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Newspaper consumption in the digital age: Measuring multi-channel audience attention and brand popularity

Thurman, N. (2014). Newspaper consumption in the digital age: Measuring multi-channel audience attention and brand popularity. Digital Journalism, 2(2), doi: 10.1080/21670811.2013.818365


This study performs comparative and longitudinal analyses of the domestic and overseas consumption (measured by time-spent-reading and popularity) of UK national newspaper brands across their print editions and online channels (excluding mobile ‘apps’). The study estimates that, in 2011, a minimum of 96.7% of the time spent with newspapers by their domestic audience was in print, with ‘popular/tabloid’ titles least successful in capturing audience attention online. In terms of popularity, the print channel accounted for a majority of domestic daily readers: in 2011 the newspapers studied had an estimated average daily readership per print copy of 2,110,633. By contrast, the average number of online sessions per day was estimated to be between 385,156 and 709,559. Nearly half the newspapers may have increased their aggregated domestic print and online popularity between 2007–11, although those increases have not translated—with one exception—into increases in time spent with those brands. The online channel has increased newspapers’ daily overseas audience by between 7–16 times. However, because those online readers’ visits are relatively brief, the effect on the attention newspapers receive (measured in time) from overseas has been minimal. In fact, two-thirds of the newspapers for which the most recent data was available suffered decreases in the time their overseas readers spent with their print and online channels between 2008/9 and 2011.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Pre-print version
Publisher Keywords: Audience measurement; Audit Bureau of Circulations; National Readership survey, newspaper circulation, newspaper popularity, newspaper websites, Nielsen, online journalism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Journalism
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