Most Sun readers don't visit any news websites, study finds

A new survey has revealed that nearly two-thirds of readers still prefer their news in print and that many don’t go online for news at all.

The tabloids have the highest proportion of print-only readership, according to the research. The study claims that 56 per cent of Sun readers don’t visit any news websites, followed by 52 per cent of Daily Mirror readers, 51 per cent Daily Mail readers and 50 per cent of Daily Express readers.

The panel survey, conducted by market research firm Lightspeed Research, received more than 55,000 online responses this May.

Among online-only news readers, the survey claims that one-fifth of visitors to Guardian Unlimted and Times Online don’t read any printed papers, like 18 per cent of Independent.co.uk and Telegraph.co.uk readers. Just 14 per cent of Sun Online and Mirror.co.uk readers and 11 per cent of Express.co.uk don’t read the print edition at all.

The research suggests that regardless of whether they get their news online or in print, most readers have strong loyalty to their chosen title.

Many online readers also read the same title in print. The Lightspeed survey claims that some 68 per cent of visitors to DailyMail.co.uk and 64 per cent of Sun Online visitors also reading the print editions. The quality titles trailed the tabloids in cross-media readership. The survey says that the site with the lowest print edition loyality was FT.com, which charges a subsription fee for online access. Some 33 per cent of respondents who read FT.com say they read the print title.

‘Our findings suggest that the tabloids are best at maintaining a loyal print reading audience. Perhaps the broadsheets are victims of their own online success, with their web readers getting all the news and comment they need online,” said David Day, chief executive of Lightspeed Europe.

‘As the newspapers invest more in their online presence, publishers and editors need to understand why a reader chooses a particular newspaper, and build on that strength.”

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