The National Readership Survey (NRS) has released print and online audience figures for the first time after launching the NRS Print and Digital Data (PADD), which uses NRS and UKOM website audience data.
The new dataset includes standalone print and website readership as well as unduplicated combined net audience figures for all major UK daily, weekly, and monthly national newspapers and consumer magazines, in addition to data from more than 400 non-publisher sites.
The data shows an overall uplift of around 26% for both newspaper and magazine titles when websites are included, although the incremental reach provided by the inclusion of websites varies greatly from title to title.
Mike Ironside, NRS CEO, said, “The key challenge publishers have got is that everyone is used to being able to monetise the print part of the product offering, but what they now have to do is monetise the digital part. It can’t be done in silos any more, it’s got to be done together and I think that’s where this data will come in. We’re providing a level playing field for everyone, as everyone is measured by the same yard stick.”
Katherine Page, NRS technical consultant, added, “Our stakeholders have been really keen to have a multiplatform measure for a long time and this is the first stage of that. The key thing now, is that every quarter, instead of just reporting on print alone we will publish a fusion of the NRS print audience data and the UKOM website audience data which at the moment comes from the Nielsen audience panel [but from 2013 will be provided by comScore].”
The first set of data released today is for the April 2011-March 2012 (plus UKOM/Nielsen data for April 2012). Two further reports will be issued in 2012, the first in October showing July 2011-June 2012 (plus UKOM/Nielsen June 2012) and in December for the October 2011-September 2012 period (plus UKOM/Nielsen September2012).
Data will be released on a quarterly basis from 2013 onwards.
NRS has also included a comparison of print and online age and demographic profile data for the first time, as well as insight into readership patterns, which will help publishers gain a better understanding of reader journeys.
Ironside said, “This provides a lot of opportunities because not only will publishers be able to see where their print audience goes in terms of other publishers, but they will also be able see what other internet properties they go to, whether that’s to such as social media sites or brand sites like easyjet or ASOS, because we have also recorded those audiences.”
Page added, “We have seen quite a lot of data about the changing nature of readership. Whereas a decade ago perhaps people were very committed to a single paper, we now see much more sampling and people going from one thing to another. So readers of one paper might be looking at the websites of others.”
The next step will be to include audience data for mobile and ultimately tablets, however, this does pose a number of problems, according to Page.
She said, “It’s tricky because although there is lots of census data in the market, what we really need for this, because it is a fusion, is to fuse people with people and at the moment there isn’t good people-based audience data out in the market for mobile and indeed tablet.”
“There are a number of possibilities to overcome. Both Nielsen and comScore have some ideas about how they might achieve that and we’ve got a few ideas of what we might do as well, but that is very much a development project for 2013.”