‘Irish Times’ daily readership up 10% to 427,000

How people read news ‘continues to evolve’, says NewsBrands Ireland chairman

‘The Irish Times’ has the highest total audience in Dublin of any daily title, with 194,000 Dublin-based adults reading the title in print or online. Photograph: David Sleator

The average daily readership of The Irish Times and irishtimes.com is 427,000, up 10 per cent year on year, according to the latest snapshot of trends in the industry.

The Joint National Readership Survey (JNRS) for the period from July 2014 to June 2015 suggests the print newspaper has a readership of 317,000, up 5 per cent, while the website is used by 159,000 Irish adults on an average day, up 17 per cent.

The survey, which is conducted by research company Millward Brown on behalf of member titles of NewsBrands Ireland, the new name for the National Newspapers of Ireland group, shows that four in five adults, or about 3 million people, read its titles regularly, either in print or online.

Some 720,000 people access newspaper titles online, up 27 per cent on the previous year, according to NewsBrands Ireland, which described this as a “significant increase”.


Although Sunday newspaper readership has declined, overall print readership has “remained relatively consistent”, it said. There is also a high crossover in the readership between print and online. Seven in 10 people who consume titles online also read a printed product.

Online readers

Print readers spend an average of 40 minutes per day with a daily newspaper and 56 minutes with a Sunday title, while online readers spend an average of 20 minutes per day, dipping in and out.

"The world is saturated with content and the way people choose to read news content continues to evolve," said Vincent Crowley, chairman of NewsBrands Ireland and former chief executive of Independent News & Media.

The survey is primarily completed for the benefit of advertisers, and Mr Crowley said the time readers “clearly invest” in reading NewsBrands Ireland’s products provided “the perfect backdrop for advertising”.

The figures are based on the “average issue readership” of print newspapers and their websites, 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.

On this basis, the survey found the readership of The Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Irish Daily Star and Irish Daily Mirror had increased over the past year, while the readership of the Irish Independent was flat. The readership of the Herald, Irish Daily Mail and Irish Sun fell, researchers found. All Sunday titles lost readers, with the exception of the Sunday Business Post.

The Irish Times has the highest total audience in Dublin of any daily title, with 194,000 Dublin-based adults reading the title in print or online. Some 80 per cent of the print readership of The Irish Times belongs to the ABC1 social group that advertisers like to target.

Combined readership

The JNRS report shows the Irish Independent has a combined print and online readership of 688,000. The Irish Examiner's readership is 236,000, while the Irish Daily Mail's is 217,000.

The Irish Daily Star has a readership of 326,000, the Herald has 255,000 readers, the Irish Sun 299,000 and the Irish Daily Mirror 233,000.

In the Sunday market, the Sunday Independent has a combined print and online readership of 921,000 and is the most-read title. The Sunday World has 660,000 readers, while readership of the Sunday Times is 367,000.

The Irish Mail on Sunday has 296,000 readers, the Irish Sun on Sunday 237,000 and the Irish Sunday Mirror 150,000.

The Sunday Business Post is read by 113,000 people, while weekly title the Irish Farmers' Journal has 247,000 readers.

The JNRS study does not measure the readership of news sites not currently members of NewsBrands Ireland, such as RTÉ.ie and TheJournal.ie.

NewsBrands Ireland has recently been talking to media agencies and advertisers as part of a review of how it conducts its readership survey.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics