Freesheets and tabloids profit from broadsheets decline

The number of people reading broadsheets is down while the number of tabloid and freesheet readers has increased, according to the latest National Readership Survey (NRS) figures. The Guardian’s readership dropped by 10% in the 12 months to December, although The Sun and Daily Star figures increased by 3%.

The Independent’s readership is down 2% year-on-year, The Times by 4% and the Financial Times dropped 8%. Mid-markets Daily Express and Daily Mail were also down, by 2% and 1%, while the Daily Mirror held steady.

The Sunday papers suffered a similar blow, with The Sunday Times and The Observer both down 10%. The People lost 11% of its readers, the News of the World remained flat, with the Sunday Mirror the only paper to report a growth at just 1%.

Associated Newspaper paid-for London title Evening Standard was down 14%, although its freesheet sister paper Metro posted a 31% increase in readership year-on-year. News International freesheet Thelondonpaper and Associated rival London Lite posted their first 12-month figures, with London Lite commanding marginally more readers, 824,000, than Thelondonpaper at 813,000.

Meanwhile, New Woman magazine – which was axed last week – had a 93% downturn in its reader numbers in comparison to last year. The figures reflect tough market conditions across the industry, with a 15% fall for Marie Claire and a 21% fall for Company. Women’s consumer weeklies also fared badly, with More down by 34%. However women’s fashion glossy Grazia added 21% to its readership.

Men’s monthly readers are continuing to decline, with FHM suffering an 18% reduction and Loaded 13%. Men’s weeklies are now also starting to struggle – Nuts lost 5% of its readers and Zoo remained flat.

The NRS interviews 36,000 adults through the year and provides data for publishers, advertisers and agencies as a basis for buying and selling ad space.

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