FT and free newspapers lead readership rise

The Financial Times has enjoyed the biggest year-on-year increase in readers according to the latest National Readership Survey figures, while free newspaper titles saw high double-digit growth.

Among the dailies, the Financial Times saw its readership rise 15% to 417,000 in the 12 months to March, followed by News International’s The Times, which rose 6% to 1.77 million. Its sister tabloid publication The Sun saw no change in its readership with 7.87 million.

The Guardian News & Media’s The Guardian newspaper was the only other title to record an increase, up 3% to 1.206 million, while every other daily saw falls of up to 11%.

This was led by the embattled Independent News & Media title The Independent which fell 11% to 649,000. Its Sunday equivalent and supplements, The Independent Magazine, The Information and The New Review, similarly saw double digit falls respectively.

The news was more positive for the free newspapers, with Associated Newspapers’ Metro title rising 24% to 3.476 million. The publisher’s evening freesheet, London Lite, also enjoyed a 31% increase to 1.169 million.

Steve Auckland, London Lite managing director, says: “Since launch we’ve implemented a consistent strategy regarding our product, distribution and trading policy. This approach has been appreciated by both our growing numbers of readers and advertisers.”

Similarly, News International’s thelondonpaper, which recently realunched its website, rose 21% to 1.088 million.

The London Evening Standard, which was this month relaunched following Alexander Lebedev’s acquisition of the title from Associated Newspapers, saw a 3% fall to 613,000.

Among the supplements, the Financial Times enjoyed the biggest readership growth, with FT Money rising 32% to 281,000, in contrast to Telegraph Media Group’s Your Money, which fell 8% to 1.3 million.

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