Irish Sunday Newspaper CirculationsJuly-December 2010

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The Sunday market is where the recent focus has been with the closure of one paper and another in receivership. The Sunday Tribune (ST) didn’t file an ABC for the last half of 2010. There’s a cost involved there and perhaps the receiver felt that until another buyer was found (or not) the money would be better spent elsewhere.

Anyway – the king is dead, long live the king and its an intriguing tale in the next tow paragraphs peppered with boxing analogies!   

Sunday World (SW) mugged the Sunday Independent (SI)way back in 2007 and rightfully claimed the title “King of the Tabloids” and Broadsheets. By doing so became the top selling Sunday paper and, by default, also became the Top selling paper as well. I’d have to say that up to this point the fight between the pair had been relatively fair, relatively being the apt term. As both fight out of the same Indo corner, so the scrap was really never going to be let out of hand. By now, the deposed ruler has returned and claimed “number one” position shading the SW figure by just shy of 3,000 copies.

Their marketing in this Sunday’s edition will proudly claim the indo as ‘Ireland’s top selling paper’. However, the judges should check for steroids and enhancing methods of fighting. The actively purchased figure for the SI is 243,001. The Sunday World don’t deal in such alchemy and therefore have no bulks. Under the Queensbury Rules the Sunday World ‘actively’ outbox the SI by over 8,000. The crown sits shakily on the head of the indo but I can’t see the decision reversed as the referees in Talbot Street wont let this become a situation where the linen is washed in public. This judge scores 117 to 113 for the Red corner anyway.

Wrestling ourselves away from all the puns the World is still back 20,000 year on year. The other tabloids are seeing their sales being eroded as well in the 12 months. Tabloids are stronger in the Sunday market accounting for 48% of totals sales compared to 40% in the morning market. Again, and leaving aside the Sunday Tribune, the tabloids account for about 52% of the decline of the Sunday market showing that they are shouldering more of the fall than the rest of the market.  The News of the World featured last year for the right and wrong reasons and spent serious money on marketing which yielded them little in sales dropping nearly 10,000 copies. The Sunday Daily Star is now gone and its farewell was a January ABC (single month) of 36,000.   

The Sunday Business Post lost over 6,000 buyers that it can ill afford to loose at this time. It’s back to a circulation figure it hasn’t seen since 1997. The Sunday Times dropped 7% or 7,500 copies despite some heavy marketing spend and the Irish Mail on Sunday was the only paper to manage a single point drop.  

Publication July Dec 2010 July Dec 2009 Diff ’08/10 Diff %
Sunday Independent  254,311 268,140 -13,829 -5%
Sunday World 251,344 270,453 -19,109 -7%
Sunday Tribune 0 65,727

Sunday Business Post 45,696 52,271 -6,575 -13%

Daily Star Sunday  52,752 56,005 -3,253 -6%
Irish News of the World 123,890 133,256 -9,366 -7%
Irish Sunday Mirror 38,218 39,831 -1,613 -4%
The People 19,766 22,085 -2,319 -11%

Sunday Express 4,111 4,607 -496 -11%
IoS/Daily Mail 110,326 111,945 -1,619 -1%

Independent.on Sunday 1,409 1,747 -338 -19%
The Observer 7,716 9,400 -1,684 -18%
Sunday Telegraph 2,481 2,606 -125 -5%
Sunday Times 106,909 114,413 -7,504 -7%
Total Sunday* 1,018,929 1,086,759 -67,830 -6%

The market is back by 67,000. It’s not a prediction but stark reality that come the next audit (Jan-June) the Sunday market will have broken through the 1,000,000 mark, going in the wrong direction, a direction that so extreme in the char below.