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Like the Sunday Market there is a headline figure in the morning market and it’s the Daily Star. It’s nearly out on its own with a double digit decline of 14% falling to 75,000 and down nearly 12,000 copies over the year (let’s spare ourselves all the analogies to the small lights in the sky). In market terms the tabloids have suffered the most at the hands of the recession down collectively 11% year on year. The Sun is down 7,000 (9%) and the Mirror down nearly 5,000 ((8%) on the year.

It’s only fair to point out that there is a substantial price differential between the tabloids. The Sun and The Mirror sell at the handy price point of €1 Monday to Saturday. The Daily Star on the other hand sells at €1.40 throughout the week. In these times of penury, that €0.40 could be the big deciding factor in the morning (it’s a €125 a year difference to do the economics on it).

These days, once newspaper sales are lost, there’s little or no chance of those copies ever returning to the circulation figures and therefore it’s time to go to “Plan B”. The biggest fear is that there is no “Plan B” or indeed no plan at all. Ignoring the inevitable and the writing on the wall is, at this point, particularly futile.

Publication JJ 2012 JJ 2011 Diff '000 Diff %
Irish Independent 125,986 134,228 -8,242 -6%
Irish Times 92,565 100,951 -8,386 -8%
Examiner 40,245 43,390 -3,145 -7%
Daily Mirror 57,109 61,998 -4,889 -8%
Irish Daily Star 75,293 87,121 -11,829 -14%
The Sun 72,564 79,893 -7,329 -9%
204,965 229,012 -24,047 -11%
Daily Express 2,884 2,960 -77 -3%
Irish Daily Mail 51,598 51,072 526 1%
Daily Telegraph 2,893 2,934 -41 -1%
Financial Times 3,161 3,539 -378 -11%
Guardian 3,311 3,700 -389 -11%
i 570
The Independent 897 960 -63 -7%
The Times 2,149 2,262 -113 -5%
Total  736,189 804,020 -68,401 -9%

The Irish Times didn’t fare well over the twelve months and lost over 8,000 copies or 8% of its sales. In that sales figure there’s a fairly hefty 6% “regular bulks” in the figure and a further 3% “issue specific” bulks to bring it to a figure of 90.65% of its sales Newstrade and single copy sales.

Not to be outdone by its close rival, the Irish Independent had something to show The Irish Times – its expanding waistline! The Irish Independent dropped back to 126,000 down 8,000 or 6% over the year. But its midriff was swelled by very hefty 11% of bulks which makes only 89% of its sales coming from Newstrade and single copy sales – the highest percentage bulks in the business.

Looking at the two formats of the Irish Independent can only be done via their single copy sales as the compact is the predominant format used for its bulks and would distort the figures. The ratio is now 30:70 down from 32:68 in favour of the compact. The broadsheet version was down 11% year on year and the compact down marginally by 2%. There could be all sorts of theories for the sharper decline in the broadsheet vs. the compact, but I’d go for the aging population theory and leave it at that.

The Daily Mail slipped 1% or 400 copies which was no mean feat given the state of the market and economy.

The Examiner dropped 3,000 copies but managed to stay this side of forty. That coupled with the drop in sales for both stable mates, The Echo and Sunday Business Post, must be putting pressure on the business as a whole.

As with the Sunday Papers the other papers have little impact on the market.

Morning Newspaper Sales Jan June 2012