Neil Thurman of the University of London recently published a study entitled Newspaper consumption in the mobile age. The study, which is based on data from the British National Readership Survey, the Audit Bureau of Circulations, and comScore, gives a few insights into how much audience printed newspapers, PC and mobile platforms attract. Time was spent with 11 national newspaper brands in the United Kingdom and results indicate that 88.5% of newspapers are still available via their print editions, 7.49% via mobile devices and only 4% via computers.

While online newspaper editions have doubled, and in some cases even tripled, the number of readers that the publications reach continues to dwindle, Neil argues that this increased exposure masks the vast differences in attention paid by print and online readers.

“My research shows that while print newspapers are read for an average of 40 minutes per day, online visitors to the websites and apps of those same newspapers spend an average of just 30 seconds per day. Scale those numbers up and you can see why newspapers still rely on print for the vast majority of the attention they receive,” says Neil.

This data is crucial for advertisers and PR agencies to consider when they are allocating their marketing spend because audience data is the “currency” that is used to evaluate and trade advertising media.

Online platforms are important because people consume information on the go, but this research shows that print publications still have the upper hand when it comes to the amount of attention they command,” says Roxanne Mancini, FLOORS in Africa magazine Editor.

The data in Neil’s study almost exactly mirrors the split in newspapers’ print/digital revenues as reported in the NMA/Deloitte report that was published in December 2016.

“The monetisation of readers online is currently weaker than the monetisation of print audiences. The vast majority of news media organisations’ revenue (81%) continues to come from print readership, with 12% coming from digital. The sector’s average annual revenue per digital reader is estimated to be approximately £15 currently, compared to £124 per print reader. With the ongoing shift to digital readership among all audiences and the greater use of digital media by younger audiences, the sector’s ongoing role as an engine of original news content relies on it being able to monetise digital audiences effectively so it can continue investing in quality journalism,” reads the report.

Multi-platforms are essential for any publication today, but focusing on quality content is still the backbone of an engaged readership,” concludes Roxanne.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to www.newsmediauk.org and neilthurman.com for the information contained in this article.