The online consumption of newspapers has risen by 20% in the last year and by 100% over the last three years, according to stats released at the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) conference.
The World Digital Media Trends report – collected by 71 research companies and covering 232 countries – also suggested a 13.77% rise in the number of newspaper websites in the world bringing the total to 4,500.
52% of readers who view newspaper websites spend the same amount of time reading newspapers, according to the stats; while 35% say the time they spend with either print or online newspapers has increased.
Figures presented for print circulation worldwide presented an equally positive picture.
The circulation of paid for print dailies rose by 2.98% last year with the total number of titles increasing by 27.22%.
573,235,00 paid and free newspapers are distributed every day and 1.75 billion people read a print edition a day.
Print circulation in China, India and Latin America also showed growth.
Presenting the figures, WAN chairman Timothy Balding said these were just the facts, without sentiment or analysis.
And while figures pointing out that revenue in the advertising industry is still dominated by the print went hand in hand with the positivity of the circulation figures, follow-up sessions at the conference on integration and the challenges of web 2.0 to newspapers will perhaps paint a more cautious picture.
As Christophe Pleitgen, head of news for Reuters UK, told delegates in a later session:
“We are living on borrowed time. In a sense, some of us may have more time, while colleagues in the US would say it is high time. It’s great that newspaper editors are optimistic about the future. They have gotten on with integrating their newsrooms – doing that is more urgent than most of us think.”