There is plenty of reason for optimism among advertisers as the latest NRS figures underline what Simon Redican – chief executive at NRS – describes as the “continued, growing reach of published media in the UK”.


As Redican explains “mobile has been the real engine of this growth”. The latest estimates from The National Readership Survey (NRS) for instance show that both mobile and tablet device types have increased the individual footprints by 63% across brands measured via the news and magazine markets, while digital content accounts for an additional 15% to the overall monthly print reach figure.


Immediate access to news via your smartphone means that more people than ever are accessing content. Of course this is nothing new. As we can see from the previous NRS reviews, the number of consumers accessing their content via these devices has grown and grown since they first appeared on the NRS results back in September 2014.


But what effect is this having on the sales of print magazines?


Well, while you might expect the growth of access to content to have a negative impact on the print sales of magazines (which of course it has had to some degree) it is still holding its own. As the latest figures show only three of the measured magazine titles are dominated by mobile readership.


Top print titles included Heat magazine’s 3m audience of which two thirds came from print, Top Gear’s 1.8m total audience and 1.5m print readers, and Men’s Health audience of 1.4m of which only 500,000 came from PC and mobile.


The combination of a growing audience fuelled by easy and free access of information via mobile and tablet and a stable print audience has meant that more people than ever have access to and are reading content. Aside from the rapid growth of mobile consumers however it is clear that the continuing success of printed publications show that audiences still see some value in printed content, and especially when it comes to magazines.


While the expectation that information should be free has no doubt caused a problem for many magazine and newspaper publishers it is clear that there is still plenty of opportunity to take advantage of a receptive print audience.


As the latest NRS figures show, the audience is there for both publishers and advertisers they just need to be catered for in the correct way.


What this means for advertisers


The growth of free content has certainly not caused the same headache for advertisers as it has media publishers. The increasing expectation that information be delivered for free has meant that publishers have needed to turn to advertising (rather than consumer money) in order to fund their publications. This has meant both greater demand for advertisement on the behalf of the publisher and a larger audience for advertisers to target either via the incredible growth of online and mobile content or via the still-strong print magazine publications.


The growth in audience, as a result, in consumers accessing content via mobiles and tablets is undeniable. The most successful advertisers however are the ones that have realised the potential opportunities across both online and print. While the growth in consumers as a result of mobile content of course holds fantastic potential for advertisers to reach greater numbers than ever before, there is also plenty of potential space across print for savvy advertisers to take advantage of.


As the latest NRS figures show the huge potential reach of online content combined with the still-strong audience for print, mean that there are greater opportunities than ever before to reach your target audience via targeted and specific advertising. As is the case for the publications themselves, relevant and targeted advertising that brings some value to the consumer is the key to success in an increasingly mobile world.


To see how we can help you most effectively reach your target audience why not visit our Media Planning & Buying page or drop us a line by phone or email via our Contact page. Our friendly team would love to hear from you.


By Paul Gregson