That time of the year again, the latest NRS PADD (National Readership Survey Print and Digital Data) report was released last week, covering the period April 2015 to March 2016. For those of you who like data as much as we do, the full set can be found over at the National Readership Survey website. Meanwhile this is our quick rundown of the headline figures from the release.


A quick intro for the uninitiated: the NRS PADD report includes both print and digital data for all newsbrand and magazine titles that reach a certain threshold of readers. It is of particular value to advertisers, as it gives us an excellent overall view of highly interconnected areas of concern: newspapers and magazines, across print, desktop and mobile.


Broadly speaking, the figures show that magazines have healthier print relationships with their readers while the readers of newsbrands have shifted more quickly to digital (and increasingly mobile) modes of consumption. This is a general view however, and as we’ll see there are titles and websites that buck the trends both ways.


A good example of this can be seen in the BBC Good Food magazine figures. It has the highest readership of all combined titles (9.4 million), with a staggering 7.1 million of those readers coming via mobile. Elsewhere, Time Out, NME (now a free title of course), and Cosmopolitan now reach more readers via mobile than in any other format.


Magazines that offer more specialist content tend to perform better in print, with the best example of this being New Scientist; a magazine which records only 5% of its overall readership in mobile. This can also be seen with Empire, Men’s Health and What Car – all titles that performed better in print than digitally during the period.


The combined figures for magazines allow us to see a very healthy format. 73% of UK adults consume magazines (in print and/or digital), with mobile adding an average of 76% to individual magazine footprints.


Newsbrands are in a slightly different position to magazines, having seen their USP – up to date news and analysis, find a more natural home on digital formats.


The Daily Mail, to take the most popular newsbrand in the UK for instance, has a combined readership of 29.5 million. It’s digital readership accounts for 83.33% of that total (up from 82.6% in the previous period).


Despite having very different models of accessibility, both The Times and The Guardian saw their mobile only audiences increase. This accords with previous reports that show both titles, and previously The Daily Mail, growing steadily on mobile (although not on print or desktop). Differences can be found in the detail however: The Times, operating as it does behind a paywall online, still reaches most consumers via print (only 5.3% via mobile in the last period), whereas The Guardian is overwhelmingly mobile now: 18.9 million of a combined 24.2 million total.


Reasons for the demise of The Independent (in print) can found too. Of the combined total of 17.5 million, 13.9 came via mobile – higher than could be found in any other newsbrand in the last period.


The Telegraph (91.8%), The Independent (93.8%) and The Guardian (95.1%) saw the highest percentages of digital readers as a part of their combined audience across all mediums, although The Telegraph recorded a slight drop of 1.9 in mobile readership.


The Sun is still very much a print first title, with 11 million loyal readers still picking up hard copies. The paywall around the website has only just been dropped however, so these figures are likely to change in the not too distant future.


The combined figures for newsbrands are hugely positive. 91% of UK adults consume newsbrands (across all formats). 68% of adults consume newsbrands in print while 74% of UK adults consume newsbrands digitally. It pays to think about newsbrands in terms of a combined audience, but mobile is becoming the focal point of the industry: on average mobile adds a further 96% audience reach to the footprint of individual newsbrands.


For more information on any of the above, don’t hesitate to get in touch!


By Oliver Brown