ABC Irish Newspaper Circulation March 2020

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The apocalyptic landscape I thought I’d be painting for the March ABC’s didn’t materialise! The small change in the reporting period (see below) and the Cheltenham festival do seem to have worked in the favour of the newspaper market showing a monthly increase of 2% but a decline of 7% on March 2019.

Ten of the publications are showing and increase on the previous month and the morning tabloids taking the lion’s share of those increases.

None of the publications reported an exception in the March reporting period.

TitleMar-20Feb-20Mar-19M/MY/Y% M/M% Y/Y
Daily Mirror25,55125,00127,854550-2,3032%-8%
Daily Record237244251-7-14-3%-6%
Irish Daily Star38,17435,63844,0342,536-5,8606%-13%
The Sun45,76944,10749,8541,662-4,0853%-8%
Daily Express1,8951,8792,09416-1991%-10%
Irish Daily Mail25,34325,29927,60344-2,2600%-8%
Financial Times2,0632,0962,181-33-118-2%-5%
The Guardian1,9071,5261,944381-3720%-2%
The Times2,6102,5563,67454-1,0641%-29%
Morning Market*143,549138,346159,4895,203-15,9403%-10%
Daily Star - Sunday9,8179,08811,597729-1,7806%-15%
Sun on Sunday40,93241,48943,468-557-2,536-1%-6%
Sunday Mail63660364033-45%-1%
Sunday Mirror18,40718,41618,776-9-3690%-2%
The People6,7356,4146,800321-655%-1%
Sunday Express2,3422,3242,55418-2121%-8%
Sunday Post261264302-3-41-1%-14%
Mail on Sunday54,59854,49858,625100-4,0270%-7%
The Observer4,1133,8084,052305618%2%
Sunday Times66,85764,37667,9892,481-1,1324%-2%
Sunday Market204,698201,280214,8033,418-10,1052%-5%
Total Market348,247339,626374,2928,621-26,0452%-7%

The ABC reporting for March: The reporting period is 2nd March to 22nd March which is a week short of the ‘normal’ accounting period used. The April reporting period will be from March 23rd to the 26th April and May will be from April 27th to May 31st – each period being five weeks.

The March cert will be a normal certificate where a newsbrand can seek an exception (or exceptions) to particular days in the audit period. The exception rule that publishers can fall back on for this period is when circulation drops due to “reasons outside your control” and Covid19 certainly falls info that exception rule. If a publisher wants to exclude a day from the audit period the shortfall has to be at least 5% or more of the average normal net sale of the previous four equivalent issues (e.g. for a Monday compare to Mondays etc).

Given that we closed our schools ten days before the UK, newsbrands may have a different treatment of the exception rule for the two different jurisdictions in which they sell their publication.