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February 27, 2014

How digital growth is countering print decline in regional press: Title by title ABC breakdown

By Dominic Ponsford

The Manchester Evening News is most read UK regional newspaper online, according to data released yesterday by ABC.

The data is incomplete, only a fraction of UK regional press titles are audited online by ABC, but it offers a snapshot of the way digital growth is cancelling out quickening print decline.

The Manchester Evening News now has double the number of daily web ‘unique browsers’ (141,000) than it has print circulation (70,000). And online readership is growing fast, up 34.2 per cent year on year.

In most titles the number daily unique browsers (different devices accessing the website) exceeds print circulation. Though it should be noted that in some cases a print title will share a website with other publications in the group. Print readers also typically spend far longer with publications and in most cases pay for them, whereas nearly all UK regional newspaper websites are free to access.

Whereas the average rate of print circulation decline for regional dailies is now running at more than 14 per cent – some 13 regional titles managed to grow their web traffic by more than 50 per cent year on year.

The fastest growing regional website was the Evening Times in Glasgow – up 74.6 per cent to 24,587 daily browsers versus an average print circulation of 35,773.


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