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ABC Regional Publications Report: Publisher Reaction

The ABC yesterday released its latest Regional Publications Report and publishers have responded with their interpretation of the figures.

Below are statements about their ABC results from: Newsquest and The Times Scotland, along with analysis from Local Media Works:


Newsquest accelerates annual digital audience growth to 24%

Newsquest Media Group, the leading local multimedia group in the UK, has accelerated its digital audience growth to 24% in the first half of 2016. This compares with 17% annual growth in the 2nd half of last year.

The official ABC figures, out today, show Newsquest’s network of regional and local websites attracted 1,575,714 unique users per day in the first 6 months of this year, up 24.1% on the same period last year, and 25 million unique users per month, up 20.1%.

Henry Faure Walker, Newsquest CEO said it was important that people understood that there was a real success story here: “We hear a lot of doom and gloom about the future of local news but the truth is our journalists are engaging with local people and local communities in ever greater numbers, and there’s a phenomenal appetite for and engagement with the great local content they produce. In addition to these ABC figures, Comscore data shows users engage with Newsquest sites more deeply than with any other local or regional news sites.

"At the same time we’re also seeing more and more local businesses advertising on our digital platforms because they want to work with trusted brands with relevant online audiences.

"Digital growth is a central plank of our strategy and I’m delighted at the progress we’re making but we’re not complacent and we are committed to continuing to innovate and develop our online offerings for both user and advertiser alike.”

The Times Scotland

The Times Scotland overtakes The Scotsman

Today sees the release of the regional six monthly ABC’s, which confirms that The Times Scotland has overtaken The Scotsman. The Times Scotland’s average print sale for the equivalent period was 24,094, this record six monthly print sale is an increase of 27.4% year-on-year and is 3,790 copies in front of The Scotsman.

Following 19 consecutive months of growth, The Times Scotland has also decreased the gap with The Herald which now stands at just over 6,000 copies.

Magnus Llewellin, Editor in Chief of The Herald, will move to join The Times as Scottish Editor at the end of this month.

The Times Scotland has continued its recent investment in journalism across the newspaper, in particular in additional news, business and opinion content. Recent editorial hirings include Graham Spiers (Sport), Greig Cameron (Business) and Kenny Farquharson (Comment).

The title is also growing its sports coverage, sharing exclusive access as the official Newspaper partner (alongside The Scottish Sun and The Sunday Times Scotland) of Scottish Rugby Union. The exciting three-year partnership gives News Scotland’s team of rugby writers exclusive access to players and coaches for the national team, Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors, ensuring readers get unmatched reporting and insight.

John Witherow, Editor of The Times, said: “We are proud of how The Times Scotland has grown over the last six months, thanks to a relentless focus on improving our Scottish coverage across all sections. Magnus Llewellin is an outstanding journalist and editor, with huge experience of the Scottish newspaper and digital market, and we very much look forward to him joining The Times.”

Richard Bogie, General Manager for News Scotland, said: “Overtaking The Scotsman is a great reward for our market-leading brands, strong marketing executions and the growing number of new advertisers who have supported our titles. We are looking forward to the next six months with great confidence.”

Local Media Works

Local Newsbrands Grow Social Media Engagement

Local newsbrands have seen large increases in social media engagement and web traffic over the last year.

According to Local Media Works analysis, the titles measured for social media engagement by ABC grew Twitter followers by 44 per cent over the past year and the number of Facebook for publishers likes increased by 54 per cent.

Daily unique browsers was up by 22 per cent across the publisher networks measured by ABC - Johnston Press, KentOnline, Newsquest, Midland News Association, Trinity Mirror and some Archant daily titles.

Kent Online was the biggest riser of the networks – up 26 per cent year-on-year – and Newsquest was the next highest, up by 24 per cent.

Big risers on social media include WalesOnline which grew Twitter followers by 65 per cent, Birmingham Mail which increased by 62 per cent and the Express & Star which increased followers by 54 per cent.