UK national news brand websites have seen “incredibly strong growth” from last year, with claims this reflects the “value placed in trusted” sources during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The latest Pamco data shows that 3m more people were using national news websites every day in September – 21.5m – compared to the same time last year. Pamco audits the audiences of leading national and regional newspaper titles and magazines.
The total digital news sector, encompassing nationals and regionals, grew by 30% year-on-year to 32m daily readers.
Jo Allan, managing director at trade association Newsworks, said: “With an extra 3m daily digital readers compared to last year we continue to see incredibly strong growth across our national news brands.
“This positive trend has been consistent throughout the year and once again demonstrates the nation’s appetite for trusted, accurate and reliable news sources throughout the pandemic.”
The latest Pamco readership estimates combine Comscore digital data for September 2020 with print data for April 2019 to March 2020. The print data used is the same as the previous two Pamco releases as the Covid-19 lockdown halted the survey’s usual face-to-face interviewing.
While period-on-period figures fell across the board in June, reflecting the spike in interest in Covid-19 news during March, by September it was a more mixed picture of growth again vs further readership dips.
UK national newsbrand online readership for September 2020 (Comscore):
NB: Digital readership for the Telegraph and the i were underreported in June due to a Comscore tagging issue, affecting the % changes. The FT chooses not to be audited by Pamco.
|Newsbrand||Phone (000)||Tablet (000)||Desktop (000)||Total (not deduped) (000)||% change from June 2020|
The Sun remains the biggest national newsbrand online (non-deduped total of 39.6m), although the Guardian had the most desktop readers.
The online figures for every publisher include traffic from at least one third-party platform such as Facebook Instant Articles, Google AMP, Apple News, Flipboard. Mail Online is notably not signed up to Apple News.
The biggest growth across the summer (between June and September) was seen by The Herald (up 32%) and The Times (20%).
But the Independent lost a third of its readership while the Guardian and Daily Star were each down by a fifth.
All the national newsbrands grew their online presence year-on-year except for the Independent, Telegraph, Guardian, i and Scotsman.
The below figures show the Pamco metric of total brand reach across print and online mediums:
Facebook’s daily users (also including Whatsapp and Instagram) have continued to rise by 25% year-on-year to 36.7m.
However the combined digital news sector across nationals and regionals saw faster growth, up 30% to 32m daily readers.
Google’s daily users dropped by 13% in the past year while its monthly users dropped 6% – meaning the tech giant recorded the only digital readership declines in the table below.
Pamco newsbrand readership estimates for Q3 2020:
|Monthly (000s)||YoY change||Weekly (000s)||YoY change||Daily (000s)||YoY change|
|News sector digital||44,132||5%||2,026||42,222||11%||4,133||31,989||30%||7,326|
|National news brands||46,713||N/A||N/A||42,534||N/A||N/A||27,455||N/A||N/A|
|National news brands digital||41,196||8%||2,991||36,449||8%||2,826||21,470||16%||2,919|
|National news brands mobile||39,262||9%||3,246||33,731||9%||2,920||18,822||17%||2,704|
|National news brands print||24,344||N/A||N/A||19,598||N/A||N/A||10,274||N/A||N/A|
|Facebook (inc. WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram)||44,198||4%||1,631||42,292||8%||3,128||36,683||25%||7,346|
*News sector comprises the following titles:
Daily Star, Evening Standard, Daily Express, i, The Independent, Daily Mail, Metro, Daily Mirror, The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, Sunday People, Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Times, Observer, Sunday Express, Sun on Sunday, Daily Star Sunday, Sunday Mirror, Mail on Sunday, The Herald, The Scotsman, Yorkshire Post, Daily Record, Birmingham Mail, Bristol Post, Burton Mail, Cambridge Evening News, Coventry Telegraph, Daily Post, Derby Telegraph, Grimsby Telegraph, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, Hull Daily Mail, Leicester Mercury, Liverpool Echo, Manchester Evening News, Newcastle Journal, Nottingham Post, Shropshire Star, South Wales Echo, South Wales Evening Post, Stoke The Sentinel, The Chronicle, The Gazette, The Herald, Western Mail, West Midlands Express & Star, Western Daily Press & Western Morning News, Lancashire Evening Post, The Daily Echo – Bournemouth, The Star (Sheffield, Doncaster), Portsmouth News and Sports, Oxford Mail, Southern Daily Echo, Swindon Advertiser, The Argus – Brighton and York – The Press.
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