NRS newspapers: Top 5 newsbrands attract 46 million readers per week

Amid all the talk of declining newspaper sales and an industry battling to maintain relevancy, the quarterly National Readership Survey provides a welcome reminder about the enduring role the press continues to play in many consumers' lives.

The top five newspaper brands in the UK – The Sun/Sun on Sunday (13.5m), Daily Mail/The Mail on Sunday (12.0m), Metro (7.8m), Daily Mirror/SundayMirror/People (7.9m) and The Guardian/Observer (5.3m) – are read by more than 46 million people, either in print or online every week.

The leading newsbrand in the 12 months to June 2013 was News UK’s The Sun, which leapfrogged the Daily Mail thanks to the inclusion of its Sunday edition in the survey for the first time. Just under 13.5 million people read News UK’s The Sun or The Sun (Sunday) in print or digital format.

Next, the Daily Mail’s brand attracts 12 million readers across its daily and Sunday print titles and the Mail Online. Among the qualities, Guardian News & Media’s The Guardian/Observer had the biggest reach of 5.3 million, followed by the Telegraph titles with 4.9m and The Times/Sunday Times with 4.5m.

It should be noted the data provides estimates-only, obtained by a continuous survey based on a representative sample of 36,000 adults. The online data used is provided by comScore and is gathered through passive measurement that monitors the individuals behaviour constantly. The print figure is gathered via survey and fused with the comScore data to provide the figures.

It seems somewhat counter-intuitive for example, that the Mail Online, which enjoys the largest web audience of any newspaper, attracting in excess of 134 million unique browsers in July’s ABC report, has fewer weekly readers (2,449,000) than the Guardian’s site (2,475,000).

There were notable falls in the latest NRS report compared to the figures for the 12 months of 2012. The Independent readership dropped 26%, the Daily Star (-16%), The Guardian and Daily Express (-14%), Daily Mirror (-13%) and The Sun (-11%). Compare readership figures of newsbrands for the whole of 2012 here.

A change in data providers means any further direct comparisons with previous years cannot be made. NRS PADD is now fusing to comScore website audience data, rather than the Nielsen estimates used for the previous three releases of NRS PADD in 2012.

  Print Website Only Net Print + Website Total (Net) Increase with Online
Quality 000s 000s 000s %
Financial Times 892 334 1,226 +37.5
The Daily Telegraph 2,687 1,877 4,563 +69.8
The Daily Telegraph/The Sunday Telegraph 3,051 1,848 4,899 +60.6
The Guardian 2,409 2,524 4,933 +104.8
The Guardian/The Observer 2,781 2,475 5,257 +89.0
The Independent 1,300 1,110 2,410 +85.4
The Independent/The Independent on Sunday 1,527 1,101 2,628 +72.1
The Independent/The Independent on Sunday/i 2,607 1,056 3,662 +40.5
The Times 2,957 147 3,104 +5.0
The Times/The Sunday Times 4,347 178 4,525 +4.1
Daily Express 2,221 293 2,514 +13.2
Daily Express/Sunday Express 2,683 291 2,974 +10.8
Daily Mail 8,072 2,558 10,630 +31.7
Daily Mail 8,072 2,711 10,783 +33.6
Daily Mail/The Mail on Sunday 9,521 2,449 11,970 +25.7
Daily Mirror 5,385 1,156 6,541 +21.5
Daily Mirror/Sunday Mirror 6,325 1,133 7,458 +17.9
Daily Mirror/Sunday Mirror/Sunday People 6,762 1,123 7,885 +16.6
Daily Record 1,229 192 1,421 +15.6
Daily Record/Sunday Mail (Scotland) 1,503 188 1,691 +12.5
Daily Star 2,515 153 2,668 +6.1
Daily Star/Daily Star Sunday 2,774 151 2,924 +5.4
The Sun 11,285 1,117 12,402 +9.9
The Sun/The Sun (Sunday) 12,400 1,076 13,476 +8.7

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