Online Readership


Could online reading be inflating the print readership estimates?

The NRS estimates reflect the potential audience for advertising within the print publication. The advertising in the print publication is different from that carried by the related website, so it is important to measure the print audience separately.

In the NRS readership questions, participants are asked (and reminded) to exclude any reading done online.

Between 2004 and 2008 NRS ran a test to monitor whether, despite these instructions, some participants did include online reading in their print readership claims. A dozen or so titles were included, chosen on the basis that they had websites with relatively large audiences.

The results of the test were encouraging. In some cases Average Issue Readers had read the publication on the Internet as well as in print, but the level of solus Internet readership was low.


Does the NRS measure online readership?

NRS was led by its stakeholders (newsbrands – NPA, magazines – PPA and advertising agencies – IPA) who were keen for the Survey to reflect the growth of newsbrands and magazine brands through non-print platforms, principally websites.

Various possible solutions were assessed, and the favoured approach was a partnership with an established provider of online audience data. The advantages of this are that there is no disruption to the NRS print currency, and it avoids the expense (and potential confusion) of creating a new online currency.

The new dataset is called NRS PADD, which stands for Print And Digital Data. It is a fusion of NRS and comScore data, and provides a single dataset for planning across print and digital platforms. NRS PADD was launched in September 2012.

Please see NRS PADD to find out more.


Use of the Internet – The UKOM Establishment survey

Since 2006, the UKOM Establishment Survey has been conducted via the NRS interview. NRS’s high quality sample of 33,225 respondents per year is used by UKOM as the basis for the definitive measure of internet use in Great Britain.

The UKOM Establishment Survey data are available to all NRS subscribers. Participants who have accessed the internet in the past 12 months are asked:

  • How often they use the internet
  • Where they use the internet – at home, at work, using a mobile device etc
  • When they last used the internet
  • Whether their household has broadband
  • What equipment they use to access the internet at home
  • How many laptops or PCs they have at home
  • Whether they use the net at home for work purposes
  • What they use the internet for
  • Do they shop online?
  • Whether they have visited any social networking websites
  • What activities they do on social networking websites – i.e. updating status, posting a picture etc

The NRS interview also covers activities on the internet.