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March 24, 2023

Audience data: Sun claims top spot as UK’s most widely read commercial newsbrand

The Sun ahead of the Daily Mail in latest Pamco readership figures.

By Dominic Ponsford

The Sun is the most widely read commercial newsbrand in the UK in print and online according to new data from industry audience body Pamco.

The News UK-owned red top no longer publishes its print sales figures (ABC) but it has released a readership estimate from Pamco, which shows it is just ahead of the Daily Mail.

Pamco (which stands for Publishers Audience Measurement Company) estimates print readership on a trailing 18-month basis to December 2022 through a survey that has 22,000 participants.

On this basis Pamco puts The Sun’s print readership at 6,174,000 per month versus the Daily Mail on 6,169,000.

Given the figures are estimates based on a survey the two titles are effectively in a dead heat on print readership.

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Overall, Pamco estimates that The Sun reaches 31.1m readers a month, 21.9m weekly and 8.7m readers daily in print and online.

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According to ABC the Daily Mail is the best-selling newspaper in the UK with 683,000 sales per day Monday to Friday and 1.3 million on a Saturday. It has a further 150,000 subscribers to its digital edition (an online facsimile of the print version designed to tablet devices).

Sun editor Victoria Newton said: “A big thank you to all of our readers who have helped The Sun remain the number one newsbrand in Britain.

“The Sun has had another brilliant 18 months winning prestigious awards for our journalism as well as beating our rivals to break world exclusives.

“The Sun will always bring you the biggest and best stories, opinions, sporting news and analysis, and serious public service journalism every day – all with a smile.”

The Pamco audience figures are no longer released publicly but are shared by publishers with advertising partners.

Online, The Sun is the most popular commercial newsbrand in the UK in terms of overall reach – with an online audience of 26.3 million in January 2023 (according to Press Gazette’s exclusive top 50 UK news websites ranking based on Ipsos iris data). This compares with a UK audience of 25.3 million in January for the Mirror and 24.3 million for Mail Online.

Mail Online commercial newsbrand with most engaged online audience in the UK

However, Pamco figures seen by Press Gazette suggest Mail Online is the commercial newsbrand with the most engaged online audience.

According to Pamco, in November 2022 Mail Online had 2.43 billion page views in the UK, versus 678 million for The Sun. And Mail readers spent a total of 1.96 billion minutes with the title in the month versus 609 million for The Sun.

Overall, the BBC is the most popular newsbrand in the UK reaching an online audience of 38.1 million in January according to Ipsos iris.

The Ipsos iris monthly website audience figures include traffic from the UK’s most popular app, Apple News (which Mail Online is not on). But Ipsos iris online data does not include traffic to publishers on Snapchat and on news aggregator MSN. The Ipsos iris data is based on a sample of 10,000 individuals who have website tracking software on their computers and mobile devices.

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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