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ABCs: Mirror circulation up but Mail down as papers cover Margaret Thatcher's death in April

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By Carat on Media..., Media

May 10, 2013 | 3 min read

Overview by Fiona Booth – Research Manager

National newspaper sales in April dipped by a negligible 0.2% on March, according to new figures released today by ABC. The number of titles seeing growth month on month were in the majority for a change as editorial coverage of Margaret Thatcher’s death and the Boston Marathon bombing dominated the month. Longer term, sales are down 10% compared to April 2012 with only i and The Times claiming sales growth on this time last year.

The top three selling titles in April remain unchanged, with The Sun outselling everyone else with an average net circulation of 2,281,842. The Sun (Sunday) holds on to the number two spot with an average net circulation of 1,905,772 despite shedding an average 18.5k sales month on month, the greatest loss of physical sales in the market this month - whether that’s a result of its first price going up in April or just the longer term trend is up for debate. In third place is the Daily Mail with an average net circulation in April of 1,803,327. At the other end of the scale The Independent sold the fewest copies in April, with an average net circulation of 75,603 it also has the dubious distinction of being the only circulation below 100k.

The Mornings fared marginally better than the Sundays in April, sales versus March down 0.1% and 0.3% respectively compared to last month and down more steeply at 8.7% and 11.3% respectively compared to last year.

By sector, the Populars fared best month on month with sales down a negligible 0.1% but worst over the longer term down 12.8% compared to this time last year. The reverse was true for the Qualities who had the worst performance by sector versus March, down 0.3%, but the “best” year on year performance, down only 5.8% compared to last April. The Mids lived up to their name by being in the middle for short and long term, down 0.2% and 8.2% respectively.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mirror added the most physical copies month on month with average net circulation up 9,954 whilst the Guardian’s modest growth of 1.1% gave it the greatest percentage uplift on March. i yet again claims greatest long term success, up 12% with an extra 32,639 copies on average compared to this time last year. At the other end of the scale the Sun (Sunday) has shed the most physical copies over the year, down 391,669 while the Daily Star Sunday saw the steepest proportional loss at 31.6% of its circulation.

All figures sourced from ABC

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