Smartphone readership surge fuels pandemic boom for news brands and magazines

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Latest Pamco figures show smartphone growth is driving digital increases, while normal print audience reports are suspended due to the coronavirus.

By Omar Oakes, Campaign

The UK’s most popular news brands and magazines continued to see significant annual increases in audience reach amid the pandemic, albeit at lower levels than when the coronavirus crisis took hold in the spring.

The latest Pamco figures showed double-digit year-on-year growth for most national newspapers, with the exception of the Telegraph and i.

However, the organisation was unable to provide new print audience estimates for the second quarter due to the coronavirus disrupting Pamco’s ability to conduct field interviews. Instead, Pamco has coupled the January-March quarterly print data with Comscore data for digital audiences for June to produce the second-quarter figures.

The biggest gainers were The Times – which recorded a remarkable 74% year-on-year increase in total brand reach to just under 15 million – and the Daily Star (up 47% year on year to 12.9 million), with its irreverent front pages criticising the government having helped it stand out on social media during the summer months.

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