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Thurman, Neil (2017): Newspaper Consumption in the Mobile Age: Re-assessing multi-platform performance and market share using 'time-spent'. In: Journalism Studies [PDF, 1MB]

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This article combines data from the British National Readership Survey, the Audit Bureau of Circulations, and comScore to calculate how much audience attention newspapers’ print, PC, and mobile platforms attract. The results show that, of the time spent with 11 UK national newspaper brands by their British audiences, 88.5 percent still comes via their print editions, 7.49 percent via mobiles, and just 4 percent via PCs. The study reveals that the “share of consumption” of UK national newspaper brands (when measured by time spent) is less evenly distributed than commonly understood, conforming better to a logarithmic pattern than a linear one, and that a single brand—The Mail—has close to a 30 per cent market share. Such data should inform debates on, and the regulation of, media plurality. For publishers, this research calls into question the transition from print to online, showing how “dead-tree” editions are their most important platform. However, the circulation of print editions is in steep decline and newspapers’ fortunes are falling almost as steeply. Unless the qualities that make newsprint so much more engaging than online journalism can be harnessed to propel a reading resurgence, newspapers’ decline will continue, with important social, cultural, and political consequences.

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