UK regional titles print sales decline as web traffic increases with only one title managing sales growth according to ABC results
The Paisley Daily Express was the only title to buck the trend of falling print sales in the six months to June 2013, growing its circulation by 9.9 per cent year-on-year to an average of 7,567 per day.
According to the latest figures released by the newspaper sales auditing body, the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC), nearly half of the UK’s regional daily newspapers lost print sales at a rate of more than 10 per cent in the first half of 2013.
Buoyed by a relaunch last year by publishers Media Scotland, the Paisley Daily Express was helped by a price cut of 15p – down to 30p from 45p this time last year – and a new look and editorial offering.
A statement from Media Scotland editor-in-chief Allan Rennie praises the title calling the figures a “tremendous testament to the editorial and sales teams”.
Out of 70 UK regional daily newspapers audited by ABC 34 of them had lost sales at a rate of more than 10 per cent year-on-year, with Brighton’s The Argus down 25.8 per cent to 16,622, the East Anglian Daily Times falling 21.2 per cent to 22,652, and the Sheffield Star with a circulation of 28,072, down 20 per cent year-on-year.
Despite average sales being down 9.6 per cent Wolverhampton’s the Express and Star remains the UK’s best-selling regional, with the Liverpool Echo and the Manchester Evening News following in second and third place respectively.
Though print sales were in decline regional newspaper websites recorded a surge in traffic with three regional newspaper publishers passing 10 million monthly readers for the first time during the first half of 2012.
Johnston Press recorded over 11 million visitors to its site, including the Scotsman, Yorkshire Evening Post and Sunderland Echo, a rise of 13.6 per cent from last year. Newsquest also saw an increase of 24.6 per cent in monthly unique browsers for visitors to its titles such as the Northern Echo and Lancashire Telegraph. Trinity Mirror, owner of the likes of the Birmingham Mail, Wales Online and the Manchester Evening News, also reported a year-on-year increase of 5.8 per cent to its sites.