Associated Newspapers-owned London Lite has pipped News International rival thelondonpaper by just over 30,000 readers, according to the latest estimates from the National Readership Survey figures.
The delayed figures from the NRS reveal London Lite recorded 745,000 readers between January and June this year, ahead of News International’s competing freesheet with 713,000 over the same period.
The readership figures can be viewed as a blow to the News International paper which distributes about 100,000 more copies than its rival, according to industry analysts.
The latest Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) figures show London Lite posted a 406,298 circulation figure while thelondonpaper was just below the 500,000 mark for August.
The NRS measures the readership of individual newspapers and uses interviews with readers in their homes as well as some self-completion questionnaires. However media buyers have questioned the relevance of the NRS data.
One media buyer says: “I can’t see how a paper with a lower distribution will have a higher readership. The more copies out there, the more readers the paper should have.”