THE PRESS SECTOR

ARA closes its best year

Growth seen in main indicators, from sales of copies to print and online readers

ARA closes its best year

July begins today and this puts a symbolic end to the year. For ARA, it has clearly been a successful one, as this paper reached various historic maximums and saw growth in the main indicators of sales and readership.

The latest data from the Office of Justification of Circulation (OJD) for the month of May certify the sales of print newspapers. ARA achieved its best average with 15,405 daily copies, between newsstand sales and individual subscriptions. It is the best figure for this newspaper —in the context of a widespread decline for the press—, and surpassed the results of last year (from September to June) by 29%.

This also meant an increase in the number of readers who make ARA their newspaper of choice on a daily basis. The latest EGM —General Media Study, which measures not sales but a newspaper’s readership— determined that ARA reached 136,000 daily readers during the 2017-2018 year. Again, the year-on-year growth is spectacular: 56.3%. ARA is the newspaper that has made the most significant leap forward of any published in Spain. And it is the record highest figure of a second wave of the EGM.

In addition, ARA managed to narrow the gap considerably with the second ranked paper in Catalonia (El Periódico), while widening the gap with the fourth on the list (El Punt Avui) by a large margin.

The Center for Opinion Studies (CEO) also confirmed these good readership figures. This Generalitat office provides a ranking of print newspapers, based on responses to surveys. ARA appears as the second-most-followed paper, with 83,000 daily readers, surpassed only by the 98,000 readers of the Catalan edition of La Vanguardia (the CEO survey differentiates between bilingual versions of a newspaper). Third position was held by the Spanish-language edition of the Grupo Godó paper (75,000), and the Spanish version of El Periódico took the fourth position with 71,000 readers. El País totaled 47,000 and the Catalan edition of El Periódico had 32,000, a statistical tie with the 31,000 readers of El Punt Avui.

Digital leader

ARA also had its best year online. Between September 2017 and May 2018 (latest certified data), OJD-Interactive gives an average of unique monthly page visits of 2,894,895. This is an all-time record for ARA, which surpassed the previous year´s results by 42.1% (through June, in this case).

Thus, the paper leads the ranking of most-visited Catalan language media on the internet, and did so despite being a media outlet with pay-access content. In second place was Nació Digital (2,749,219), followed by Vilaweb (2,409,501), and Catalunya Diari (1,933,728), all three of which have based their business models on free content.
Internet users are also measured by ComScore, which uses a mixed methodology: embedded counters on the web pages, and surveys. In this case, the data for ARA also reached a record high, with 1,911,214 unique monthly page visits, which represented a 42.5% increase compared to the previous year’s figure, and nearly four times the results from just three years ago, when it reached 506,133 monthly followers.

Meanwhile, on social networks the newspaper consolidated its hegemony. The general account @diariara has 471,303 followers on Twitter, to which can be added the hundreds of thousands of followers of some thirty topical accounts combined. On Facebook, 282,852 people have become followers of the general page.

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