Irish Sunday Newspaper Circulations Jan June 2010

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The Sundays had mixed fortunes. For the papers that have their finger on the pulse and not elsewhere and who actually publish timely circulation numbers on a monthly basis, their plight is well documented. In the market four papers have circulations of under 10,000 and therefore throw up large percentage swings, so we’re not going to dwell on them too much on them.  #

The biggest fallers in the market were the Sunday Tribune (-11,327), the Sunday World (-10,374) and the Sunday Business Post (8,146).  Perhaps theses papers are suffering from people dropping a second or, indeed a third paper for their Sunday newspaper arsenal.

The Tabloids (red top’s) although back nearly 25,000 copies collectively only account for 40% of the Sunday market decline. Another 40% can be attributed to the SBP, Sunday Tribune (which we will return to) and Sunday Independent. In the Redtops the Sunday World dropped over 10,000 copies – which is less than previous annual falls it should be said. Their circulation number is an amalgam of the Southern Edition of the paper and their Northern Edition.

Looking a bit deeper, it’s the southern edition that accounts for most of the fall, the northern edition only loosing 850 copies. There is/was an argument that the north’s economic woes were gently lessened by the massively high numbers there employed in the civil service (part of the peace dividend) and, therefore, newspapers there are not experiencing the same declines as those in the south. Its is a very ‘plausible’ argument as the larger papers in the North have held their ground year on year. Combined, the N.I. market (morning and Sunday combined) only dropped by 2% year on year.

The Sunday Times lost nearly 5,000 copies only to fly i the face of the recently released JNRS which suggested that they added 50,000 readers (readers, not copy sales) – so that’s something for the statisticians to chew on. Actually their 12 months to June 2010 compared to 12 months to ‘June ‘09 are practically identical at roughly 113,000 copies! Without going thorough each of the figures individually and risking people glazing over, there are only two other points: Firstly the level of bulks:

These range from 0% in some cases to a particularly hefty 20% in others. Secondly, a certain level of bulks (or copies sold below basic cover price) are always going to occur – but at 1/5 of your circulation, surely its taking the proverbial a little: The Sunday Tribune’s actual sales at full cover price were 43,321 JJ ‘10 compared to 56,740 the same period last year. Last year 86.3% of their circulation was at full rate. This year its 79.7%.

Publication Jan June 2009 Jan June 2010 Diff ‘000 Diff %
Sunday Independent 272,174 265,455 -6,719 -2%
Sunday World 277,504 267,130 -10,374 -4%
Sunday Tribune 65,727 54,400 -11,327 -17%
Sunday Business Post 57,783 49,637 -8,146 -14%
Daily Star Sunday 59,347 54,224 -5,123 -9%
Irish News of the World 134,177 131,410 -2,767 -2%
Irish Sunday Mirror 40,219 37,252 -2,967 -7%
The People 24,593 20,303 -4,290 -17%
Sunday Express 4,683 3,949 -734 -16%
Irish Mail on Sunday 114,247 112,897 -1,350 -1%
Independent.on Sunday 1,966 1,639 -327 -17%
The Observer 10,292 8,169 -2,123 -21%
Sunday Telegraph 2,771 2,451 -320 -12%
Sunday Times 116,770 111,892 -4,878 -4%
Total 1,182,252 1,120,808 -61,444 -5%