Covid Comparison

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Where are they now? It seems like as good a time as any to have a retrospective look at the market since the beginning of the lockdown, concentrating on how newspaper sales have been hit.

This has to be viewed with one large caveat in the News UK have not reported since February – as they are allowed to do under the Covid reporting rules.

It means that some 34% of the morning market is not represented (has not been reported) in the analysis and a hefty 52% in the Sunday market is a mystery as well, but it is worth seeing where things stand with the remaining publications.

The starting point is February on 2020 a pre-Covid ABC month. The comparative is June 2020, the last ABC month to hand. It shows that the morning papers under review have fallen by 7% in the intervening four months and the market Sunday has dropped by only 2%.

It is not exactly the fire and brimstone retribution that was inflicted on Sodom and Gomorrah that one might have expected or indeed have predicted might befall the industry before the mid-march lockdown.

Also, in the interest of all the facts on the table in 2019: again stripping out the papers that have not reported in the fist analysis and completing the same analysis for 2019, the morning market declined by 3% between February and June of that year and the Sunday market saw a decline of 6%.

So, very much a story of mixed fortunes and certainly not the bloodbath that one might have envisaged. However, to extrapolate that to the wider market would be based on the premise that the numbers in News UK are reacting the same

TitleJun-20Feb-20M/M% M/M
Daily Mirror23,51425,001-1,487-6%
Daily Record205244-39-16%
Irish Daily Star33,15835,638-2,480-7%
The Sun**44,107
Daily Express1,5101,879-369-20%
Irish Daily Mail23,15225,299-2,147-8%
Financial Times1,5872,096-509-24%
The Guardian1,7881,52626217%
The Times**2,556
Daily Compared Titles84,91491,683-6,769-7%
Daily Star - Sunday8,6879,590-903-9%
Sun on Sunday**41,972
Sunday Mail529604-75-12%
Sunday Mirror18,43318,620-187-1%
The People6,6516,609421%
Sunday Express2,0102,199-189-9%
Sunday Post274
Mail on Sunday54,65355,065-412-1%
The Observer4,2143,9252897%
Sunday Times**64,376
Sunday Compared Titles95,17796,886-1,709-2%