ABC Analysis: August sees the newspaper market sliding back into decline


By Carat on Media... | Media

September 6, 2013 | 3 min read

Overview by Fiona Booth – Account Director, Insight

After a jubilant July, the latest ABC figures for August newspaper circulations saw a return to business-as-usual in declining sales with average net circulation down 0.2% on July and down steeper still at 7.7% on last August.

There’s no change in the top three selling titles in the UK. The Sun maintains its crown with an average net circulation in August of 2258359, however, the title lost the most physical sales both month on month (circa 23k copies on average) and year on year (circa 244k copies on average). Stablemate The Sun (Sunday) also took a hit compared to last month and last year but not enough to dislodge it from the number two spot, with an average net circulation in August of 1,916,570. The Daily Mail held on to third place with an average net circulation of 1,802,082, and was the only one of the top three titles to see growth on July.

At the other end, sister titles The Independent and Independent on Sunday continue to languish at the bottom. Both titles are down on July but The Independent is especially so, down 4.9% on July to claim the most proportionate sales lost month on the month in August.

The Sunday market fared better than the Daily market in August, posting a smidge of growth at 0.1% up on July compared to the Dailies who were down 0.4%. Longer term the Sundays are falling more steeply at 8.7% compared to the Dailies who were down 6.7% on last August.

By sector, the Qualities had the worst month with every title showing losses on July. However, it can claim to be the only sector with a long term growth prospect as the i, again, is the only title in the national market to show growth on last August. The Dailies were up on July by 0.7% but only by the grace of the Daily Mail and sister title Mail on Sunday, with both of the Expresses down month on month. The Populars were flat month on month, however, only the News International titles actually lost sales but given the size of their circulation their losses on July balanced out the five other tabloid titles’ gains. Longer term the Populars is seeing the fastest losses, the sector down 8.7% on the same time last year.

The i continues to claim the only sales gains over the longer term, seeing the greatest actual (slowing down this month to ‘only’ circa 14k) and proportional sales (4.8%) compared to the same time last year. The biggest losses year on year continue to be sponsored by the Populars, with The Sun again shedding the most physical copies over a year (down over 244k) and the Daily Star Sunday down 21% compared to last August.

All figures sourced from ABC


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