Overview by Fiona Booth – Research Manager
The Sun was the biggest selling national newspaper in April, posting a circulation figure of 2.6 million according to new figures released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, with sister title The Sun (Sunday) taking the number two spot with sales of 2.3 million. At the bottom end of the league table was The Independent who slipped below the 100k mark, as we predicted, to post a circulation figure of 98,636 for April. Increasing its cover price to £1.20 in April can’t have helped.
Overall, national newspaper sales fell this month by only 0.5% compared to last month, but looking at the longer term, April’s total sales were down 7% compared to the same time last year (when using the News of the World’s circulation last April to compare against The Sun (Sunday) this April).
The Mid Market sector clawed back some of its losses from March, with circulation collectively up 1% in April as all titles but the Mail on Sunday posted monthly increases. The Daily Mail actually added the most physical sales of all the national titles this month, putting on an extra 38,751 copies to take its total circulation for April up to 1,991,275 and tantalisingly within reach of the 2 million mark again. There was more good news in this sector as The Sunday Express claimed the biggest percentage growth across all the national titles, the additional 25,525 sales it picked up in April pushing it circulation up by 5% on March. However, the long term trend is still a declining one, with the sector’s collective sales down by 7% on the same time last year.
The Quality sector remained fairly flat in April with sales for the whole sector up a very slender 0.2% on March, and saved by The Sunday Times which was the only real winner in this sector with circulation up 3% on March to 955,248. The Sunday Times’ gains offset the others’ losses as only three other titles in the quality sector saw any monthly growth and it was negligible at best (The Daily and Sunday Telegraphs, and The Observer). And the i’s recent growth spurt finally slowed down with sales down just under 1% month on month, although its still up a very healthy (or should that be very “bulky”) 69% on last year.
The Popular sector continued to settle in April, with total sales down 2% on March. Despite being the second highest selling national title in April The Sun (Sunday) dropped the most physical copies over the month, down 129,453 copies on March, although with total sales comfortably over the 2 million mark that isn’t quite the dent in its sales as it would be for its competitors. That said, if we look at the News of the World’s sales this time last year The Sun (Sunday) is still a little short, selling 308,956 less than its predecessor was in April 2011. The Daily Star appears to be the only Sunday popular to still be holidng on to its News of the World refugees, with April’s circulation up a stellar 56% on the same time last year. The Sunday Mirror and The People, by contrast, are both down year on year.
All figures sourced from ABC
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