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Experts from Carat in Edinburgh review the latest media data releases, divulge the key trends in media and offer insightful views using their own bespoke research.

18 October 2011 - 7:52am | posted by | 0 comments

Not much to shout about as new circulation figures are published

Not much to shout about as new circulation figures are publishedNot much to shout about as new circulation figures are published

Angela Peacock, press account executive, reviews the September ABCs

The new ABC figures for September will be of little encouragement to the newspaper market as circulation continues to fall.

The daily titles saw figures drop both year on year and month on month almost across the board, the most notable of which appears to be the Daily Star with a plummet of 21.2% on September 2010. And whilst the Sun remained the highest selling daily title it suffered the greatest loss with a reduction of over 70,000 copies on last month and almost 250,000 copies on last year.

The quality dailies were down again on August’s figures with the exception of the Financial Times, the only daily title at all to show any gains on last month, which saw a healthy rise of 3.8%. The biggest monthly loss comes from the Daily Telegraph which despite remaining the highest selling quality title is down by nearly 25,000 copies on last month. The Times, however, saw the biggest annual loss, shedding over 57,000 copies on September 2010. Interestingly, News Int were quick to hail a 10% rise in digital subscribers to The Times over the last three months on the same day.

The i continues to outsell it’s sister title, The Independent, by around 7,500 copies. However, the i’s sales fell a little more steeply at 3.5% on last month compared to The Independent’s loss of only 1.9%. The i has performed very strongly since it launched and it’s inevitable that the growth had to end sometime. Perhaps next month those missing copies will be added on again? Elsewhere, The Guardian’s figures have fallen again, down 3.6% on last month and 16.4% on last year, the highest percentage decrease amongst the quality dailies year on year. How much of this loss is attributable to their cover price increase of 20% is hard to tell.

The phone hacking scandal continues to impact the Sunday Market. Overall, the Sunday titles saw circulation losses of 3.9% on August. Against the same time last year, the market is still down 17.2% suggesting that some of the News of the World’s readers still haven’t replaced the tabloid with another title – if they haven’t by now then chances are they won’t at all.

However, whilst the quality Sundays are all down on September 2010, the mids and populars have all seen growth on this time last year after scooping up the News of the World’s readers with circulation gains ranging from 0.5% (Mail on Sunday) to 89.3% (Daily Star Sunday). So the aftermath of the News of the World’s demise is still causing strange numbers to appear in our percentage growth columns and it’s safe to say that it will be months before they all settle down to more sensible figures.

Amongst Scotland’s indigenous titles, the total market is down both on the month and on the year at 4.8% and 5.1% respectively. The Sunday Mail is the only one of the homegrown titles to have seen an increase year on year, up 2.9%, but given the dougle digit gains that the national populars have managed on the back of the News of the World’s closure this figure will be a disappointment for the title.

The Herald and The Scotsman have also suffered along with their Sunday sister titles. The most notable loss was seen by the Sunday Herald which showed a fall in circulation of 5.1% on August but, more worryingly, a quite heavy loss of 31.9% year on year. We’ve looked at the reasons for the Sunday Herald’s large monthly annual declines in previous blog entries over recent months but this big a drop is still very alarming for the title.

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