In a revolutionary development for Israel’s newspaper industry, the free daily
Israel Hayom has equaled and possibly surpassed longtime dominant Yediot
Aharonot in readership, according a survey published Wednesday.
biannual TGI survey, which measures newspaper readership as well as other
consumer- and media-oriented topics, found that both papers now share roughly 35
percent of the country’s daily readership, with Israel Hayom even showing a
slight advantage of 0.3% that falls within the margin of error.
to the survey, Israel Hayom increased its share of the country’s total
readership by roughly 10% since the previous poll, which was published in
December; Yediot gained only 1%.
Two other dailies also showed an
increase in total readership, with economic newspaper Kalkalist climbing from
4.3% to 4.6% of total readership and the free Israel Post going from 7.5% to
The daily newspapers that have lost readership numbers over the
past six months are Haaretz, which dropped from 6.6% to 6.4%; Maariv, which went
from 13.6% to 12.5%; and Globes, which dropped from 3.4% to 2.5%.
interview with The Jerusalem Post, TGI Research CEO Eitan Kasif said the
increase in Israel Hayom’s readership influenced Israeli newspaper consumption
patterns in general.
“After a period of stagnation in readership in 2009,
we can once again point to a rise in daily newspaper reading.
readership numbers grew in the past six months from 59.7% to 62.8%,” said
When asked whether the fact that some of the newspapers were given
out for free affected the findings, Kasif explained that since the survey tested
readership and not circulation, the price was insignificant.
of papers sold or handed out is not all that important, because we know that
many more people read the paper than pick it up or have it delivered. The point
of purchase is only relevant to the first set of eyes that read it, but after
one person is done with it, the newspaper is often transferred to other people
who read it secondhand,” said Kasif.
“We ask people what they read, not
what they buy,” he went on. “They can pick it up on the train, from their
husband’s or wife’s breakfast table, in a coffee shop or at the office. They
only report on what they choose to read.”
When asked why The Jerusalem
Post was not measured in the TGI survey, Kasif said that while in the past it
had been included, it had been taken out in recent years because it was
“There is an inherent bias in the survey
against anyone who publishes in a foreign language, since the people who
participate in it are screened for Hebrew literacy. People who read
foreign-language papers would likely have difficulty completing the
questionnaire, and therefore we cannot provide an accurate figure about their
According to Kasif, daily newspaper readership is only one
out of thousands of topics the TGI survey investigates.
“We send a
booklet with hundreds of questions to 10,000 people every year.
of the survey relates to the previous six months and is answered by a
representative sample of 4,000 Jewish adults,” he said.
When it comes to
online news sites, Walla was ranked as the most read site, with 37.8% of
respondents saying they visited it at least once a week. Yediot’s Ynet
second with 32.4%, and Channel 2’s Mako
came in third with 13%, followed by
Channel 10’s Nana (11.4%), Maariv’s NRG (8.9%), and Haaretz
Internet use in total grew from 78.5% of the population in the
previous study to 80% in this one. The average Israeli spends 7.25 hours a week
surfing the Web, 3.5 hours reading newspapers and more than 10 hours listening
to the radio.