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October 29, 2021updated 30 Sep 2022 10:43am

The Sun claims top spot as UK news brand with biggest audience citing new Pamco data

By Charlotte Tobitt

The Sun is the biggest news brand in the UK, according to new data from Pamco which tracks the title’s total monthly reach across various platforms.

However, when Apple News and non-news brands such as Sun Dream Team or Sun Bingo sites are excluded, the Mail titles reach a bigger audience each day – 6.3m compared to The Sun’s 5.9m.

The latest data comes from Pamco, which has published total brand reach figures including updated print data as well as digital for the first time in more than a year. The online data is taken from Ipsos Iris, which replaced Comscore as the official industry online audience data provider at the start of this year.

The Sun said its brands reach 28.4m people per month in the UK, 19m per week and 7m per day.

It said this compares to a monthly reach for the Mirror of 26.3m and for the Mail brands of 26m.

The Sun said it was also the number one news brand when looking at online only, reaching 24.7m people per month, 15.2m each week and 5m every day. It also came top among paid-for print newspapers, with a monthly reach of 6.6m.

Sun editor Victoria Newton said: “I’m thrilled to see The Sun is the number one news brand in Britain. In a truly remarkable 18 months for the news agenda, we have been working hard to bring our readers the news as well as transforming our newsroom into a digital first operation – which today’s figures prove has been a huge success.”

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When excluding non-news brands Apple News, which the Mail and Guardian are not on, the Sun reaches 16.2m people each week and 25.9m each month, compared to the Mail’s 15.4m and 25.6m respectively.

The Pamco figures only cover national newspapers and their digital offerings.

Press Gazette publishes its own top-50 list of UK news websites which cover all publishers.

Mail Online: 'Overall reach most meaningless metric there is'

A Mail Online spokesperson told Press Gazette: “Overall reach is just about the most meaningless metric there is – although we note that when you look at just the print, news website and app combined the Mail has the biggest daily digital reach, according to Pamco.

“What is important is the depth of that reach.

“And we are delighted that the Pamco research also shows that the Mail titles dwarf the Sun with 5.4bn minutes of engagement across print and digital versus only 3.1bn for the Sun.”

The Mail pointed out that Brits spend more time with its brand than with the Sun and the Mirror, which gets 1.6bn minutes of engagement per month, combined.

They went on: “And across digital the divide is even more marked with Mail Online recording 1.9bn page views compared to 0.77bn for the Sun, 23% of which were delivered by Apple News to which the Mail does not supply free content.

“Which is why we make a profit and the Sun doesn’t.”

The Guardian reaches 19.9m people per month, making it the most-read quality news outlet. Its journalism reaches 10.9m people each week and 4.1m every day.

Overall Pamco said that UK national newspapers and their websites reach 42m people per week and 27.2m per day, Pamco said.

It said the magazines it tracks reach 38.5m per month, 26m per week and 8.6m per day. Together, the two markets reach 48.8m per month, 44.7m per week and 30m every day.

The latest Pamco figures use Ipsos Iris digital data from July and print readership data covering July 2019 to June 2021. This is the first time in over a year the print readership estimates have been updated because of methodology challenges introduced by the pandemic.

The data is a blend of pre-Covid face-to-face methodology and "online-first" that began during the pandemic. The latest data release has been described as a transitional "bridge" phase with the pre-Covid sample to be phased out by spring 2022.

The Financial Times chooses not to be audited by Pamco.

Picture: PA Wire/Peter Byrne

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