The Irish Times' has readership of 321,000 as figures climb 4%
The Irish Times has a readership of 321,000, according to the latest Joint National Readership Survey.
The readership recorded for the year 2012 was up 4 per cent on the number reported in the 2011 survey.
All titles in the morning market, with the exception of the Daily Star, grew their readerships, the survey suggests.
The Irish Independent has a readership of 521,000, up 9 per cent, while the Irish Daily Mail exhibited growth of 27 per cent, claiming 184,000 readers.
All Sunday titles with the exception of the Irish Sunday Mirror and the Irish Mail on Sunday lost readers, the JNRS findings indicate.
The biggest faller was the Sunday Business Post, which recorded a readership of 140,000, down 9 per cent.
However, the survey methodology changed in mid-2012, meaning all year-on-year comparisons may not accurately reflect readership trends.
Millward Brown Lansdowne, which conducts the survey on behalf of Irish newspapers, is calling the 2012 figures “a transitional report”.
The 2012 report shows that 81 per cent of adults, or 2.9 million people, read a newspaper.
Some 54 per cent, or 1.9 million people, read a daily title, while 60 per cent, or 2.15 million people, read a Sunday title.
The figures are based on the “average issue readership” of newspapers, which is defined as “read yesterday” in the case of daily titles and “read in the past week” in the case of Sunday titles and weeklies.
Some 79 per cent of the readership of The Irish Times belong to the ABC1 social group, which is the highest for any newspaper, the survey finds.
“We’re pleased with the growth of 4 per cent in the readership of the newspaper and the significant growth in online traffic,” said Liam Kavanagh, managing director of The Irish Times Ltd.
“The overall audience number is growing strongly, and that’s a reflection of the investment we have made in the product,” he said.
The report recorded a fall in the readership of all newspaper magazines and supplements measured by the JNRS, which Millward Brown Lansdowne said suggested there was a potential weakness in the new survey design introduced in June.
“We didn’t feel that those falls were totally reflective of readership trends for those magazines,” said Robin Addis, a consultant at the market research firm.
Respondents to the survey are now asked about their readership of around 30 separate newspaper supplements and magazines towards the end of the face-to-face interview, and Mr Addis said some respondents might feel that the questions are repetitive of earlier ones.
The main change in the JNRS survey, affecting around half of the 6,855-strong sample, is that respondents are now asked specifically about their online habits.
Up until June 2012, when people were asked if they read a particular newspaper, it was up to them to interpret if the question referred to print or online.
Since June, they are asked to separately detail their print and online consumption of the titles. Data on online readership will be released in August.
Although The Irish Times has the highest Dublin readership of any morning title, its readership in the city has declined. This may be a reflection of the faster migration to online consumption in the capital.