Newspapers Promoting Readers-​Per-​Copy Metric to Marketers

Publishers of printed newspapers have long promoted circulation as the gold measure of ad exposure.  And as most marketers know, newspaper circulation at the national level has been declining. The recent recession and the continued move by readers to online formats contributed to a loss in traditional circulation of 18% between 2007 and 2009. But Scarborough Research and the Newspaper National Network say the news is not all bad. These organizations are promoting readership as a new metric to measure ad effectiveness.

Specifically, readers-​per-​copy has increased 7.5% since 2007. By 2009, the typical printed daily newspaper was read by 3.3 adults. Gary Meo, senior vice president, print and digital media services, Scarborough Research, says “Readers-​Per-​Copy is especially important as newspapers compete for their share of a brand’s media budget, particularly among national advertisers."

Marketers should also keep in mind that daily newspaper readers possess unique demographics:

  • Average household income $72,300
  • College graduate 33%
  • Own home 77%

Consumers who read newspapers on a regular basis also skew higher for purchasing financial instruments such as bonds and money market funds and for travel experiences such as bed and breakfast inn visits and taking cruises.

Marketers seeking to reach these specific demographic groups would do well to use newspapers as part of their media mix and to consider the merits of readers-​per-​copy when considering the reach of this format.

[Source:  Telling the WholeStory. Scarborough Research and Newspaper National Network. April 2010. Web. 5 Jun. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.