Newspapers (mostly) won’t miss Google Reader users

Lots of journalists have lamented the demise of Google Reader, but looking at the subscription numbers in the service, newspapers won’t be losing much of an audience.

Back in the mists of time I used to regularly make league tables of which newspapers had the most RSS subscribers in Google Reader or Bloglines. With the imminent demise of the former, I thought I’d have a quick look at the public data Google makes available about subscription numbers. This reveals that only a couple of titles stand to lose much audience when the ‘off’ switch is pressed.

The table below is based on looking at the subscriber numbers and “average weekly posts” stats in Google Reader. Because of the complication around Sunday papers having the same or different websites depending on the title, I’ve stuck to those papers which filed print ABC figures in February, plus The Scotsman. The i does not appear to have an RSS feed.

The findings are quite simple. Two papers, The Guardian and the Financial Times, have built up a significant RSS audience via Google Reader. The Guardian has nearly 250,000 subscribers, the FT over 55,000. Only the Telegraph and the Mail, with 15,000 and 11,000 subscribers, come close.

Google also publishes stats on which titles publish the most stories into their feed. This reveals that the Mail and the Mirror appear to be the most prolific titles with their main RSS feed.

  Title Main feed Subscribers Posts per week
1. The Guardian RSS icon 242,055 322.5
2. Financial Times RSS icon 56,274 158.9
3. Daily Telegraph RSS icon 15,328 555.3
4. Daily Mail RSS icon 11,320 1253.9
5. The Sun RSS icon 6,483 876.2
6. Daily Mirror RSS icon 2,668 1,032.3
7. The Independent RSS icon 1,139 835.6
8. Daily Record RSS icon 425 609
9. Daily Star RSS icon 281 393.4
10. Daily Express RSS icon 203 352.8
11. The Scotsman RSS icon 122 548.8
12. i   - -

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