The regional news industry now reaches more than 75% of British adults each month, according to new figures from its updated audience measurement system.
Jicreg True Local launches today and provides de-duplicated audience data for local media titles across newspapers, websites and mobile offerings.
The local media industry, which includes titles such as The Yorkshire Post, Liverpool Echo and Express & Star, reaches 40.6 million adults in Great Britain each month. There are 53.03 million adults over the age of 15 in Great Britain.
The regional title with the highest reach is the Thursday-Friday edition of Manchester Evening News, owned by Reach, which has 1.97 million readers across print, digital and mobile every month.
Combined, the local media sector reaches 33.6 million via a digital platform each month and 20.5 million adults through its print papers. Ten million people between the ages of 15 and 34 read content from local titles on their mobile each month.
The inclusion of digital platforms almost doubles the sector's audience. Jicreg True Local shows mobile increases the audiences of local titles by 94%, while monthly audiences rise by 98% when all digital platforms are included.
The local media industry launched the UK’s first audience currency to combine print and online in 2009. RSMB, the statistical research specialists, calculated the latest update using data from Pamco, Comscore and ABC.
A board including staff from local publishers, the News Media Association, the IPA and ISBA governs Jicreg, which is used by the top 20 media agencies.
Belinda Beeftink, research director at the IPA, said: "Media agencies will be particularly pleased today to see both the growing cross-platform audiences for local media and the large numbers of younger audiences accessing local news content through mobile.
"This demonstrates unequivocally that local news media remains highly relevant and engaging for the wide variety of audiences and that the industry should rightly be viewed as a key player in the marketing and communications landscape."
In a confident open letter published today, local media publishers tell media agencies and advertisers that "no other medium offers you the combination of scale, precise geographic targeting and a highly trusted brand-safe environment".
Simon Edgley, chairman of the local media industry’s marketing body Local Media Works, which is part of the NMA, said: "Jicreg True Local demonstrates not only the local sector’s commitment to robust and transparent audience measurement, but also that our overall audiences are growing significantly and more consumers are engaging with their local news brands than ever before.
"It is now time for advertisers and agencies to re-examine their adspend to reassess their relationship with trusted local media platforms."
Local publishers will be running an ad campaign to promote the launch of Jicreg True Local.