Irish Morning Newspaper Circulations July Dec 2011

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The morning market declined by 6% to 552,000 copies every day. It’s better than the Sunday story, but the morning market still has the same participants as last year unlike the Sunday market.

As a group, the tabloids are the real sufferers in the morning market accounting for over half of the drop in circulations. They have also dropped market share to 39%, their lowest share since 1998 – their highest being 45% circa 2005.

By far the worst result in the morning comes from the Daily Star dropping nearly 10,000 copies to 81,000. Not far behind is its rival, The Sun, which lost over 8,000 to 75,000. The Mirror, under the circumstances, did well dropping only 2,000 to 59,000. It’s a terrible thing having to applaud a small drop!

The graph at the bottom shows that, collectively, the tabloids dipped disproportionally in comparison to the market as a whole. Aside from a small uplift in 2007, the tabloids have been in decline since 2005. Maybe we didn’t need Nouriel Roubini (Doctor No) to predict the beginning of the end, we should have just kept out eye on the tabloid market instead..

Morn 2010

The Daily Mail is one of the only papers in neutral/positive territory managing to drop only 47 copies on the same period last year. The Irish Times Marking department will have to get cleaver in trying to negotiate the elephant in the room that is their fall below 100,000 copies per day. It’s been 1996, or fifteen years, since they visited that parish and I will take some copywriting skills to avoid that topic. The Examiner, contrary to the readership figures last week, declined by 9% to 42,000.

Again, bulks are, possibly, not a factor in the market. They account for 12.7% of the Irish Independent sale and 6% for the Irish Times. However, last year the Irish Independent had 10.6% of its sales in bulks (or 16,665 bulk copies compared to 14,647 in 2010). Had the number of bulks included in the Irish Independent sale remained at the same level as 2110 it would have pushed them into the 120’s, which would have then hitting on the copywriters as well.

Broad comLeaving aside the ‘Irish Independent International Edition’ the mix between broadsheet and compact is now 70/30 in favour of the Compact*.

Add to this that the sales of the broadsheet version declined by 16% compared to 2% for the compact, you can only guess where this argument is going.

However, the broadsheet still has and army of 33,000 loyal purchasers and it would be foolish to think that they, in the absence of the broadsheet version – should that decision ever be made-, would all migrate en masse and happily to the compact edition.
*these are newstrade figures only, no bulks or ‘light’ editions. 

PublicationJD 2011JD 2010Diff ‘000Diff %
Irish Independent131,161138,510-7,349-5%
Irish Times96,150102,543-6,393-6%
Daily Mirror59,22161,143-1,922-3%
Irish Daily Star81,21090,709-9,499-10%
The Sun75,81984,277-8,458-10%
Daily Express3,1533,371-218-6%
Irish Daily Mail49,34249,389-470%
Daily Telegraph3,0272,984431%
Financial Times3,5523,695-143-4%
The Independent9741,022-48-5%
The Times2,2612,539-278-11%
Total 552,274589,942-38,237-6%

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