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|
|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|
|London Evening Standard||700,895||701,917||686,858||-14,037||-2||-15,059||-2.1|
|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|
|Independent On Sunday||123,696||114,270||110,157||-13,539||-10.9||-4,113||-3.6|
|Scotland On Sunday||43,382||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Mail On Sunday||1,811,463||1,658,035||1,675,474||-135,989||-7.5||17,439||1.1|
|Daily Star Sunday||439,621||341,733||346,205||-93,416||-21.2||4,472||1.3|
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.