Why categorising people by which papers they read might not be as relevant any more

Why categorising people by which papers they read might not be as relevant any more

UK Press Gazette

What we think of as newspapers have become news brands

YouGov makes a big deal in its weightings on which newspaper those on its polling panel say they read. This was introduced by the firm when it started polling in 2001 and has remained a key part since even though there has been a collapse in the number of printed copies of papers being sold each day.

We are still consuming papers but in a very different way and now, in ad speak, the Mail, Mirror etc are now called “news brands” not “newspapers”. Looking at the table above you can see why.

Until I saw these latest figures from the National Readership Survey I’d always rated the Sun as the top-selling, and therefore most influential, UK newspaper with the Indy, even combined with its low price “I” partner, right at the bottom.

Now, thanks to the massive expansion in smartphone usage, the readerships in March show that the Indy is larger than the Sun. The scale of the numbers in the right hand column of the above table show a change in reading habits that is amazing.

We all sort of knew that the internet was changing how we consume newspapers but it is the widespread use of smartphones with their easy to use newspaper apps that have produced the really big shift.

Clearly the mobile, PC, and print readerships have a large degree of overlap which is why the figures in three right hand columns do not add up to the left hand one.

One thing that is marked is how the papers with paywalls, the Sun in particular, are now well down the overall tables because of their much reduced mobile figures.

Mike Smithson

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