The ABC’s for February have been published. Looking at the big picture, the market is down 13%. In the morning by 14% and the Sunday by 10%. But, given the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves, I really believe that the reporting for March, due on the 14th of April will show a collapse in newspaper circulation in Ireland. If, and it’s a big if, the UK goes into lockdown how will the papers be produced, printed and distributed? In Italy, some of the publishers are arguing strongly that newsstands should be on the list of essential services during any lockdown.
The ABC Island of Ireland report was released today, without the previous fanfare due to a much-depleted field. IN+M decided to withdraw from the ABC certification in August of 2019 and, as they accounted for a large share in the two markets (53% of the Sunday and 43% of the Morning market), we really don’t get a complete view with the recently released figures. Just a quick point on the ABC. In August of 2019 we learned, on the morning of the supposed release of their data, that IN&M had decided that they were not going to use the audit
The ABC for January 2020 were released. It shows that the year on year for the Morning titles dropped by 14% and the Sunday down 15%. Of note is the absence of a cert for both the Daily and Sunday Telegraph. They decided last month that they were no longer going to audit their newspaper circulation. The ‘total market’ reflects this and their figures from previous periods do not form part of the total market.
The final numbers of 2019 were released today allowing us to see where the market (well those papers who are audited) ended up last year. Just a courtesy look at December: It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, as December can go either way for the papers. But sales were down only 1% on the previous month – but -16% on the year, more on that later. In short, the month threw up no real surprises. As the figures for the twelve months are available for the audited titles we can see where this portion of the market
November ABC’s were released and as per October, nothing much has changed, bar the 10%+ decline in sales over the year.The only really notable events were the collapse of the Sunday Mail circulation diving 26% to 532 copies and a 1% increase in the sale of the Sunday Times. Market down 1% on the month and 12% on the year.
Another day… October ABC’s showing no signs of bucking the trend and if you look at the accompanying graphic, you’ll see that the trend is far from reversing. The tabloids are down 4% on the month and 12% on the year with the Daily Star taking the biggest hit of just shy of 2,000. Elsewhere in the market the movements are small and there’s nothing shocking to report. The People however did manage a 8% month on month increase but I doubt it’s enough to save it’s hide in this market. Market back 3% on the month and 12% on
As I suspected last month, the fickle nature of the sports reader kicked in this month with the three morning tabloids falling nearly 5,000 collectively. The lure of the start of the soccer season was short-lived – shorter even than the tenure of Ole Gunnar Solskjær in the premier league. The Sun took the biggest hit dropping 2,000 on August or 4% on the month while the Mirror fell 1,500 and the Daily Star was back 1,000. In the Sundays, there was some cheer for the Mail on Sunday which added 1,200 and the Sunday Times managed a three-digit increase.
After the relative excitement of last months abandonment of the ABC’s by IN&M, the August monthly figures are a bit of a damp squib. However, August always brings one certainty – a short-lived revival of the tabloid market on the back of the UK soccer season kicking into life again. Collectively the red tops added 4% month on month or short of 5,000. In comparison to August of 2018, it’s an improvement in both actual numbers and percentage (4,200 and 3%). The Sun on Sunday was also a benefactor of the soccer season adding 2,000. The Sunday Times had a
Independent News and Media decided to ‘to resign its titles from ABC membership’ and therefore will not be reporting ABC figure for the current Island of Ireland report. Given that 22% of the reporting numbers in the daily market have vanished and 53% of the reporting numbers of the Sunday market have also disappeared it makes this report a ‘busted flush’. But in the spirit of stoicism (and as a hat tip to those publications that value audited metrics) I’ll press on with what remnants of data I have to hand. Overall year on year comparatives are meaningless at this
The end has come for the auditing of titles under the umbrella of IN&M. Their status earlier on the ABC website showed that the titles were ‘No longer registered’. The ABC confirmed: ‘Independent News & Media has made the decision to resign its titles from ABC membership. Effective from 20th August 2019, the Sunday Independent, Sunday World, The Herald and the Irish Independent ceased to be in membership. ABC figures for these titles were last published in our February 2019 Island of Ireland report for the reporting period ending December 2018. These figures have been audited’
July ABC’s: The tabloids, collectively, to a bit of a hammering dropping nearly 1,000 each. The month holds very little for the red-tops as there’s very little in terms of sport with the GAA only at the provincial stages. August will provide them with some sporting ammunition with the super 8’s, the hurling final and the return of the soccer season. The tabloids managed to tread water in the Sunday market. The Sunday Times ‘lost’ another 800 – but as I suspect some of that is a migration to the digital platform priced keenly at €5 a month. There no
The ABC for June 2019 were released today bringing the first half of the year to a close. Tracking the newspapers with six months under their respective belts, the outlook is bleak. Year on year for the first six months of the year these papers are down 10.8% on the first six months of 2018. So, you can assume with some certainty that the Island of Ireland report next month will hold no good news. The only item of note is The Times ABC which ceased the Irish edition on 22nd of June and the cert covers 27 May to