The Philippines today is not a nation of newspaper readers.
Barely one out of 10 Filipinos reads a newspaper every day, according to the 2013 Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS) of the Philippine Statistics Authority. Magazines are slightly more popular, with 30.7 percent reading them at least once a week.
Newspapers in the Philippines come in two forms: small-sized and cheaper tabloids are more often in Pilipino and carry more crime news and entertainment stories. Broadsheets, on the other hand, are huge and cost twice the tabloid. All broadsheets are in English, with several offering business and lifestyle sections in addition to news, features and sports. Several broadsheets have tabloid counterparts, such as the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Bandera, and Philippine Star and Pilipino Star Ngayon.
Tabloids sell more and are more popular than broadsheets. In fact, only three broadsheets are among the top 10 most read newspapers, according to a Nielsen survey. In addition to the 10 are three more titles. Two are business papers which are also broadsheets: BusinessMirror and BusinessWorld. The third is regional paper Sun.Star, which prints in six key cities in the Philippines.
There is not much concentration in the print market as the four biggest companies together reach a readership of 21.5 percent, all of them playing in the same league, reaching an audience of around 5 percent each.
Most newspapers have established a readership in their online platforms. The online platforms of all the three broadsheets in the print’s top 10—Inquirer, Star and Manila Bulletin—are also the most visited websites in the Philippines.
The print media are mostly identified with families that dominate the company. Inquirer Holdings belongs to the Rufino-Prieto family while the Belmonte family has the Star Group. The Yap family owns Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation. The Macasaet family holds Monica Publishing Corporation and Sison's Publishing Corporation belongs to the Sison family.
Note: The audience shares are calculated only as a proxy. Nielsen Inc. provided shares on “incidents of readership,” projecting a universe of roughly 40.6 million Filipinos possibly reading newspapers and magazines in the National Urban Philippines. Those shares were put in relation with the number of people that actually read newspapers at least once a week, a total of 27.8 percent (FLEMMS Report 2013) – which was set as 100 percent audience share.