minutes) and given the fact that the free papers certainly lower the average!

  3. Piet Bakker Says:

    Metro increased circulation in 2007 substantially – but not in 2008, London Lite and thelondonpaper had a slightly higher circulation in 2008 compared to the previous year. Both of them, however, tweaked circulation: moving to other areas.

    Readers per copy, however, went up for all titles: for Metro from 2 to 2.4, for London Lite from 2.1 to 2.6 and for thelondonpaper from 1.7 to 2.0 (2007-2008). These are all rough estimates as the periods overlap. But the trend is there: more readers per copy, some of it because of better circulation, but also because brands build up in my view.

    The reading-time could be more related to the time people have than to content. Metro, for instance often has more than 50 pages. You would expect the reading time in the evening shorter, as people are more tired, and most of them have already checked news online.

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