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Regional daily almost doubles online audience

A regional daily has almost doubled the number of people using its website, according to the latest readership figures.

Dundee-based The Courier saw its monthly online audience jump from 55,000 last November to 106,000 in March this year, according to estimates from the National Readership Survey, although its print readers dropped by 5,000 to 268,000.

The NRS has today (30 May) released combined Print and Digital Data figures for national newspapers and a handful of regional titles, for the period April 2012 to March 2013, with the digital figures relating to March.

The Courier ‘soft-launched’ its new-look responsive website last December, although publisher DC Thomson only officially announced it in April.

Of the other titles in the survey, Glasgow-based The Herald and the Sunday Herald were the only regional newspapers to see a small increase in their estimated monthly print readership compared to 2012’s figures, and they also had a rise in website users.

The Herald saw print readers increase from 432,000 to 433,000, while the combined print readership of the two titles increased from 507,000 to 509,000 and the combined digital and print reach rose from 836,000 to 905,000.

The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday have also extended their reach to a combined monthly print and online audience of 1.2m, compared to 1.1m for last year, after increasing its digital users from 582,000 to 704,000.

But fellow Johnston Press title the Yorkshire Post decreased its audience reach, with its estimated print readers falling from 637,000 to 554,000 and its combined online and print readership decreasing from 792,000 to 717,000.

The Glasgow Evening Times, which did not feature in the last set of figures, had a combined print and online audience of 477,000 and 140,000 of these were digital users.

The NRS’ figures are estimated from surveys with individuals and it is not possible to compare the figures with ones released a year ago because it has changed how it calculates the online figures.

The full figures can be viewed here.


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  • May 30, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Doubling online readers sounds great, but how much extra money did the paper make as a result? As most online services are sold for almost nothing, papers need between five and 10 times the current number of online readers if they are to stop the continual rounds of redundancies, etc.

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  • May 30, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Looks like Ashley Highfield’s digital vision is failing (much like it did at our expense at the BBC!) Readers are not idiots and notice when the product quality decreases. They are not interested if the journalists or sales reps have ipads. They simply want to read their good local newspaper, as they did in the past (not be noticing errors) and flicking through attractive feature pages and well designed advertising. Print has a good few years to go yet, but JP seems to be obsessed with digital at the expense of print. Perhaps if all the staff were based in the UK, that would help to get back to a local product to be proud of, that could be marketed as such. As it is, advertisers and readers are looking elsewhere.

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