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November 30, 2016updated 23 Aug 2022 7:19pm

NRS readership data suggests The Sun has gained 11m readers per month since the fall of its paywall

By Freddy Mayhew

The Sun newspaper has recorded a ten-fold increase year-on year in its mobile audience and nearly doubled its overall readership in a year, new National Readership Survey figures out today show.

It comes after the paper scrapped its online paywall in November last year.

NRS figures for the year to September give the Sun a net, print, digital and mobile readership of 24m per month compared with 13m over the same period the year before, when it was still behind a paywall.

The rise is driven by a 909 per cent increase in UK mobile readership year-on-year from 1.6m to 16.5m and a 91 per cent rise in its desktop digital audience year-on-year from 1m to 2m.

The Sun’s print readership fell by 8 per cent, the data shows.

Figures are comprised from NRS data based on a reader survey over 12 months along with Comscore UK ratings for September 2016.


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The Times saw its digital audience more than double year-on-year to 662,000 while its mobile audience almost tripled to 1.5m. The Times and Sunday Times have relaxed their online paywalls allowing registered readers to see two articles per week for free.

The Evening Standard, Daily Star and Daily Express also recorded an increase in their digital readership year-on-year.

For more than half of the 26 brands (including 13 newsbrands and 13 consumer magazines) measured across all platforms, mobile is now the single biggest provider of audience.

Simon Redican, chief executive The Publishers Audience Measurement Company (PAMCo) which took over from the NRS in January, said: “The latest data shows that published media continues to have almost ubiquitous market saturation, with consumption of publishers’ content via mobile platforms continuing to grow again this quarter.

“In addition, what is striking is that despite popular perceptions, reach amongst young audiences is actually higher than for the population as a whole.”

National Readership Survey monthly audience data for the year to September 2016

Title Net Print, PC and Mobile Total Total Print Total PC Total Mobile
Daily Mail / 29263 10068 7418 20437
The Guardian / 26197 4037 6972 21839
Daily Mirror / 24969 5902 4374 19256
The Sun / 24022 10661 2077 16544
The Daily Telegraph / 22223 3819 6740 16600
Metro / 17639 10582 1517 9374
No Print Publication / 16940 0 4211 14569
Daily Express / 12033 2724 3104 7646
London Evening Standard / 11012 4986 1530 7069
Daily Star / 6362 2569 1069 3383
The Times / 5763 4378 662 1487
Daily Record / 4561 1230 588 3650
The Scotsman / 1302 336 412 729

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