In addition to tracking newspaper consumption by brand and country our survey also benchmarks the number who say they have bought a newspaper in a given week. Newspaper purchase does not equate to readership, particularly with the growing popularity of free papers and the increased bundling of online and print. In addition it should be noted that the figures in our online survey will not match the accuracy of face-to-face surveys or audited circulation figures in this regard. Nevertheless the comparison between years and across countries is one more important indicator of changing habits.
The headline figure around weekly newspaper purchase across all of our ten countries is pretty much unchanged at 49% (compared to 50% in 2013) reinforcing the view that print has perhaps a longer shelf life than was thought a few years ago – even for online readers. But we can also see from the next figure that the very different ways in which newspapers are bought may influence their ability to manage the digital transition. Japan, Finland, Denmark, and Germany have a long tradition of home delivery (and therefore subscription), whereas in the UK, Spain, Italy, and Brazil the majority of sales take place at a newsstand or shop. This makes newspapers in these counties more prone to dramatic headlines and sometimes more sensational news coverage – but also more vulnerable to economic disruption.
Newspaper purchase by type – (ad hoc vs ongoing commitment)
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Q6. Have you bought (paid for) a printed newspaper in the last week? (Please tick all that apply)
Base: All markets 2014 – UK=2082, Germany=2063, Spain=2017, Italy=2010, France=1946, Denmark=2036, Finland=1520, US=2197, Urban Brazil=1015, Japan=1973