Local newsbrands reach more than 40m adults on a monthly basis, according to new research.
The new audience data measurement system Jicreg True Local, which launched today, found that 40.6m people read regional print and digital titles every month.
Its research also found that mobile boosted local media audiences by 94 per cent with 10m young people reading regional titles on their devices every month.
The audience figures are calculated by audience research firm RSMB using audited circulation, Pamco and Comscore data.
Its audience data is “deduplicated”, meaning readers who access a local title in print and on mobile are not counted twice.
An open letter from regional publishers to advertisers was also published to coincide with the Jicreg True Local launch.
Simon Edgley, chairman of the regional media trade group Local Media Works, said: “Jicreg True Local demonstrates not only the local sector’s commitment to robust and transparent audience measurement, but also that our overall audiences are growing significantly and more consumers are engaging with their local news brands than ever before.
“It is now time for advertisers and agencies re-examine their ad-spend to reassess their relationship with trusted local media platforms.”
The letter backed by Reach, Newsquest and other regional publishers, claimed that “no other medium” offered ad buyers “the combination of scale, precise geographic targeting, and a highly trusted brand safe environment” than local media.
It also said: “We firmly believe that you should have the benefit of a robust, transparent audience currency which shows the full power of local media. And we know that data is invaluable to you too.”
Stephen Allan, chairman of marketing and advertising firm Mediacom Worldwide, has also welcomed the launch of the new audience measure, saying in an op-ed that it had already shown “compelling evidence about the scale of the [regional news] sector”.
He went on: “While we spend much of our time looking at the global digital platforms, it’s important that advertisers and agencies don’t lose sight of the power that local media holds.
“I welcome the launch of Jicreg True Local and hope that it will be a catalyst for both agencies and advertisers to reassess their relationship with local media.”
The launch of the new audience data body comes a week after advertising agency Group M forecast that newsbrands and magazines would take home less than 10 per cent of UK ad spending this year.
Its forecast predicted that newsbrands (national and regional) and magazines (consumer and B2B) would only see a combined 9.3 per cent share of the market.
That decline was also predicted to carry through to next year.