Morning newspapers saw a decline of 7.2% over the twelve months dropping to 450,956 for July December 2014. The three tabloids audited contributed close to half of that decline, dropping 16,371 collectively.
The Irish Independent remains the largest selling paper in the morning moving 112,502 copies each day down 4% or 5,000 on July Dec 2014. It has to be noted that in this figure, 86.7% of that is actively purchased compared to 87.2% in July December 2013. Their single copy sales and subs come in at 94,182 compared to 98,568 the comparable period last year, a drop of 4% in that category.
|Publication||JD 2014||JD 2013||Diff '000||Diff %|
|Irish Daily Star||58,541||64,745||-6,205||-9.60%|
|Irish Daily Mail||45,139||49,814||-4,675||-9.40%|
This is still 35,000 copies ahead of its nearest rival The Irish Times with a circulation of 76,882 copies per day, a drop of 6.3% on the previous year or over 5,000 copies. It’s possibly these types of numbers that have prompted the title to launch their much publicised paywall enactment offering this week.
They currently have 2,951 digital subscribers according to their latest cert so it’s a matter of convincing a good few thousand more that they should go behind the paywall. According to some international research about half of one percent of your monthly uniques will take up the digital offering when the paywall is hoisted.
This would translate onto roughly just over 30,000 subscribers for the digital Irish Time - if they follow that international research. In the interest of fairness: within that print figure, 88% are actively purchased not far off market leader the Irish independent on 87%.
The Examiner dropped 2,500 copies per day and now sites at a six month figure of 34,422 per day.
The tabloids are going to hell in a hand cart and have absolutely nowhere to turn. They've lost 9% of their sales and there is no ‘plan b’. The Mirror lost the most in percentage terms at 10% and The Sun and The Star slug it out for top spot in this rapidly declining corner of the market coming in at 58,000 each. The six monthly numbers here are very kind and show The Star just being edged out of pole position by a mere 400 copies. The more recent January ABC’s are a little more stark show them being well beaten into second place by some 1,000 copies per day at this point. It also highlights the rounding that takes place in a six month average figure compared to a monthly comparison.
In the graphic below, it's interesting to look at the more recent past of the titles with, finally, a monthly picture. The lines are for many flatter than the 2000-2014 picture.
At its peak, the Daily Star sold 112,000 copies per day and The Sun 116,000. Currently the three tabloids, combined, only sell just over 164,000 copies a day - a frightening statistic.
The Daily Mail dropped 9% to 45,000 copies per day beating the decline of the overall market and losing nearly 5,000 copies. The rest of the papers are small beer (here anyway) and only contribute 3% to the total market.
The ‘evening market’ is a lonely slot: I redid the table above to put in the Herald into the morning market so it only leaves the Echo which now stands at 13,111 down 7%. The chart below shows the wisdom of moving into an already crowded market.