Newsbrands made huge gains in mobile, tablet and desktop audiences as Covid-19 hit UK (Comscore figures in full)

Demand for coronavirus-related news has led to huge leaps in digital audience reach for national newsbrands in the UK, new figures show.

Comscore figures for March show double-digit gains for nearly all titles across desktop, mobile and tablet when compared with figures for November last year, as interest in news on the pandemic surged.

Scroll down for March Comscore figures and comparisons

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March saw the first recorded UK death from Covid-19 and strict lockdown measures put in place to slow the spread of the virus.

Figures for phone and desktop reach were up by well over a third on average (39% and 36% respectively) compared to data from November 2019. For tablets the average growth was was just over one fifth (22%).

Pamco figures show The Times grew its mobile reach by 68% from 7.1m last quarter to nearly 12m. The Scotsman was up by 87% to 4.5m, the Daily star by 72% to 10m and The Guardian by 63% to nearly 29m.

On desktop, The Times’ reach was actually down 2% on the previous quarter, while others made large gains. The Express was up 69% to 6.5m, The i by 58% to 1.5m, and The Sun by 53% to 5.2m.

The Scotsman’s desktop reach grew by 149% to just shy of 1m.

The Evening Standard, which has seen its print distribution severely disrupted by the lockdown and is pursuing a digital-first transformation, grew its mobile reach by 48% to 16m and desktop by 30% to 2.5m.

The Yorkshire Post is the only newsbrand not to have recorded digital audience growth across at least one medium, with double-digit decline across mobile, tablet and desktop.

Comscore March 2020 (Pamco):

Newsbrand Phone
(000)
Tablet
(000)
Desktop
(000)
Total (not deduped)
(000)
Sun 32,902 3,808 5,276 41,986
The Guardian 28,932 2,944 9,403 41,279
Independent 28,183 3,026 6,775 37,984
The Mail 28,737 2,716 6,257 37,710
Mirror 26,276 3,046 3,481 32,803
Express 23,083 2,548 6,525 32,156
The Telegraph 22,636 2,436 6,236 31,308
Metro 25,762 2,298 2,918 30,978
Evening Standard 16,030 1,674 2,506 20,210
The Times 11,993 1,759 1,020 14,772
Daily Star 10,039 729 631 11,399
i 6,165 737 1,506 8,408
Daily Record 5,739 506 548 6,793
The Scotsman 4,556 462 988 6,006
The Herald 1,392 136 186 1,714
The Yorkshire Post 901 107 117 1,125

Comscore comparison for phone reach:

Newsbrand March 2020 (000) Nov 2019 (000) % change
Sun                32,902                30,671 7%
The Guardian                28,932                17,804 63%
The Mail                28,737                19,035 51%
Independent                28,183                19,642 43%
Mirror                26,276                23,947 10%
Metro                25,762                20,747 24%
Express                23,083                17,068 35%
The Telegraph                22,636                15,516 46%
Evening Standard                16,030                10,795 48%
The Times                11,993                  7,147 68%
Daily Star                10,039                  5,851 72%
i                  6,165                  5,588 10%
Daily Record                  5,739                  4,524 27%
The Scotsman                  4,556                  2,433 87%
The Herald                  1,392                     907 53%
The Yorkshire Post                     901                  1,234 -27%

Comscore comparison for desktop reach:

Newsbrand March 2020 (000) Nov 2019 (000) % change
The Guardian                  9,403                  6,574 43%
Independent                  6,775                  4,847 40%
Express                  6,525                  3,866 69%
The Mail                  6,257                  4,504 39%
The Telegraph                  6,236                  4,591 36%
Sun                  5,276                  3,441 53%
Mirror                  3,481                  2,802 24%
Metro                  2,918                  2,492 17%
Evening Standard                  2,506                  1,922 30%
i                  1,506                     951 58%
The Times                  1,020                  1,042 -2%
The Scotsman                     988                     397 149%
Daily Star                     631                     506 25%
Daily Record                     548                     379 45%
The Herald                     186                     183 2%
The Yorkshire Post                     117                     239 -51%

Comscore comparison for tablet reach:

Newsbrand March 2020 (000) Nov 2019 (000) % change
Sun                  3,808                  3,369 13%
Mirror                  3,046                  2,816 8%
Independent                  3,026                  2,336 30%
The Guardian                  2,944                  2,118 39%
The Mail                  2,716                  2,900 -6%
Express                  2,548                  2,165 18%
The Telegraph                  2,436                  2,176 12%
Metro                  2,298                  1,825 26%
The Times                  1,759                  1,170 50%
Evening Standard                  1,674                  1,384 21%
i                     737                     600 23%
Daily Star                     729                     425 72%
Daily Record                     506                     487 4%
The Scotsman                     462                     262 76%
The Herald                     136                     176 -23%
The Yorkshire Post                     107                     123 -13%

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Comments

2 thoughts on “Newsbrands made huge gains in mobile, tablet and desktop audiences as Covid-19 hit UK (Comscore figures in full)”

  1. I find these figures hard to believe. Some people must be counted more than once. The London Evening Standard and Times figures seem ridiculously high.

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