Global newspaper audiences have declined over the last twenty years, as the digital revolution has given people free access to the latest news online. Many newspapers have now established a digital presence and encourage brands to maximise campaign efficiency with multiplatform advertising. Newspaper audience measurement must continue to evolve in order to capture accurate readership figures and provide the granular data which is readily available in other advertising mediums.


Newspaper audiences are those individuals who read national, local or freesheet newspapers. This audience is measured by readership and circulation data. Readership is based on the number of people who have read the newspaper and circulation is based on the number of copies sold and distributed.

Key insights

1. Focusing on engagement is helping to grow online newsbrand audiences

The Financial Times grew digital subscriptions by 11% in 2018 and has hit one million paying subscribers in 2019. It attributes this success to a single-minded focus on engagement, measured by a combination of when people last came to the site, how often they came and the amount of content they consumed. The overall metric this produces was up 15% in 2018. The development of products designed to improve the three components of engagement – such as myFT and Topic tracker – has increased engagement and reduced subscriber churn.