Compact Times is attracting younger and new readers

LONDON - The Times' decision to go compact is paying off and attracting a younger upmarket audience as well as new readers, according to research.

Compact Times is attracting younger and new readers

The Times-commissioned research, carried out by IPSOS-RSL, found that readers of its compact edition are more likely to be aged between 25 and 44, with 46% of readers falling into this bracket.

It found little difference in the number of ABC1s that the broadsheet and compact attract at 77% and 78% respectively.

Mostly importantly, it highlighted that the compact is attracting a new audience. A respectable 9% of readers surveyed were new to The Times brand and were compact-only readers, while 32% of the readers were broadsheet only, 31% read both versions and 28% had migrated from broadsheet to compact.

The compact also played a valuable role in attracting non-Times readers, with 12% of non-readers stating that they were more likely to read The Times since the launch of the compact. This group were found to be more likely to be upmarket, younger women who work full-time.

On reasons for reading the compact: 36% said that they read it for the size; 23% said because it was easier to read on public transport; 18% said it was because it was easier to carry; 15% because it is easier to read in other locations; and 2% because it is the only version of The Times available.

The Times followed The Independent in going compact in December last year. It recently targeted advertisers with a campaign to highlight a 2.28% year-on-year rise in its circulation figures.

Last week, Brand Republic reported that The Guardian and its Sunday sister title The Observer have approved a £50m investment plan to relaunch compact editions. Following the billionaire Barclay brothers' win in the ownership battle for The Daily Telegraph, it is expected that it will also follow suit in a move to claw back readers and attract a younger readership base.

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