France: circulation & readership
Half of the French adult population (25.5 of the 51 million) claims to read a daily newspaper. This number has even gone up in the last years, although this might be attributed to a change in research method by Audipresse in 2011.
More than 18 million people read a regional newspaper, 8 million read a national paper while 6 million people read a free daily.
In 2011 free daily 20 Minutes has more than 4 million readers according to the Audipresse 2011 research, followed by free dailies Metro and Direct/Plus. Direct has the highest circulation in France, but only 2.7 readers per copy. Metro (4.0) and 20 Minutes (4.4) do much better.
Winners in readers-per-copy are left-wing daily Liberation (7.9 readers), sports paper L’Equipe (7.3.) and quality paper Le Monde (6.1 readers). Sports papers usually have a high number of readers per copy – with Liberation and Le Monde we are probably dealing with “wishful reading” by respondents.
Because of a change in method, readership results cannot be be compared to previous years, but the differences are striking. Except for L’Equipe (-6%) and Figaro (-2%) all French papers saw readership increase. Free papers saw the largest increase. A rise of 55% for 20 Minutes – the paper increased circulation with 27% – and +49% for Direct/Plus (35% increase in circulation).