The Independent’s decision to become the UK’s first newspaper to go digital-only has been backed up by PAMCo’s latest NRS results, which has revealed that more than 79 per cent of the publisher’s total audience comes from mobile.
The newspaper's total print and digital audience for the period April 2015 to March 2016 was at 17.5 million, of which 13.9 million came from mobile. Mobile and tablet readership of the title boosted print and PC readership by 176.5 per cent, more than any other newsbrand.
It confirms what editor Christian Broughton said from the onset, that the titles move to digital was a “no brainer” since 99 per cent of the Independent audience was already online. The figures prove how its print product was shrinking while its readers were jumping to digital.
News UK’s titles, on the other hand, reported healthy print numbers with smaller digital growth by comparison to other titles.
The Sun has been struggling to win back its digital audience after lifting its paywall towards the end of last year, but the publisher is hopeful its recent moves to grow the Sun’s online audience - putting the customer at the forefront of the its thinking - will help the brand bring its digital numbers up. As it stands, its PC and mobile readers account for just under 3 million each.
Regardless, the Sun is kept afloat by an 11 million strong print readership - more than any other recorded newsbrand.
The Times' combined print and digital readership is just over 5.1 million, with 88 per cent of the its readership from print, equating to 4.5 million print readers. It means the title’s digital readers amount to 600,000; a blip compared to that of the Daily Mail’s combined digital readership at 28.9 million.
These numbers are unsurprising given the Times sits behind a paywall. While the priority of free newsbrands is growing audiences, ultimately the gauge of success on the title is growing subscriptions. Since the title is able to monetise its digital audience, having smaller numbers than its competitors means nothing if those titles cannot generate readership revenue.
While the Daily Mail remains the most popular newsbrand, with a strong audience across all platforms, including print at 10.1 million, PC at 8.7 million and mobile at 20.2 million, the Guardian recorded the biggest growth in its digital audiences compared to other newsbrands.
The Guardian saw a marked increase in traffic to its site, with website visitors boosting its monthly readership by 165.4 per cent. The title also attracts the majority of its readers from mobile, which make up 18.9 million of its 24.2 million total.
David Pemsel, chief executive, Guardian Media Group, said: "It's great to be recognised as the leading quality national newspaper across print and digital readership - coming top across all monthly, weekly and daily digital reach metrics."
Mobile continues to increase its reach and consumption, with an 11 per cent increase year-on-year across the market. For over half of the 25 brands measured across all platforms, mobile is now the single biggest provider of audience.