Sunday Newspaper Circulation Circulations July Dec 2011

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The Sunday ABC’s very much reflect the demise of the News of the World during the year with only some of the papers gaining on the back of the closure. 

With that the Sunday market is down 114,000 copies year on year or 11%– which is still not equal to the sale of the NoW prior to its closure (124,000). The figures would suggest that the majority of NoW purchasers didn’t remain in the market after their Sunday paper closed.

Personally, I’d suggest that the NoW was, in the majority of buying scenarios, a ‘secondary purchase’ and, once gone, the purchasers were faced with a dilemma: to buy another paper as a substitute- which a small amount did (reflected in the uplift of the Sunday Mirror up 28,000 or 74% year on year and its stable mate the Sunday People up 8,000 or 44%) or not bother substituting at all – which seems to have been the majority decision.

Sunday Market_2010

The Sunday Independent dropped back to 236,000 a fall of 7% which was marginally worse than the Sunday Business Post which now sells 43,000 down 6%.
In all of the Sunday titles, bulks aren’t an issue, well no more than last year anyway, with the Sunday Independent topping that table at 5% of its ‘sales’.

SW 2010_1

The Sunday World hasn’t been under the microscope this year as it only publishes theses figures bi-annually. So, how did it fare after the NoW closed? One would have thought that it would be a natural home for the abandoned NoW purchasers, but it seems that this wasn’t the case.

Granted, they have held firm in fairly nasty market conditions losing only 700 copies on average year on year. The month after the closure of the NoW it increased its sale by a mere 3%. If you were asked, before the closure, what their increase would be, I don’t think that +3% would have been the answer from many. 

They put on 7,000 that month compared to 28,000 for the Sunday Mirror and 6,000 for the Sunday People’s. It increased marginally again in August but then slid back in September to pre NoW closure levels.

It leads possibly to an intriguing proposition and a tad Orwellian at that. “All tabloids are equal, but some tabloids are more equal than others”. By equal in this instance, I mean desirable. There are, seemingly, two camps, not just one generic ‘tabloid’ camp. There are the perceived ‘UK Tabloids’ and then the indigenous tabloid. If you read one type, your natural home, come sell-out or shutdown, is a paper of that ilk, not simply just another tabloid. 

Is there a body of Sunday purchasers that harbour a lust for the tabloid writings from a more distant, neighbouring shore? It took long enough to get those tabloids to settle here and adopt our customs, our ways and our V.A.T., surly we’ve learned our lesson at this stage – 800 pages and all that!

The Sunday Daily Star figure is interesting. The audited figure for 2010 of 52,700 is the figure when the paper was alive and well and living in Ireland. The figure of 40,000 is the audited figure for 2011 and is the sale of the ‘UK’ version, now selling in Ireland.

They are down 12,000 copies over the twelve months but, from a UK shareholder point of view, it may see it as a worthwhile move pulling the Irish edition. The ‘Blue Top’ has no real overhead in comparison to the old Irish Edition, which employed close to 20 people, and they take the full cover price, as opposed to a theoretical half from the Irish Edition (albeit a reduced cover price)

The Sunday Times is up 2% and couldn’t really be attributed to the closure of the NoW – or so the marketing people on the paper would like to believe, you would think.
The other papers in the Sunday survey have varying stories, but sell small enough volumes not to warrant many more pixels than that.

Last time out the worry was that the Sunday market was about to go sub one million, which it did predictably. This time out it’s the 900k cliff edge which is a few pace (papers) away.

I can’t see the Sun on Sunday reviving the fortunes of the Sunday Market too much. Undoubtedly the first edition will bounce the market and it will probably give the market a stay of execution from the 900k gallows, but that will only be in the short term.

Publication JD 2011 JD 2010 Diff ‘000 Diff %
Sunday Independent   236,326 254,311 -17,985 -7%
Sunday World 250,667 251,344 -677 0%
Sunday Business Post 43,141 45,696 -2,555 -6%
Daily Star Sunday  40,226 52,752 -12,526 -24%
Irish News of the World 0 123,890 -123,890 -100%
Irish Sunday Mirror 66,403 38,218 28,185 74%
The People 28,390 19,766 8,624 44%
Sunday Express 4,431 4,111 320 8%
IoS/Daily Mail 114,114 110,326 3,788 3%
Independent.on Sunday 1,571 1,409 162 11%
The Observer 7,354 7,716 -362 -5%
Sunday Telegraph 2,933 2,481 452 18%
Sunday Times 109,539 106,909 2,630 2%
Total Sunday 905,095 1,018,929 -113,834 -11%