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National Newspaper Circulation Figures Decline

The Audit Bureau of Circulation, known commonly as ABC, could also be an acronym for the question ‘Are Broadsheets Ceasing’, judging by their latest report on circulation figures from August 2013.

Looking at the daily and free titles, only the i has shown an overall growth in circulation from the same period last year. It has had the third largest percentage of decline from the previous months circulation figure, behind only its mother title the Independent and also the Financial Times.

July 2013 reported there was a spike in the month on month circulation figures for nearly all the daily titles, which is thought to be due to the hype surrounding the birth of the royal baby. Therefore it does not come as a surprise that the latest figures show a month on month decline for most titles, however the continuing year on year decline is something that would be more of a concern for the future of print. The tables below, taken from the August 2013 ABC circulation report, shows the difference in average circulation for both month on month and year on year figures.

National Newspaper ABC Figures – August 2013
Daily Titles Aug-12 Jul-13 Aug-13 YoY Actual Change YoY % Change PoP Actual Change PoP % Change
Quality
Daily Telegraph 584,089 558,817 557,536 -26,553 -4.5 -1,281 -0.2
Financial Times 280,124 244,768 236,281 -43,843 -15.7 -8,487 -3.5
Guardian 204,271 191,182 189,646 -14,625 -7.2 -1,536 -0.8
i 281,530 305,129 295,179 13,649 4.8 -9,950 -3.3
Independent 81,804 72,271 68,696 -13,108 -16 -3,575 -4.9
Scotsman 36,344 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Times 407,720 400,245 391,643 -16,077 -3.9 -8,602 -2.1
Daily Express 550,502 533,039 530,631 -19,871 -3.6 -2,408 -0.5
Daily Mail 1,914,126 1,781,968 1,802,083 -112,043 -5.9 -20,115 1.1
Daily Mirror 1,088,724 1,040,148 1,045,971 -42,753 -3.9 5,823 0.6
Daily Record 276,270 249,733 252,575 -23,695 -8.6 -2,842 1.1
Daily Star 600,304 544,811 547,955 -52,349 -8.7 -3,144 0.6
Sun 2,502,691 2,281,301 2,258,359 -244,332 -9.8 -22,942 -1
Total Daily 8,808,499 8,203,412 8,176,555 -631,944 -7.2 -26,857 -0.3
London Newspaper ABC Figures – August 2013
London Free Press Aug-12 Jul-13 Aug-13 YoY Actual Change YoY % Change PoP Actual Change PoP % Change
Quality
City A.M. 128,484 128,781 127,488 -966 -0.8 -1,293 -0.1
London Evening Standard 700,895 701,917 686,858 -14,037 -2 -15,059 -2.1
Metro (London) 775,252 770,569 756,658 -18,594 -2.4 -13,911 -1.8
Total London Press 1,604,631 1,601,267 1,571,004 -33,627 -2.1 -30,263 -1.9

In slight contrast to the daily and free papers, just over half the Sunday papers had a rise in month on month circulation. Most of these were the popular tabloid papers, such as Scotland’s Sunday Mail for example, which had the largest percentage increase of 3.4% (an additional 9,466 copies).

All the year on year figures for the Sunday papers was negative, with the Daily Star Sunday being 21.2% lower. Even some of the high quality papers had significant year on year declines, with both the Independent on Sunday and the Observer down in excess of 10%. The table below shows all the Sunday papers month on month and year on year average circulation figures.

National Sunday Newspaper ABC Figures – August 2013
Sunday Titles Aug-12 Jul-13 Aug-13 YoY Actual Change YoY % Change PoP Actual Change PoP % Change
Quality
Independent On Sunday 123,696 114,270 110,157 -13,539 -10.9 -4,113 -3.6
Observer 246,245 220,315 216,839 -29,406 -11.9 -3,476 -1.6
Scotland On Sunday 43,382 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Sunday Times 914,685 844,767 826,462 -88,223 -9.6 -18,305 -2.2
Sunday Telegraph 463,733 436,730 435,323 -28,410 -6.1 -1,407 -0.3
Mail On Sunday 1,811,463 1,658,035 1,675,474 -135,989 -7.5 17,439 1.1
Sunday Express 505,900 475,848 473,286 -32,614 -6.4 -2,562 -0.5
Sunday Post 275,608 242,033 244,637 -30,971 -11.2 2,604 1.1
Daily Star Sunday 439,621 341,733 346,205 -93,416 -21.2 4,472 1.3
Sunday People 457,964 419,115 425,293 -32,671 -7.1 6,178 1.5
Sun (Sunday) 2,133,616 1,927,406 1,916,570 -217,046 -10.2 -10,836 -0.6
Sunday Mail 315,077 281,157 290,623 -24,454 -7.8 9,466 3.4
Sunday Mirror 1,101,206 1,045,341 1,063,293 -37,913 -3.4 17,952 1.7
Total Sunday 8,832,196 8,006,750 8,024,162 -808,034 -9.1 17,412 0.2

In our opinion, one of the main reasons for the decline in print circulation is the broader choice and availability of news content via the internet and also more recently digital versions of the publications and apps created for mobile and tablet devises. Therefore, from an advertiser’s point of view, the continued decline in print circulation is not necessarily negative, it’s just a case of needing to explore all the available avenues in more detail.

It Is Not All Doom and Gloom

The release of this period’s ABC results on August 16th has provided food for thought for many. The continued downward trend which has been seen almost uniformly across print platforms has fuelled conversation about the importance of digital editions and ‘multi-touchpoint’ brands.

Print ABC results from January to June 2012 have painted a fairly bleak picture for both the consumer magazine and newspaper markets, with just a few exceptions.

The Men’s Lifestyle sector continues to be dominated by the free titles Shortlist and Sport, whilst well-known, paid for titles FHM and Nuts reported substantial drops in sales of -12% and -21% respectively.

In a mirror of these results, Shortlist’s sister title, Stylist, has also enjoyed positive results this period, bucking the overall Women’s Lifestyle trend and reporting a 1.1% year-on-year increase in circulation to rank at number 15 in the Top 100 Magazines. Major titles Glamour, Hello! and Look were among the worst hit, although More reported the worst result in this sector with a fall of 30.5% in circulation.

The Home Interest market saw a mixed set of results. There were a number of increases, including Country Homes & Interiors, Living etc and Style at Home, GoodHomes and Elle Decoration. Although some titles suffered losses – among them Ideal Home, Country Living and House Beautiful.

The Domestic News and Affairs market has completely subverted the downward trend demonstrated elsewhere, with every title boasting a year-on year increase in a market that reports a 5.4% year-on-year increase.

ABC Comparisons

The Daily Newspaper market posted a decrease of 9.3%, although notable winners from this sector include i and The Daily Telegraph, who both reported an increase in sales from the previous ABCs.

However, analysts have chosen not to focus solely on the negative trends shown in these most recent ABC figures.

Rather, the decline in print has been countered by increases in the digital ABCs, with many commentators focusing on the future opportunities presented by digital editions, iPad and mobile for consumer magazines and newspaper titles.

In the world of consumer magazines, titles as diverse as Cosmo, GQ and Harper’s Bazaar have shown significant growth in the digital arena (50.3%, 15.8% and 9% respectively). Heat also presents an interesting case study, posting an overall brand reach of 2.8 million across platforms, whilst print circulation itself has fallen to only 326,677.

Whilst the increases seen in the digital sector are small by comparison with the decline in print, the growth should not be dismissed as more and more titles launch their digital editions.

As such, discussion of what these ABC figures mean for overall media trends should be couched in the knowledge that print is only one aspect of a title’s brand. Talking about media brands in terms of their multiple touchpoints with their audience, including print, online and mobile, gives a much clearer impression of their power, influence and value.

Men’s Lifestyle Magazine: Jan-Jun 2012 Year On Year Comparisons

Title Publisher Jan-Jun 11 Jan-Jun 12 Actual Change YoY % Ch Jul-Dec 11 PoP % Ch
Shortlist* Shortlist Media Ltd 523,665 529,010 5,345 1.0 526,359 0.5
Sport UTV Media Ltd 306,217 305,676 -541 -0.2 304,700 0.3
Men’s Health Hearst-Rodale 218,368 216,336 -2,032 -0.9 221,176 -2.2
FHM (For Him Magazine) Bauer Consumer Media 155,557 123,844 -31,713 -20.4 140,716 -12.0
GQ Conde Nast Publications Ltd 118,216 120,139 1,923 1.6 120,094 0.0
RWD RWD Creative Media Limited 98,300 96,652 -1,648 -1.7 96,240 0.4
Nuts* IPC Media Ltd 114,019 90,134 -23,885 -20.9 114,116 -21.0
Stuff Haymarket Consumer Media 80,130 76,083 -4,047 -5.1 80,226 -5.2
Men’s Fitness Dennis Publishing Limited 69,264 65,201 -4,063 -5.9 61,721 5.6
BBC Focus Immediate Media Company 66,454 64,625 -1,829 -2.8 67,727 -4.6
Esquire Hearst Magazines Ltd 58,218 54,702 -3,516 -6.0 56,583 -3.3
Wired Conde Nast Publications Ltd 50,150 52,136 1,986 4.0 51,056 2.1
Healthy for Men** River Publishing Ltd 60,499 47,770 -12,729 21.0 59,157 -19.2
Zoo* Bauer Consumer Media 54,318 46,310 -8,008 -14.7 54,599 -15.2
How It Works Imagine Publishing n/a 34,089 n/a n/a 30,342 12.3
Front Magazine Kane Ltd n/a 30,009 n/a n/a 34,097 -12.0
Total n/a 1,973,375 1,952,716 -20,659 -1.0 2,018,909 -3.3

Women’s Lifestyle Magazine Circulations: Jan-Jun 2012 Year On Year Comparisons

Title

Publisher Jan-Jun 11 Jan-Jun 12 Actual Change YoY % Ch Jul-Dec 11 PoP % Ch
John Lewis Edition John Brown 474,579 480,241 5,662 1.2 484,991 -1.0
Glamour Conde Nast Publications 530,060 470,138 -59,922 11.3 466,327 0.8
Stylist Shortlist Media Ltd 426,396 431,266 4,870 1.1 429,034 0.5
Good Housekeeping Hearst Magazines Ltd 430,878 408,569 -22,309 -5.2 448,129 -8.8
Woman & Home IPC Media 370,284 353,731 -16,553 -4.5 379,896 -6.9
Cosmopolitan Hearst Magazines Ltd 386,852 353,413 -33,439 -8.6 377,580 -6.4
Hello! Hello! Ltd 413,311 352,985 -60,326 -14.6 373,226 -5.4
Yours Bauer Consumer Media 285,890 280,804 -5,086 -1.8 282,892 -0.7
Prima Hearst Magazines Ltd 280,207 264,312 -15,895 -5.7 281,636 -6.2
Marie Claire European Magazines Limited 250,785 255,021 4,236 1.7 266,881 -4.4
Look Evarn Ltd 300,161 250,071 -50,090 -16.7 280,481 -10.8
Red Hearst Magazines Ltd 231,160 226,116 -5,044 -2.2 231,180 -2.2
Candis Newhall Publications 236,075 223,584 -12,491 -5.3 224,468 -0.4
Vogue Conde Nast Publications 210,766 205,033 -5,733 -2.7 210,806 -2.7
Grazia Bauer Consumer Media 219,741 190,053 -29,688 -13.5 205,487 -7.5
Elle Hearst Magazines Ltd 197,136 189,568 -7,568 -3.8 195,020 -2.8
Easy Living Conde Nast Publications 158,038 164,019 5,981 3.8 140,123 17.1
InStyle IPC Media 175,113 163,432 -11,681 -6.7 176,002 -7.1
Company Hearst Magazines Ltd 180,162 143,269 -36,893 -20.5 188,278 -23.9
Harpers Bazaar Hearst Magazines Ltd 118,740 119,274 534 0.4 120,004 -0.6
Essentials IPC Media 126,904 119,087 -7,817 -6.2 128,906 -7.6
Harrods Magazine Harrods Ltd 104,997 109,913 4,916 4.7 120,057 -8.4
More! Bauer Consumer Media 170,033 106,065 -63,968 -37.6 152,571 -30.5
Vanity Fair Conde Nast Publications 100,560 100,692 132 0.1 102,585 -1.8
Women’s Health Hearst-Rodale n/a 100,289 n/a n/a n/a n/a
Psychologies Hearst Magazines Ltd 108,631 92,302 -16,329 -15.0 104,491 -11.7
Tatler Conde Nast Publications 87,616 87,004 -612 -0.7 88,020 -1.2
Ladies First Magazine (Wales) Hils Publications Ltd 35,771 34,795 -976 -2.7 35,470 -1.9
WM The Womans Magazine Media Wales Ltd 34,057 32,010 -2,047 -6.0 33,744 -5.1
Image Image Publications Ltd 21,045 21,624 579 2.8 21,261 1.7
RSVP RSVP Publishing Ltd 15,109 12,603 -2,506 -16.6 13,304 -5.3
Total n/a 6,681,057 6,341,283 -440,063 -5.1 6,562,850 -3.4

Home Interest Magazines: Jan-Jun 2012 Year On Year Comparisons

Title

Publisher Jan-Jun 11 Jan-Jun 12 Actual Change YoY % Ch Jul-Dec 11 PoP % Ch
Ideal Home IPC Media 205,778 193,203 -12,575 -6.1 195,442 -1.1
Country Living Hearst Magazines UK 206,027 190,177 -15,850 -7.7 191,599 -0.7
Ikea Family Live August Media Ltd 150,000 150,000 n/a n/a 150,000 n/a
Homes & Gardens IPC Media Ltd 137,812 131,555 -6,257 -4.5 138,868 -5.3
Your Home Hubert Burda Media UK 133,018 130,012 -3,006 -2.3 131,770 -1.3
House & Garden Conde Nast Publications Ltd 127,260 126,841 -419 -0.3 127,311 -0.4
House Beautiful Hearst Magazines UK 143,106 126,497 -16,609 -11.6 132,962 -4.9
25 Beautiful Homes IPC Media Ltd 107,974 102,012 -5,962 -5.5 100,045 2.0
Country Homes & Interiors IPC Media Ltd 92,563 99,676 7,113 7.7 97,286 2.5
Living etc IPC Media Ltd 97,098 98,250 1,152 1.2 98,143 0.1
Style at Home IPC Media Ltd 52,576 80,011 27,435 52.2 71,806 11.4
GoodHomes Kelsey Publishing Ltd 73,444 78,620 5,176 7.0 76,113 3.3
Elle Decoration Hearst Magazines UK 70,323 70,655 332 0.5 70,376 0.4
World Of Interiors Conde Nast Publications Ltd 62,089 61,849 -240 -0.4 62,096 -0.4
Homes & Antiques Immediate Media Company 58,701 61,536 2,835 4.8 64,563 -4.7
Coast Hearst Magazines UK 42,628 38,657 -3,971 -9.3 40,464 -4.5
Grand Designs Media 10 Ltd 27,820 30,653 2,833 10.2 30,820 -0.5
Image Interiors & Living Image Publications Ltd n/a 16,595 n/a n/a 14,463 14.7
Homes & Interiors Scotland Peebles Media Group Ltd 10,845 10,345 -500 -4.6 10,232 1.1
Total n/a 1,799,062 1,797,144 -1,918 -0.1 1,804,359 -0.4

News & Current Affairs – Domestic: Jan-Jun 2012 Comparisons

Title Publisher Jan-Jun 11 Jan-Jun 12 Actual Change YoY % Ch Jul-Dec 11 PoP % Ch
Private Eye Pressdram Ltd 206,266 226,046 19,780 9.6 228,112 -0.9
The Week Dennis Publishing Limited 183,617 191,401 7,784 4.2 187,536 2.1
BBC History Magazine Immediate Media Company 69,394 71,403 2,009 2.9 72,271 -1.2
Spectator Spectator (1828) Ltd 62,852 63,612 760 1.2 63,543 0.1
The Oldie Oldie Publications 40,386 42,314 1,928 4.8 41,008 3.2
Limerick Post Carnbeg Ltd 34,340 36,216 1,876 5.5 35,393 2.3
Prospect Prospect Publishing Ltd 31,985 32,115 130 0.4 32,105 0.0
Total: n/a 628,840 663,107 34,267 5.4 659,968 0.5

Daily Newspaper Market – National Newspaper ABC Figures: July 2012

Daily Titles Jul-11 Jun-12 Jul-12 YoY Actual Change YoY % Change PoP Actual Change PoP % Change
Quality
Daily Telegraph 634,113 573,674 581,249 -52,864 -8.3 7,575 1.3
Financial Times 336,590 297,225 290,765 -45,825 -13.6 -6,460 -2.2
Guardian 248,775 211,511 209,354 -39,421 -15.8 -2,157 -1.0
Herald (Scotland) 47,226 44,445 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
i 183,677 272,597 280,122 96,445 52.5 7,525 2.8
Independent 182,881 90,001 83,619 -99,262 -54.3 -6,382 -7.1
Scotsman 38,987 35,523 34,127 -4,860 -12.5 -1,396 -3.9
Times 441,205 400,120 404,099 -37,106 -8.4 3,979 1.0
Mid Market
Daily Express 625,952 602,482 555,544 -70,408 -11.2 -46,938 -7.8
Daily Mail 2,050,132 1,939,635 1,921,239 -128,893 -6.3 -18,396 -0.9
Popular
Daily Mirror 1,185,729 1,081,330 1,082,054 -103,675 -8.7 724 0.1
Daily Record 305,226 279,324 275,526 -29,700 -9.7 -3,798 -1.4
Daily Star 706,757 602,296 623,534 -83,223 -11.8 21,238 3.5
Sun 2,821,618 2,583,552 2,550,859 -270,759 -9.6 -32,693 -1.3
Total Daily 9,808,868 9,013,715 8,892,091 -916,777 -9.3 -121,624 -1.3

Newspaper May ABC’s: FT circulation slumps

The Financial Times reported a global circulation of 362,685 in May 2011, a fall of 2.52% on the previous month, making it the largest decline in the daily quality market. Year on year, the title was down 9.3%. The Times experienced the highest yoy decline of 13.3%.

The FT has defended its drop in print circulation by highlighting how digital figures are on the rise. They believe consumer tastes are changing and while print is declining, demands for quality journalism remains high; being consumed through alternative platforms.

Amongst the remaining national press, the ‘i’ appears to be defying the odds that there is no interest in new entrants into a congested newspaper market and has an increased circulation of nearly 6,000 on the previous month, bringing its total circulation to 167,067 in May.

The free market in London continues a pace with Metro and The Standard posting increases yoy and pop.

National Newspapers – May 2011 – ABC figures

Title May-10 Apr-11 May-11 YoY actual change % YoY POP actual change % POP
National Newspapers – Quality
Daily
Daily Telegraph 698,456 639,578 635,967 -62,489 -8.9 -3,611 -0.6
Times 515,379 449,809 446,684 -68,695 -13.3 -3,125 -0.7
Financial Times 399,862 372,076 362,685 -37,177 -9.3 -9,391 -2.5
Guardian 300,472 263,907 262,937 -37,535 -12.5 -970 -0.4
i N/A 161,151 167,067 N/A N/A 5,916 3.7
Independent 194,501 180,743 179,371 -15,130 -7.8 -1,372 -0.8
Sunday
Sunday Times 1,117,749 1,018,215 1,049,599 -68,150 -6.1 31,384 3.1
Sunday Telegraph 512,819 509,557 480,438 -32,381 -6.3 -29,119 -5.7
Independent On Sunday 164,188 154,227 151,212 -12,976 -7.9 -3,015 -2.0
Observer 340,247 302,975 293,053 -47,194 -13.9 -9,922 -3.3
National Newspapers – Mid-market
Daily
Daily Mail 2,090,469 2,100,300 2,056,881 -33,588 -1.6 -43,419 -2.1
Daily Express 663,627 635,576 631,588 -32,039 -4.8 -3,988 -0.6
Sunday
Mail On Sunday 1,918,512 1,944,724 1,918,751 239 0.0 -25,973 -1.3
Sunday Express 568,247 601,666 563,397 -4,850 -0.9 -38,269 -6.4
National Newspapers – Popular
Daily
Sun 2,936,099 2,783,110 2,846,905 -89,194 -3.0 63,795 2.3
Daily Mirror 1,238,145 1,172,785 1,168,664 -69,481 -5.6 -4,121 -0.4
Daily Star 822,934 692,157 702,044 -120,890 -14.7 9,887 1.4
Daily Record 328,618 312,566 311,540 -17,078 -5.2 -1,026 -0.3
Sunday
News Of The World 2,858,727 2,606,397 2,657,232 -201,495 -7.0 50,835 2.0
Sunday Mirror 1,148,107 1,097,434 1,086,961 -61,146 -5.3 -10,473 -1.0
Daily Star Sunday 357,130 309,237 305,984 -51,146 -14.3 -3,253 -1.1
Free Titles
London Evening Standard 607,130 699,422 706,499 99,369 14 7,077 1.0
Metro 1,336,019 1,371,048 1,383,048 47,886 3 12,857 1.0