LONDON: Britain's National Readership Survey, which has for decades charted the numeric readership of the nation's newspapers and magazines, has introduced a new key factor - the time spent by readers with each participating publication.

Overall, magazines outstrip daily newspapers in terms of reading time; the former are read for an average of 50 minutes per issue, the latter for forty minutes.

The survey, covering the period January-June 2007, is the first to feature a Time Spent Reading question. Many in the print advertising industry hold this to be a key metric, enabling hard copy publications to be re-evaluated against rival media.

Among the main 'Time Spent' findings are . . .

  • Sixty-one per cent of readers of the average magazine spend 30 minutes or more reading it, with 34% spending an hour or more.

  • The average Saturday newspaper is read for an average of 60 minutes, with 42% of readers spending an hour or more.

  • The average Sunday newspaper commands the most amount of time, with an average of seventy minutes, and 50% of readers spending an hour or more.
Martin Donnelly, press manager at Universal McCann, hails the development as a positive step for print. "I think this could be a really useful addition. One of the questions we're often asked is: 'How long do people actually spend with a print title, especially if it's available for free?'.

"The relationship between magazines and readers is one of the medium's biggest strengths and this new data will help when we make investment decisions."

'Time Spent' data will feature hereon in all biannual NRS reports.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff