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May 29, 2014updated 02 Jun 2014 3:33pm

Mail titles overtake Sun to become most read UK newspaper brand according to NRS

By Dominic Ponsford

The Mail titles are the most read newspaper brand in the UK, according to the latest figures from the National Readership survey.

It estimates that nearly 14m people a week read either the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday or Mail Online. The real figure may well be even higher because the NRS only counts Comscore website data from PCs and laptaps (not mobiles).

A year ago The Sun (including its Sunday edition) was the most read newspaper brand in the UK. But according to the NRS it has seen a significant decline in readership over the last year. The paper made its website content subscription-only in August last year.

According to the NRS overall weekly Sun readership has declined from 13.7m a week this time last year to around 12m in the latest figures.

The NRS measures average print readership over the 12 months to March 2014 based on a survey of 36,000 adults. The website readership is data from Comscore for March 2014. The combined print and web readership figure aims to provide a net total (so without double counting).

According to the NRS, Sun print readership across seven days has declined from 12.8m a year ago to 11.5m in the latest release.

A year ago (before the paywall move) the NRS estimated that The Sun website had around 1.6m UK readers a week. It estimates that in March last year that figure had declined to 527,000.

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The NRS says that print readership of the Mail titles has declined from 9.5m to 9.2m but it is more than compensated for by UK weekly web readership which is says is up from 3.5m to 6m.

The figures show plunging print readership for the Mirror titles plus The People (down by a million year on year) but UK weekly web readership up 150 per cent to year on year to 2.5m. The Mirror titles have benefited online from The Sun paywall move as they remain free.

UK weekly newspaper readership for year to March 2014 (source NRS)

(Web readership is Comscore data for March 2014 – figures are in thousands)

UK national newspapers ranked by total weekly readership (source NRS)

(Figures are in thousands)

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