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NRS: Star, Daily Star Sunday and Daily Mail only risers

Price slashing strategy pays off as Richard Desmond's tabloids increase their readership

The Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday plus the Daily Mail were the only national newspapers to increase readership in the year to the end of June, according to the National Readership Survey.

The Daily Star's readership grew eight per cent year-on-year to an estimated average of 1.59m in the 12-month period, the survey claims.

The readership of the Star has steadily been on the rise since its cover price was slashed to just 20p.

In July, Desmond heightened the tabloid price war and increased the likelihood of readership growing further by cutting the cover price of the Star again to just 10p.

The Daily Star's sister paper, the Daily Star Sunday, also increased its readership as it grew by 74,000 (eight per cent) to 852,000 over the 12 months, the NRS reports.

The Daily Mail, the only other national that grew its readership in the period according to NRS, increased it by one per cent to 4.9m.

The Daily Express, which like the Star is owned by Richard Desmond, didn't fare as well as its stablemates. It was one of four national newspapers to record a double-digit decline in readership.

The Express had an estimated readership of 1.46 m, a drop of ten per cent year-on-year. The Independent's readership dropped 11 per cent to an estimated average readership of 607,000.

Trinity Mirror's Glasgow-based national The Daily Record saw a readership decline of 12 per cent to 958,000.

Guardian News & Media's The Observer recorded a fall in readership of 17 per cent year-on-year in the period to 1.14m.

The Observer's sister paper, The Guardian, also recorded a fall in estimated readership in the 12 months to June. It dropped six per cent to 1.13m.

The Financial Times dropped by the same figure to 404,000 while fellow quality title The Daily Telegraph dropped three per cent to 1.8m readers on average during the period and The Times by seven per cent to 1.67m.

The readership of News International's The Sun remained the largest of the nationals at 7.69m despite falling by two per cent year-on-year.

Red-top rival The Daily Mirror recorded a fall in readership of nine per cent to 3.24m.

Readership of the Daily Mirror's sister paper, the Sunday Mirror, dipped one per cent to 3.84m, while fellow Trinity Mirror Sunday paper The People had an estimated average readership of 1.31m in the 12 months to June - a drop of nine per cent.

News International's News of the World remained the most popular paper in the Sunday market, and the second overall behind stablemate The Sun, with a readership of 7.59m - a drop of three per cent.

Second highest readership of the Sunday papers belonged to the Mail on Sunday with 5.03m readers - a drop of eight per cent.

The Sunday Express had an estimated readership of 1.53m - down nine per cent. The Sunday Times readership was 3.15m - a drop of one per cent.

The Sunday Telegraph's readership over the 12-month period was 1.56m - down seven per cent - while the Independent on Sunday dropped its readership by four per cent to 623,000.

NRS gathered its data by surveying 36,000 people to estimate newspaper readership, unlike the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which audits the number of copies of papers distributed.

This piece appeared originally in Press Gazette