Decline in UK Daily Newspaper Market

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Last weeks ABC circulation figures have shown that the UK daily newspaper market is still in decline, down 7.6% from April 2011. The rate is steadily increasing month by month. In February 2012 the total circulation of the UK daily newspaper market fell by 5.2% from February 2011, the figures were even higher over the 12 month period from March 2011 with a decline in circulation of 7.4%. We will have to wait till next months ABC figures to see whether the negative trend is increasing or whether it is stabilising slightly.

In terms of quality daily titles, the Daily Telegraph was the only title to see a small PoP uplift of just 0.1%. The Independent saw the biggest fall, down 82,000 copies over the last 12 months. This was a YoY drop of 45.4%. The Times had a drop of 12.6% from last April, which was trumped by the Financial Times, who recorded a 17.8% YoY drop, this equates to just over 66,000 copies according to the latest figures. However, it is worth bearing in mind that the drop in circulation of many of the quality daily titles can be attributed to many of their readers choosing to use online or app offerings from the papers. The Times, Financial Times and Telegraph have very strong app offerings which are showing ever increasing download figures on a month by month basis.

One newspaper posted an increase in its circulation over the past year. The i has seen its circulation rise by 68.6% over the past 12 months. This is a YoY increase in circulation of 110,497 where as its stable mate the Independent has seen its circulation fall by 82,107 (45.4%). This is excellent news for the newspaper and shows that there is still growth within the UK Daily Newspaper market for those publishers who are willing to innovate and invest.

ABC-April

Source: Mintel

In terms of the popular daily titles The Sun saw a small rise in PoP of 0.4% where as the Daily Star saw a fall of 0.5%. Over the past year the Sun has seen the biggest loss in circulation of 159,102 copies, yet it remains the biggest selling daily title in the UK with a circulation of 2.6million which dwarfs its nearest rivals by almost 1.5 million copies.

ABC-April

Source: Mintel

The London free press as a whole has seen its circulation remain almost static as total circulation increased slightly (0.1% YoY). Metro (London) performed the strongest with an increase in its circulation of 8,373 over the past 12 months, compared to the decrease in circulation from City A.M (3,231) and the London Evening Standard whose circulation decreased by 3,944.

ABC-April

Source: Mintel

For the first time the ABC figures include a separate Saturday average, this has confirmed a significant uplift of Saturday newspaper editions. The Guardian has seen the biggest difference between its weekday and weekend sales. It has more than doubled its Saturday circulation to 377,000 copies compared to that of the weekday circulation (178,000). The Daily Mail has seen a similar uplift in its Saturday circulation selling 2.7 million copies compared to 1.7million during the week.

The Sunday Newspaper market now includes the new edition of The Sun. The Sun on Sunday sold 3.21 million copies in its first week, however, the figure dropped to 2.7 million in its second week. The ABC release shows that overall the Sunday market is performing strongly and is up 31.6% YoY. The strong YoY increase of the Sunday newspaper market from April 2011 can solely be attributed to the Daily Star Sunday posting a YoY circulation increase of 55.9% (172,988 copies). This cannot, however, be attributed to a slash in cover price as the publications cost has increased slightly over the past year. In April 2011 the cover price stood at 35p in comparison to 50p in 2012.

In terms of the Sunday Newspaper markets top performance, the Sunday Times performed strongest posting a percentage increase of 2.9% PoP despite suffering a huge loss in circulation in April of approximately 63,000 copies. On the other hand, the Sunday Times has seen a strong rise in iPad app downloads with page views for April 2012 totalling 68,982,986. This figure is extremely positive and shows that the digital market is performing stronger than ever.

ABC April

Source: Mintel

In terms of the coming few months, we can assume that the newspaper circulations will plateau or possibly increase slightly during the Jubilee period and the Olympic Games. Readers will hopefully be purchasing newspapers to keep up to date with the most recent news and photos from both Events.

National Newspapers – May 2012 – ABC figures

Title Nov 10 – Apr 11 Oct 11 -Mar 12 Nov 11- Apr 12 YoY actual change % YoY POP actual change % POP
National Newspapers – Quality
Daily
Daily Telegraph 637,233 588,702 584,349 -52,884 -8.3 -4,353 -0.7
Times 451,910 405,602 401,775 –50,135 -11.1 -3,827 -0.9
Financial Times 384,501 328,579 322,331 -62,170 -16.2 -6,248 -1.9
Guardian 266,440 224,611 222,003 -44,437 -16.7 -2,608 -1.2
i N/A 240,680 250,356 N/A N/A 9,676 4.0
Independent 180,411 116,637 111,086 -69,325 -38.4 -5,551 -4.8
Sunday
Independent On Sunday 152,311 127,530 126,013 -26,298 -17.3 -1,517 -1.2
Sunday Telegraph 493,449 460,772 458,135 -35,314 -7.2 -2,637 -0.6
Sunday Times 103,4212 950,066 947,517 -86695 -8.4 -2,549 -0.3
Observer 304,870 260,903 258,422 -46,448 -15.2 -2,481 -0.6
National Newspapers – Mid-market
Daily
Daily Mail 207,6039 198,1883 198,0572 -95,467 -4.6 –1,311 -0.1
Daily Express 629,531 588,375 580,999 -48,532 –7.7 -7376 -1.3
Sunday
Mail On Sunday 193,8348 1,915,412 1,885,690 -52,658 -2.7 –29,722 -1.6
Sunday Express 548,608 602,232 579,349 30,741 -5.6 -22883 -3.8
National Newspapers – Popular
Daily
Sun 2,835,606 2,631,598 2,616,354 -219,252 –7.7 -15,244 -0.6
Daily Mirror 1,166,752 1,172,785 1,096,918 -69,834 -6 -5,379 -0.5
Daily Star 718,670 629,234 621,444 -97226 -13.5 -7,790 -1.2
Daily Record 306,535 285,355 280,008 -26,527 -8.7 -5,347 -1.9
Sunday
Daily Star Sunday 314,069 612,318 580,806 266,737 84.9 -31,512 -5.1
Sun N/A 2,426,894 2,297,441 N/A N/A -129,453 -5.3
Sunday Mirror 1,077,060 1,590,098 1,492,737 415,677 38.6 -97,361 -6.1
People 489,308 706,988 658,135 168,827 34.5 -48,853 -6.9
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