Saturday, 7 September 2013

Newspaper Circulation Figures for August 2013

All these have been relayed in separate tweets (one per title) by Political Betting's Mike Smithson in the last few minutes. My understanding is that they are always a simple mean average per day, derived by adding the number for every day in the month and dividing by how many days it was published in that month. The Sundays are probably included, though I don't know for certain whether this is so.

It is interesting to note not only the general continuing decline in print media since the same month last year, but also the differing amounts, which not a particularly wide spread of figures, it does show a significant variation. Here they are, in order of decreasing circulation...
  • The Sun – 2,258,359 (-9·76%)
  • Mail – 1,802,83 (-5·85%)
  • Mirror – 1,045,971 (-3·93%)
  • Telegraph – 557,536 (-4·55%)
  • Express – 530,631 (-3·61%)
  • The Times – 391,643 (-3·94%)
  • Financial Times – 236,281 (-15·65%)
  • The Guardian – 189,646 (-7·16%)
  • The Independent – 68,696 (-16·0%)
It is very interesting to note that the Guardian and Independent are right at the bottom, the latter the only title to fail to even approach let alone reach the tenth-of-a-million mark, whereas the Mirror is still (just) exceeding the one million mark.

Unsurprisingly the Sun is comfortably out in front, but the Mail has a very respectable figure that isn't such a vast difference from the field leader.

The 'biggest losers' relative to the same month last year were the Indy with a one-sixth drop in print sales, followed very closely by the FT which has lost nearly as much (as a percentage) in the same period, despite their website being mostly behind a paywall so that route is not really an alternative for many potential readers.

Although the Sun comes in third on this measure, it and the remaining titles are all under ten percent drops, with the smallest reduction being experienced by the Express. It's a funny ol' paper, the Express: despite its ongoing (never-ending?) obsessions with Princess Diana and the latest health fad/pronouncement, it remains generally level-headed and informed – though that doesn't stop it going haywire from time to time.

When I worked nights at ASDA, one of the overnight tasks was receiving the newspaper delivery and putting out after checking the right numbers had been delivered. Thus I became familiar with what numbers of each title this particular (and fairly typical, I gather) store sold each day.

That was more than a decade ago, and I can state with a certain degree of authority that the pattern has changed quite a lot since then, but much remains the same. The biggest change is that the Express is now above several other titles that led it comfortably back in those days.

In the case of the Times, with its on-line paywall, this is especially surprising, but with the Guardian and Independent perhaps not to the same extent, as it is more the latter two's decline that has done this than the Express's ascendancy, although there has been that too.. In my days at the store, we'd have just over half as many copies of the Express delivered to us as Telegraphs: now they're almost level pegging.

All in all, these are interesting times for what might be termed the old media...

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