Increases in the daily online readership of newspaper publishers are "very positive" for the industry as a whole, the National Newspapers of Ireland group has said, following the publication of the latest Joint National Readership Survey (JNRS).
The survey, which is conducted by research company Millward Brown on behalf of NNI members, shows that 84 per cent of adults, or a little over three million people, read some newspaper either in print or online.
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.
The Irish Times and irishtimes.com have a total average daily readership of 385,000, the figures for 2013 show. The print edition of the newspaper has a readership of 314,000, while the website is used by 120,000 Irish adults on an average day, with some cross-over between the two groups.
Across an average week, some 767,000 Irish adults read The Irish Times or its supplements in print or online.
The JNRS data is Ireland’s largest random probability survey, with a sample size of approximately 7,000 adults aged 15-plus. The majority of regular online readers also read print newspapers, the Millward Brown study reported.
Online daily readership of NNI member websites rose by an average of 40,000 people, or 9 per cent, since the survey for the July 2012-June 2013 period. The irishtimes.com figure is up 13 per cent.
Some 490,000 people, or 14 per cent of the population, read or accessed a newspaper title online either yesterday in the case of daily titles or in the past week in the case of Sunday titles.
"It is very positive, but not surprising, to see that online readership is growing at such a healthy pace," said NNI co-ordinating director Frank Cullen.
Some 2.9 million people, or 81 per cent of the population, regularly read printed newspapers. “Occasional” readers – or readers who do not read a daily title every day – now make up to half the daily newspapers’ average issue readership.