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ABC Analysis : Scotland - January 2012

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By Carat on Media..., Media

February 10, 2012 | 2 min read

Overview by Fiona Booth - Research Manager

The Sunday Mail was the highest circulating newspaper in Scotland this month, both amongst the indigenous pack of dailies and Sundays as well as the nationals. Posting a circulation figure of 357,724 for January, the title was up a respectable 2% both on last month and last year. However, given the circulation gains seen by some of the national Sunday red tops in Scotland following the News of the World’s closure (the Daily Star Sunday is up an eye watering 125% year on year) you have to wonder whether growth of 2% in a year is enough for the Sunday Mail to shout about.

Nipping at the Sunday Mail’s heels is the Scottish Sun, posting the biggest growth in actual sales as it put on an extra 17,041 sales this month compared to last, and over three times as many extra sales as the Sunday Mail managed in the same period. The gap between the two red tops is now less than 40,000 copies.

The biggest percentage improvement on December was seen by Scotland on Sunday, up a very happy 12% to 48,388, and pushing it back towards the 50,000 mark which it was comfortably over back in January 2011 but is now down 10% on.

The other homegrown quality Sunday, the Sunday Herald, also posted a none too shabby increase, up 8% on December’s sales figures. But it has a long way to go yet before it has reversed its recent and steep circulation declines, with the title down 28% on this time last year. Sister title The Herald, while posting no real change compared to December’s circulation, is down 11% on the year.

And finally, the other Scottish red top, the Daily Record, posted a positive if negligible 1% rise in circulation on last month, but over the longer term is down 10% on the this time last year.

So whilst the Scottish indigenous titles saw, at best, positive increases in circulation this month compared to last or, at worst, found themselves treading water (which given recent sales declines is no bad thing), how much of this is a true turnabout in fortunes or just a bounceback from the December lull will depend on whether these figures hold up in February. Watch this space…

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