Olympic-level coverage

August 29, 2012, 12:13 PM GMT+0

78% UK adults consumed printed or digital media over Olympics; 51% digital content; 82 % of 18-24s

Around eight in ten UK adults consumed newsbrand content around the time of the Olympics, our research has found, on behalf of newspaper marketing agency Newsworks.

The one-off online study, which polled 2103 UK adults aged 18+, found that national newspaper content, either in printed or digital form, was consumed by 78% of the adult population over the first post-Olympic weekend ‒ a percentage which Newsworks states would equate to an audience of 32.8 million.*

The poll shows that newsbrands ‒ in print and digital formats ‒ were second only to BBC television as the destination for following the Olympics, while also highlighting the extent of newsbrands' youthful audiences, with over eight in ten 18 to 24 year-olds having consumed content across print and digital platforms during the Olympic period.

  • 66% of adults used traditional printed newspapers to access their content
  • More than half of readers (51%) had accessed content via computers, mobiles or tablets around the time of the Games; Newsworks suggests that this highlights the growing success of newspaper brands’ multi-platform approach
  • National newspaper websites were used by nearly three in ten adults online (29%), outstripping Twitter (15%), Facebook (25%) and YouTube (12%) as a source for Olympic news

Defining the occasion

Rufus Olins, CEO, Newsworks commented: "We predicted newsbrand audiences would rise during the Olympics. More readers turn to newsbrands at times of big national events ‒ not just for the news itself but to read trusted sources of analysis and opinion and enjoy the wonderful images that come to define these occasions."

Additionally, readers felt that newsbrands helped to create and amplify the Olympic experience, with 62% of multi-platform readers agreeing that newsbrands played an important part in building the positive mood of the nation during the Olympics, and 58% feeling they were an important part of the readers’ celebrations.

Young people engaged in print and online content

The research also demonstrates the extent of newsbrands' youthful audience, with young adults strongly engaged across both print and digital platforms around the Olympic period.

  • Amongst 18-34 year olds, some 82% had read newspaper brands on print or digital platforms. What’s more, despite - or perhaps because - of the high digital readership levels, 62% of 18-24 year olds were picking up a printed newspaper as well, a figure only just below that of 66% for all adults

Further insight is also available as to how different online platforms are being used, particularly amongst younger adults: while mobile phones/ smartphones were used to access newsbrand content by 41% of the 18-34 year old age group, computers and laptops were the most dominant platform amongst 18-24 year olds (45% usage) whilst tablets were most used by 25-34 year olds (15% usage).

As Olins explains, "Newsbrands engage the nation. This was very powerfully demonstrated during the Olympics - and the successful expansion into multiple platforms is providing newspaper brands with the opportunity to develop new, younger audiences."

See the survey details and full results here

Newsworks, formerly the Newspaper Marketing Agency, is funded by seven national newspaper (“newsbrand”) groups: Guardian News & Media, Evening Standard, Independent Print, Mail Newspapers, Mirror Group Newspapers, News International, Telegraph Media Group.

*UK adults who have ever used the internet: 83.7% (42.16 million) of UK adults. Source: Office for National Statistic’s Internet Access Quarterly Update Q1, 2012. Online adults saying they accessed any format of newspaper around the time of the Olympics: 78% of 42.16 million = 32.83 million.