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ABC Analysis - Nationals: Price hikes and technical faults hit the populars in September

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By Carat on Media..., Media

October 14, 2013 | 3 min read

Overview by Fiona Booth – Account Director, Insight

According to the latest ABC figures for September, newspaper sales were down 1.3 per cent on August and down an even steeper seven per cent on the same time last year.

The top three selling titles in the UK remained unchanged for September with all three seeing declining sales on the previous month.

The Sun was the biggest selling title in September with an average net circulation of 2,213,084. However, the title lost the most physical sales both month on month (circa 45,000 copies on average) and year on year (circa 232,000 copies on average) for the second month running.Sister title The Sun (Sunday) held on to the second spot with average sales of 1,876,476 but sales were hit by a double whammy of technical problems at the beginning of September, resulting in an estimated 35 per cent loss in sales for that weekend, and a price hike towards the end of the month. Across the month, this averaged out at a loss of 40,094 copies on average compared to August, the biggest month on month hit the title has taken in over six months.The third biggest selling title in September was the Daily Mail, with an average net circulation of 1,777,780. Because the Miliband Snr story broke at the end of the month any effect on sales won’t be seen until the October sales figures are released.There’s no change either at the bottom with sister titles The Independent and Independent on Sunday continuing to bring up the rear. The Independent actually saw a one per cent uplift in sales compared to August, but that equates to a modest 692 copies and is unlikely to plug the damn.Both the Daily and Sunday markets saw losses month on month, down a fairly comparable 1.2 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively on August. Longer term, the Sundays continue to fall more steeply, down 7.6 per cent on the same time last year compared to a loss of 6.3 per cent for the dailies.
By sector, the qualities actually rallied a little in September, up 0.6 per cent as only three titles lost sales month on month. Longer term, it continues to be the only sector with a title posting growth on last year in courtesy of the i, but overall the sector is down 5.3 per cent compared to last September. The mid-market sector fared slightly worse with all titles down on last month as well as last year, resulting in an overall drop in sales of 1.6 per cent and 5.7 per cent respectively. The popular sector saw the biggest losses across both time period measures, down 1.9 per cent on August and 8.4 per cent on September. This was not helped by the aforementioned The Sun (Sunday) sales losses and sales of the Sunday Mirror also being hit by a price hike. The Daily Star Sunday was the only title amongst the populars to post any sales increase, up 1.2 per cent month on monthAll figures sourced from ABC

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