Straits Times readership plunges a bit more this year, establishing medium term decline

It's tough being a newspaper these days. But less so if you're the only one around.

Belmont Lay| November 06, 06:27 AM

The Nielsen Media Index Report 2013 is out. And it is bad news for The Straits Times.

According to the latest figures, ST's print and digital readership reached a combined total of 1.37 million people daily, who are aged 15 years and above.

When the numbers are taken apart, the print version of ST alone reaches 1.2 million people.

This suggests a massive overlap as the ST's online version reaches out to an additional 170,000 people only.

For the record, ST's print version's reach has fallen -- from 1.25 million people daily in 2012 to 1.2 million this year. This means that 50,000 readers have given up burying their noses inside the broadsheet.

A precipitous decline it is not, but more like a sure, sustained gradual fall.

Regardless, ST is definitely finding it harder to attract an audience with its news -- given the overall incremental population growth Singapore has been experiencing.

During its better years in 2004 to 2009, ST's daily readership ballooned from 1.32 million to about 1.4 million. Remember, those were the years before the advent of tablets and smartphones.

Conspicuously absent in ST's own reporting of the Nielsen report (ST: "The Straits Times remains most widely read newspaper on print and online platforms", Nov. 6, 2013), are the circulation figures.

Look no further though, as the Singapore Press Holdings annual reports reveal a decline -- from 390,363 printed copies of ST circulated daily at the turn of the millennium to 365,800 in 2010.

In 2012, circulation for printed versions of ST shrunk further still to 355,700.

Nielsen's annual study polled 4,073 individuals aged 15 and above.


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