Readership declines for daily, Sunday and regional newspapers in NRS data

New figures from the National Readership Survey indicate that six national newspapers have increased their readership in the past year.

The bi-annual survey, which today reports for the 12 months to June, showed that readership had declined markedly for Sunday and big-city regional morning newspapers.

The Daily Mail increased its readership by three per cent in the last 12 months taking its total to an estimate of 5.34m per day, according to the survey. The Sun also saw a three per cent rise with a daily readership estimate of 8.03m.

The Times increased by two per cent, with an estimate of 1.73m while the free national Metro newspaper saw its readership increase by 35 per cent to 3.12m.

Metro, which distributes 1.36m copies in 16 British cities and recently launched an electronic edition, has a higher readership than six national dailies.

According to the NRS figures, Associated’s free London evening paper London Lite is read by more people – just over one million – than its News International rival thelondonpaper, which the NRS puts at 963,000. The NRS figures are contrary to ABC circulation figures which put London Lite at around 400,000 copies day and thelondonpaper on 500,000.

Evening Standard readership was down 16 per cent to an estimate of 623,000.

The Daily Star saw the biggest year-on-year drop with a 13 per cent dip to an estimated average of 1.48m – the equivalent to a loss of 217,000 readers in the last year.

In the Sunday market, only the Mail on Sunday, with a two per cent rise and 5.84m readers, saw an increase.

The Independent on Sunday, The Sunday Times and Sunday Express all saw their readership estimates decline by 10 per cent.

In the regional market, Johnston Press‘s Yorkshire Post took a 28 per cent dip – its estimate has shrunk by 58,000 on last year’s figure and stands at 152,000 – while another Johnston flagship title The Scotsman saw its estimate drop 21 per cent to 187,000. The Aberdeen Press and Journal bucked the trend with a 10 per cent increase.

NRS’s random, continuous survey asks 36,000 people each year what they are reading; year-on-year comparisons are not a measure of actual readership, but of how NRS’s readership estimate has changed.

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