Despite the rise of online news sites, more than two-thirds of Britons still like to read their news in print, and one-third read both online and print, according to a new survey by Lightspeed Research.
Many UK readers don’t go online at all for their news. The top “red tabloid” papers have the highest proportion of print-only readership: 56% of Sun readers don’t visit any online news websites, followed by 52% of Daily Mirror readers, 51% of Daily Mail readers and 50% of The Express readers.
As for online-only news readership, one-fifth of visitors to guardian.co.uk and timesonline.co.uk don’t read any printed papers, closely followed by 18% of independent.co.uk and telegraph.co.uk readers.
By comparison, only 14% of sun.co.uk and mirror.co.uk readers and 11% of express.co.uk don’t read a print edition at all.
Regardless of whether respondents read their news online or in print, one key aspect of the research was the strong loyalty readers have for their chosen title:
The red top tabloids lead, with 68% of visitors to dailymail.co.uk and 64% of sun.co.uk visitors also reading the print editions. At the bottom of this list with 33% was ft.com, the only news site in the list that charges a subscription fee.
“Our findings suggest that the tabloids are best at maintaining a loyal print reading audience. Perhaps the broadsheets are victims of their own online success, with their web readers getting all the news and comment they need online,” said David Day, CEO of Lightspeed Europe.
“What we did see across all the titles was brand loyalty. With news being available across a range of different media choices, strong, differentiated news brands are crucial. As the newspapers invest more in their online presence, publishers and editors need to understand why a reader chooses a particular newspaper, and build on that strength.”