More people are now going online to read the Yorkshire Evening Post than buying the print version of the paper.
Figures released today show that in the first half of this year the paper’s website attracted 36,997 visitors a day (46.8% up year on year), while only 33,805 bought a hard copy of the paper.
It’s a milestone that has come surprisingly fast – and a dramatic change from the situation a year ago when only 25,200 were going online to read the paper every day and 36,512 were still buying it.
Despite the continuing slump in print sales, there are reasons to be cheerful at the Leeds operation of regional publisher Johnston Press, whose chief executive Ashley Highfield outlined plans for the group to put digital “at the heart” of its operations earlier this year.
The Yorkshire Post saw a healthy increase in its daily online visitor count too – up 38% to 21,340 from 15,385 a year ago – and the digital performance of both Leeds papers was among the best throughout the Johnston Press group.
All that remains now is to convert that growing online readership – from today JP is the biggest and fastest growing regional press publisher online – into digital revenue.
True, the company’s digital revenues are growing – 8.4% up in the first half of this year – but it’s from a modest base, and they’re still only around one tenth of what the company earns from print advertising.
Here are the figures (I’m checking the ones for the Telegraph and Argus as I can’t make sense of the data given by the PressGazette)