According to the latest ABC figures, newspaper sales in March were down a modest -0.4 per cent on February, with five titles seeing circulation gains month on month. Longer term, total circulation fell -8.1 per cent compared to the same time last year, with sales of every title down on March 2013.
The top three selling titles in the UK in February remained unchanged. The Sun continues to be the biggest selling title, with average sales in March of 2,069,809. This is a slight rally in its circulation, up 1 per cent on February to keep the Sun’s head above the 2 million mark for another month. The Daily Mail was the second biggest selling title in March with an average circulation of 1,708,006, down -1.1 per cent on last month. The Sun on Sunday hangs on to third place with average sales of 1,686,840 this month, a drop of -0.5 per cent on February.The Independent and Independent on Sunday continue to bring up the rear, with the Independent on Sunday looking likely to join its sister title in the next month or two in selling less than 100k copies per day on average.The daily market fared better than the Sunday market in March. With four out of the five titles seeing circulation gains on February, month on month sales of the dailies increased by an average per day of over 4,000 versus the Sundays' average losses of -68,000. Longer term, the dailies were down ‘only’ -7.2 per cent on last March compared to -9.1 per cent for the Sundays.
By sector, the qualities continue to have a better time of it, laying claim to three out of the five titles in March seeing circulation gains on February (all of which had ‘Times’ on the masthead) to help the sector to increase sales month on month by 0.1 per cent. Longer term, sales of the Qualities were down -5.0 per cent on last March, which is the best performance of the bunch. Even with the remaining two of the five growth titles for the month in the popular sector, The Sun and the Daily Mirror, overall sales of the popular titles were down -0.1 per cent on February. Longer term, this sector continues to fall hardest and fastest, down -10.1 per cent on the same time last year. Sales of the mid market titles were down -1.5 per cent month on month and -7.2 per cent year on year.All figures sourced from ABC. Analysis provided by Fiona Booth, account director, Insight at Carat