Tag Archives: News & Current Affairs

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.

News Corp’s new home is the ‘Baby Shard’

Next summer will see News Corporation move into their new home in London Bridge, nicknamed the ‘Baby Shard’. Located in the shadow of The Shard, this building is part of the same £2bn Qatari-funded scheme and was designed by the same architect.

News International has been based in Wapping since 1986 when they moved out of Fleet Street, creating a landmark moment for the British Press.

News Corp in Wapping

Source: mediaweek.co.uk

By moving from Fleet Street, which was the traditional home of the newspaper industry since the 18th Century, Rupert Murdock began the strike that became a yearlong industrial dispute between print unions and News International.

With 17 floors offering 430,000 sq ft of office space, News Corp, will occupy most of the building, with Harper Collins and Dow Jones in the remaining space.

This will be the first time that all of the UK businesses within new News Corp will be under the same roof.

Baby Shard - News Corp

Source: Londonist.com

In support of the move Peter John, leader of Southwark Council said: “I am delighted that News Corp will be moving to such an iconic location in Southwark, bringing new jobs and opportunities to this part of London. The move underlines Southwark’s growing reputation as a place to do business and endorses our work as a council to generate real economic growth.”

With Four Communications having recently moved to the area, it seems that we have set a trend!

The Financial Times are already just around the corner in Southwark Bridge, we have no doubt that this move will only prove to strengthen the relationship Four Media already have with News Corp and open the doors for more opportunities to benefit our clients.

Further to this Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp said: “Our new London location in the vibrant borough of Southwark will allow us to realize one core objective as the new News – to work more closely and creatively, and leverage our collective resources.”

With IPC also based in Southwark Street it will be interesting to see who else moves into the local neighbourhood within the next year or so as Peter John says: “The move underlines Southwark’s growing reputation as a place to do business and endorses our work as a council to generate real economic growth.”

National newspaper round-up: June 2013

The latest national newspaper circulation figures published by ABC this week show that the Daily, Free and Sunday markets were all down compared to this time last year.

Daily Titles

When looking at the quality market, the Financial Times saw the biggest period on period (PoP) increase between May and June 2013 at just 0.7%. This equates to a circulation increase of 1,833 copies. However, the Financial Times did post a year on year (YoY) decrease in circulation of 13% which equates to 38,737 copies. One must take in to account that the FT has recently culled many of its bulk copies.

The Daily Telegraph posted a PoP increase of 0.3% (1,527 copies) between May and June with a YoY loss of 4.6%.

Despite YoY losses across the quality market, the “I” posted a circulation increase of 11.2% which equates to a total of 30,412 copies. However, it did post a PoP loss of 1.2% between May and June.

The mid-market titles did not fare any better, the Daily Express saw a loss of 0.6% from May and a 13.3% YoY loss. Despite the huge popularity of the Daily Mail’s online offering, its print circulation saw a YoY drop of 133,000.

Overall, the dailies were down 0.2% PoP and 0.9% YoY overall.

London Free Press

City A.M. was the only title in this market to see any period growth, at just 0.1%. The Metro (London) posted the greatest loss of all three title in June, its circulation fell by 3,188 copies.

The London Evening Standard posted a YoY loss of 0.1% which equates to just 555 copies.

Overall, the Free titles were down 0.3% PoP and 0.6% YoY overall.

Sunday Titles

The Sunday market did not see any YoY growth across June, however, the Sunday Post was up 5.1% PoP, this was the biggest increase across all three markets.

According to the latest figures, The Mail on Sunday took the biggest hit with its circulation down just over 42,000 (-2.5%).

All titles were down across the yearly period, with the Sun (Sunday) losing 314,704, followed by the Mail on Sunday (186,344).

Overall, the Sunday titles were down 0.4% PoP and 11.6% YoY, surpassing the million mark in terms of circulation loss.

The above figures have shown that overall, print circulations are declining. This in some respects is down to readers switching to digital platforms to consume their news, business and more general content.

The graph below shows the ever increasing trend of National Newspaper- daily average unique users, this is in stark contrast to how we see print circulations currently performing.

National Newspaper Daily Unique Users

However, from an advertising point of view, we feel print is vital despite circulations reducing, the medium itself is tried and tested and promotes brand affiliation. These are key elements that print media has over its digital counterpart.

National Newspaper ABC Figures – June 2013
Daily Titles Jun-12 May-13 Jun-13 YoY Actual Change YoY % Change PoP Actual Change PoP % Change
Quality
Daily Telegraph 573,674 545,579 547,106 -26,568 -4.6 1,527 0.3
Financial Times 297,225 256,655 258,488 -38,737 -13.0 1,833 0.7
Guardian 211,511 192,376 187,000 -24,511 -11.6 -5,376 -2.8
i 272,597 306,578 303,009 30,412 11.2 -3,569 -1.2
Independent 90,001 75,089 73,060 -16,941 -18.8 -2,029 -2.7
Scotsman 35,523 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Times 400,120 394,982 390,941 -9,179 -2.3 -4,041 -1.0
Mid-Market
Daily Express 602,482 525,235 522,264 -80,218 -13.3 -2,971 -0.6
Daily Mail 1,939,635 1,787,558 1,806,569 -133,066 -6.9 19,011 1.1
Popular
Daily Mirror 1,081,330 1,041,289 1,038,753 -42,577 -3.9 -2,536 -0.2
Daily Record 279,324 255,238 252,626 -26,698 -9.6 -2,612 -1.0
Daily Star 602,296 534,813 540,849 -61,447 -10.2 6,036 1.1
Sun 2,583,552 2,269,238 2,243,903 -339,649 -13.1 -25,335 -1.1
Total Daily 8,969,270 8,184,630 8,164,568 -804,702 -9.0 -20,062 -0.2
London Free Press Jun-12 May-13 Jun-13 YoY Actual Change YoY % Change PoP Actual Change PoP % Change
City A.M 132,857 127,983 128,152 -4,705 -3.5 169 0.1
London Evening Standard 700,506 702,458 699,951 -555 -0.1 -2,507 -0.4
Metro (London) 777,396 776,012 772,824 -4,572 -0.6 -3,188 -0.4
Total London Press 1,610,759 1,606,453 1,600,927 -9,832 -0.6 -5,526 -0.3
Sunday Titles Jun-12 May-13 Jun-13 YoY Actual Change YoY % Change PoP Actual Change PoP % Change
Quality
Independent On Sunday 122,588 113,082 111,986 -10,602 -8.6 -1,096 -1.0
Observer 243,946 222,723 212,376 -31,570 -12.9 -10,347 -4.6
Scotland on Sunday. 44,041 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Sunday Times 915,969 842,810 840,201 -75,768 -8.3 -2,609 -0.3
Sunday Telegraph 450,276 420,742 422,590 -27,686 -6.1 1,848 0.4
Mid-Market
Mail On Sunday 1,824,393 1,680,069 1,638,049 -186,344 -10.2 -42,020 -2.5
Sunday Express 512,843 462,812 455,901 -56,942 -11.1 -6,911 -1.5
Sunday Post 279,120 232,412 244,257 -34,863 -12.5 11,845 5.1
Popular
Daily Star Sunday. 473,352 329,669 335,864 -137,488 -29.0 6,195 1.9
Sunday People 450,097 415,539 415,075 -35,022 -7.8 -464 -0.1
Sun (Sunday) 2,189,924 1,867,980 1,875,220 -314,704 -14.4 7,240 0.4
Sunday Mail 313,698 288,736 284,051 -29,647 -9.5 -4,685 -1.6
Sunday Mirror 1,088,499 1,029,210 1,037,542 -50,957 -4.7 8,332 0.8
Total Sunday 8,908,746 7,905,784 7,873,112 -1,035,634 -11.6 -32,672 -0.4

Guardian News & Media returns to profit, boosted by digital growth

On 16 July, Guardian News & Media (GMN) published their annual results for 2012/2013, showing another year of strong growth in digital revenues which are up 29% YoY to £56 million.

Guardian Returns to Profit

Source: Guardian News & Media, July 2013

As well as a sharp increase in digital revenue, the reduction in GNM’s operating loss was also helped by cutting £9 million from print costs, including a reduction in pagination following a redesign, as well as nearly £3m savings from editorial budget.

These results mark the end of the second year of GMN’s 5-year transformation programme, which has among its stated aims, the target of taking £25 million out of its cost base by the end of 2015/16, and reducing losses to a sustainable level over 5 years.

Whilst no publisher has yet found a definitive solution to managing losses resultant in the on-going transition from print to digital, GNM’s published earnings indicate that there is yet a sustainable future for quality journalism, even against the backdrop of a fast-changing and challenging market.

Local World To Herald the Comeback of Local Print Media?

Local World is a new company striving to rejuvenate the regional media industry.  The company is headed by former chief executive of the Mirror Group and former editor of the News of the World, David Montgomery and brings together the regional media offerings of a number of the key regional players in the UK market.

Regional Media Regulatory Threat

Source: meaningful-brands.co.uk

Northcliffe Media (the regional publishing arm of the Daily Mail and General Trust) and Iliffe News & Media (part of Yattendon) are two of the major shareholders in the organisation, with a range of venture capitalists also investing significantly in the body.  The media entities bring with them their vast regional media portfolios, totalling 107 print titles, such as the Hull Daily Mail, Cambridge News and Leicester Mercury with a combined weekly readership of 6 million and a number of online portals.

The company’s main aim is to start the ‘fightback’ of the regional newspaper industry, whose average readership has tended to be on the slightly older and slightly less affluent side, over 50s and C-E social grading (TGI, Q1 2013).  Their intention is to reinvigorate this audience and attract new readers and users.  To do so they will develop the multi media offering of these local titles, expand in digital and mobile, while making moves in to areas such as local directories, an aspect of the market that they believe there is no reason for companies such as Google to be dominating.

The battle plan is to recapture the attention of national media planners whose interests have moved to national and televised media with falling cost per thousands in these areas.  Local World maintain that local media still offers a great amount and by centralising the media process, maintaining localised editorial coverage and offering expanded digital platforms, they believe planners will be drawn back to the idea of the local.

The Daily Mail attempted to off-load their regional media in 2005 for £1.5 billion, so confident were they that they could achieve this they turned down bids exceeding £1 billion but not meeting their valuation.  However it is a sign of the times and the fall from grace that regional media has endured that when Local World had Northcliffe’s media valued in preparation for their bid for the titles, it was just £150 mil.

However, the fresh approach and new energy behind Local World is good news for the regional media industry and the centralising of the media processes will ensure that planning with these titles will be greatly simplified and offer a more attractive option.

The fact also remains that no matter how global the world becomes, people still spend significant amounts of their money and time in the areas close to where they live and maintain an interest in the goings-on in these areas.  Regional media, as such, can always be relevant and this is why there is concern within the industry about the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) decision to posthumously investigate Local World’s creation.

The OFT are looking into competition concerns with Local World’s creation and could keep the company in court hearings until 2014 if they decide to undergo a full investigation along with the Competition Commission.

The issue though comes down to a relatively simple question; do we wish to have a commercially viable regional press in the UK or do we want a self-defeating regulatory policy on competition,  leading to the closure of titles.  Diversity is important, but more important still is the survival of the regional media industry.

Consumer Magazines – Latest ABC Results

The latest ABC figures for Consumer magazines were released in the latter part of August, for January – June 2011. The figures made for some very interesting reading, identifying those titles that have weathered the economic turndown and are coming back to full strength and the sectors who have suffered greatly in recent times.

A number of Women’s titles are still holding up well, despite the downturn – with several magazines posting increases. Overall, the market is up 1.1% YoY and 1.5% PoP.

The post-recession market is still having a huge impact on the Women’s Weekly sector, which is down 8% on last year (and 5.4% PoP).

Home Interest is one of the few sectors to benefit from the current economic climate – with a number of titles seeing circulation increases. Over the sector is up by 1%.

The Men’s Lifestyle sector is continuing to struggle – down 4.4% overall on this time last year.

The TV Listings sector had a fairly poor period, with just one title posting a PoP increase between January and June 2011 (What’s On TV).

News & Current Affairs similarly to Home Interest is a sector than has not been greatly affected by the current economic climate, a number of titles seeing circulation increases.

For a more detailed analysis and the full table of results click here

ABC’s Consumer Magazine Research – A Detailed Analysis

Women’s Lifestyle

Condé Nast’s Glamour still tops the Women’s Lifestyle sector following a positive 5.9% PoP increase in sales.

A number of Women’s titles are still holding up well, despite the downturn – with several magazines posting increases. Overall, the market is up 1.1% YoY and 1.5% PoP.

However, some titles in the sector suffered substantial declines, including Marie Claire, Company, More! and Psychologies.

Women’s Weeklies

The post-recession market is still having a huge impact on the Women’s Weekly sector, which is down 8% on last year (and 5.4% PoP).

OK! and Hello were the only two titles who posted PoP increases in sales (up 4.9% and 1.9% respectively).

The top two titles in the sector – Take a Break and New! – have lost substantial copies, while Bauer’s Heat is down by 21.7% YoY (over 90,000 copies).

The decline of the weekly sector is worrying as it is a reflection of the downturn – little treats like a magazine are normally resistant to economic woes. The public are perhaps falling out of love with ‘celebrities’.

Home Interest

Home Interest is one of the few sectors to benefit from the current economic climate – with a number of titles seeing circulation increases, including Country Living, which leads the market.

Ikea Family Live has moved into the top three, with a total circulation of 150,000 copies.

Overall, the market is up 1% on last year.

Men’s Lifestyle

The Men’s Lifestyle sector is continuing to struggle – down 4.4% overall on this time last year.

The free titles – Shortlist and Sport – remain in poll position ahead of paid-for titles Men’s Health and FHM.

It is a bleak picture for some of the best known men’s brands, with FHM, GQ, Men’s Health, Nuts and Zoo all posting both YoY and PoP declines.

TV Listings

The TV Listings sector had a fairly poor period, with just one title posting a PoP increase between January and June 2011 (What’s On TV).

TV Choice, What’s On TV and Total TV Guide saw their circulation rise over the year. Overall, the market is up 1.4% on last year but down 1.9% PoP.

News & Current Affairs

News & Current Affairs similarly to Home Interest is a sector than has not been greatly affected by the current economic climate.

A number of titles have seen a circulation increase, Sense Magazine leading the way with a 5.2% PoP increase.

The Spectator was the biggest loser in the News & Current Affairs sector, with a 10.6% YoY fall.