The growing popularity of mobile devices have boosted local media audiences by almost double according to new research published today.
Figures showing 40.6m people read local media in print or digital each month, have been released to coincide with the launch of a new initiative to record total online and print readerships for regional press brands.
The research – worked out using a combination of PAMCo print data, Comscore online audience data, and audited circulation data – found 33.6m people read local news online.
It also revealed more than 10 million young adults currently read local newspapers in print and online, and that mobile usage has boosted local media’s audiences by 94pc.
The initiative, called True Local, is being run by data firm JICREG and 13 publishers – including Archant, JPIMedia, the Midland News Association, Newsquest and Reach plc.
The other companies to put their name to it are Baylis Media, Champion Newspapers, the Congleton Chronicle, Iliffe Media, Orkney Media Group, Scottish Provincial Press, Tindle Newspapers and Wyvex Media.
JICREG chief executive Keith Donaldson, pictured, said: “The new data conclusively proves what we in the industry have known for some time; the demand for highly trusted local news has increased dramatically, resulting in huge audiences for the local sector across print and digital.
“It is also very encouraging to see conclusive evidence that young people are avid consumers of local news and information, accessing local journalism created by trusted brands on their mobile phones.”
Under the initiative, JICREG will calculate the total print and online readerships for individual titles run by participating publishers.
Simon Edgley, chairman of industry marketing body Local Media Works, said: “JICREG True Local demonstrates not only the local sector’s commitment to robust and transparent audience measurement, but also that our overall audiences are growing significantly and more consumers are engaging with their local news brands than ever before.
“It is now time for advertisers and agencies re-examine their adspend to reassess their relationship with trusted local media platforms.”