FT dramatically increases key readership in Europe

- The Financial Times has dramatically increased its readership among leading decision makers in Europe, according to the 25th European Business Readership Survey.

- The Financial Times has dramatically increased its readership among leading decision makers in Europe, according to the 25th European Business Readership Survey.

The FT, easily the market leading title, registered 61,603 top brass readers this year, up by 23 per cent on last year's survey.

The most noticeable gain, however, was made by the European which more than doubled its reach to 12,401 decision makers. But the achievement did little to rectify an unstable year for the title, or to dispel fears of an uncertain future.

Julie Ferguson, head of research and marketing services at the European, said: "While I don't deny that we have changed the product enormously, it shows a remarkable interest in a now tightly focused business magazine. What we need to do now is to secure those readers."

In the weeklies market, the Economist increased its readership by just over five per cent, although its market share fell from 11 per cent in 1996 to 10 percent in 1998. Time and BusinessWeek both suffered falls in their average issue readership.

The four monthly titles, National Geographic, Euromoney, the Institutional Investor and the Scientific American all witnessed a rise in readership, with the National Geographic registering a ten per cent increase to 41,069.

Jane Turner, the head of planning at Carat International, commented: "There has been an overall increase in the estimated market size of 10 per cent. In that context, the FT has made quite a big jump." She added that the EBRS audience was a particularly difficult one to make inroads into because of fairly well established reading habits.

There are concerns however, that the survey's limited sample size does not give a particularly stable picture of such a broad market. Steve Goodman, the director of press at the Media Business, said: "We want surveys like this but with more money invested into them to make them more robust, as well as more input from agencies. We tend to use indigenous research from each European country."



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