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ABCs: Sun on Sunday down 1.3 million sales on last year


By Carat on Media..., Media

March 8, 2013 | 3 min read

National newspaper sales in February fell by 2.2% month on month, with only two titles - Sunday Mirror and i - claiming growth on last month. Year on year, this is the first month that we can look at a full set of comparable figures since The Sun Sunday’s first audited sales figures became available last February, and longer term picture the national market’s decline is much steeper at 18.5% down on the same time last year.

Sales fall: The Sun on Sunday

The Sun continues to be the biggest selling national newspaper in the UK with an average net circulation in February of 2,281,990, and the only national title still to have its head above the 2 million mark despite shedding the most physical copies in the market during February. Runner up goes to sister title The Sun Sunday who saw the greatest loss in physical sales of over 1.3 million, a whopping 40.5% down on the 3.2 million it first posted this time last year. Rounding out the top three is the Daily Mail with average sales in February of 1,829,266.

The Sundays fared marginally better than the Daily market month on month, with sales down 1.8% and 2.7% respectively. Longer term, however, the Daily’s slump of 8.3% looks positively cheery when compared to the Sunday’s eye watering fall of 27.1% year on year, attributable mostly to a poor performance for the Populars.

By sector, the Mid Market and Quality titles fared best in February when compared to last month but were still down by 1.3% and 1.5% respectively. The Populars claimed the dubious distinction in February of being the sector to see the greatest loss in sales both month on month as well as year on year, down 3.1% and 27.1% respectively.

Elsewhere, the Sunday Mirror claimed the greatest growth month on month both in physical sales by adding on an average net circulation of 12,164 in February. The i was the only other title to post an increase in circulation, claiming greatest percentage growth on last month as well as last year as the title added the most physical copies year on year. Sister title The Independent, however, posted the lowest circulation figure in the national newspaper market this month, and the only one under 100k, at 75,125.

All figures sourced from ABC

Overview by Fiona Booth – Research Manager at Carat


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