ABC Irish Newspaper Circulation October 2018

October ABC’s were released earlier and there are no real surprises. The morning tabloids took a 3% hit on the month but the Sunday tabloids had a decent month. The Mail on Sunday gained 7% or 4,000 copies on the month. The people also managed to add 7% albeit 500 copies. Beneath all the numbers is the worrying underlying trend of the year on year difference. For the past five monthly sets of figures, the year on year difference has fallen into double digits. Again, it’s not time to sound the claxon and dive under the desks, but, however, it’s a figure that is worth watching. You can see from the accompanying chart that you have to go back some way to try and see when it last threatened the double digit zone. (the two spikes can be explained 1) the world cup 2) a decent month as it was

ABC Irish Newspaper Circulation September 2018

It’s a pattern that is mirrored nearly year – a boost in August and a drift back to normality in September when the gloss has gone off the first few weeks of the soccer season. The morning market was down -4% this month back from a +4% increase in September. The composition, in this analysis, of the morning market is dominated by the tabloids, the cohort most susceptible to the goings on in the Premier League. The Sundays continued on the downward trajectory back -3% on the month – the Sunday Mirror and People having a bad month. Overall market down 3% on the month, 12% on the year. Title Sep-18 Aug-18 Sep-17 M/M Y/Y % M/M % Y/Y Daily Mirror 28,691 30,219 32,170 -1,528 -3,479 -5% -11% Daily Record 259 307 290 -48 -31 -16% -11% Irish Daily Star 45,017 46,559 49,782 -1,542 -4,765 -3% -10% The Sun 52,612

Irish ABC Circulation August 2018

August brought some much needed good news to the beleaguered newspaper market – a month on month increase in sales and the last time that occurred was August ’17. That’s actually no coincidence as August has always been kind to publishers. This August there was a bevy of large events: the two All Ireland finals took place, whereas they were normally played in September. We had the Papal visit, but I suspect that was more in the arena of the visual media and, more importantly, the ‘foreign game’ returned (a phrase much used in GAA circles pre ’71!). All these aligned to boost the coffers of publishers and retailers alike. Naturally the big winners in August were the tabloids, given their preoccupation with all things soccer, with the Irish Daily Star taking the bulk of the increase in sales. The Mirror also increased just over 1,000 and The Sun seemed

Irish ABC Newspaper Circulation January-June 2018

The ABC’s for the first half of 2018 were released earlier today. It shows that the newspaper market had contracted by a further 7.1% over the year. The market annual rate of decline hasn’t been below -6% since 2009 and that’s a statistic that doesn’t need further commentary. The Morning market was down slightly more than the Sunday. The stark reality for the industry is that newspaper circulation has halved over the past decade alone. Market JJ 2018 JJ 2017 Diff ‘000 Diff % Total Sunday 577,937 621,119 -43,182 -7.0% Total Morning 384,618 418,958 -34,339 -8.2% Total Market* 2,939,714 3,194,145 -249,217 -7.8% Sunday Market The Sunday market now stands at 578,000 copies per day, a decrease of 43,000 on the same period in 2017. It represents a drop of 7.0% over the year and continues a worrying trend of year on year declines with no signs of any slowing (see

ABC Circulation July 2018

July ABC arrived today. A bad month for News UK where all of their titles (bar one) made the ‘top fallers’ list. The Sun on Sunday dropped 1,900, The Sun fell 1,400 and the Sunday Times lost 1,200. Each one of those titles carry and element of ‘bulks’ but their top line figures were not effected through any adjustment of their bulks as they remained the same as last month. However, perhaps they were testing the ‘price elasticity’ of their titles. Both Sun titles increased their cover prices in July. The Sun from €1.00 to €1.10 (+10%) and the Sun on Sunday from €1.00 €1.20 (+20%). Look at it from a revenue point of view. On given Sunday in June the Sun on Sunday would have taken circa €52,000 at the till. Taking the price rise and the reduction in sales into account, the Sun on Sunday would have taken €60,000 per

Irish ABC Circulation August 2018

  Title Aug-18 Jun-18 Aug-17 M/M Y/Y % M/M % Y/Y Daily Mirror 30,219 29,054 33,559 1,165 -3,340 4% -10% Daily Record 307 302 355 5 -48 2% -14% Irish Daily Star 46,559 44,425 51,482 2,134 -4,923 5% -10% The Sun 54,303 53,441 58,459 862 -4,156 2% -7% Tabloids 131,388 127,222 143,855 4,166 -12,467 3% -9% Daily Express 2,443 2,384 2,558 59 -115 2% -4% Irish Daily Mail 32,068 30,200 41,526 1,868 -9,458 6% -23% The Daily Telegraph 2,074 2,041 2,205 33 -131 2% -6% Financial Times 2,113 2,132 2,171 -19 -58 -1% -3% The Guardian 2,077 2,016 2,263 61 -186 3% -8% The Times 6,955 6,993 10,456 -38 -3,501 -1% -33% Morning Market 179,118 172,988 205,034 6,130 -25,916 4% -13% Daily Star – Sunday 13,780 14,331 15,904 -551 -2,124 -4% -13% The Sun on Sunday 50,530 50,278 55,876 252 -5,346 1% -10% Sunday Mail 825 742 772 83 53

Irish ABC Newspaper Circulation June 2018

June ABC’s the halfway point and the beginning of the Jan-June ‘Island of Ireland figures for the majority of publications audited b the ABC. Thirty-five days from now the rest of the bunch will publish their numbers. The Sun dropped over 1,000 copies month on month with the Daily Star adding 500 copies over the month. The morning market was back 1% or 1,500 over the month. You can see from the chart below the trajectory of the main players in the monthly audit – the Mail and the Mirror are close to converging and The Sun seems to be holding a straighter path than The Star. Below the surface, there’s the issue of the use of bulks or the abandonment of them which isn’t apparent from the graphic. The Sunday market dropped 3% over the month with the biggest fallers being Mail on Sunday (-3792), Sunday Times (-2818) and

Irish Newspaper Circulation May 2018

The May ABC indicates that it wasn’t the best month for the tabloids with an accumulated drop of nearly 5,000 copies – the Daily Star taking the brunt of that fall dropping 2,200 over the month. The Sun fell by 1,700 and the Mirror lost a paltry 900 copies in relative terms. The Irish Daily Mail lost 2,000 month on month (or 6%) however its sister paper, the Mail on Sunday, added 700 copies over the month and sans bulks it should be noted. Market down 1% on the month and 9% year on year. June figures are out next month giving us the Jan-June figures for the titles below. As it stands this month the average fall is tracking at -7%. Expect no surprises! Title May-18 Apr-18 May-17 M/M Y/Y % M/M % Y/Y Daily Mirror 29,483 30,450 34,792 -967 -5,309 -3% -15% Daily Record 265 267 296 -2

Irish Newspaper Circulation April 2018

April brought the tail end of the Easter Holidays which is sometimes a disruptive period for newspapers. However, it does not seem to have had an adverse effect on sales of The Sun which is showing a 3% increase month on month. Conversely, the Daily Star had a bad month dropping 2,300 copies or 5% on the month. This is marginally eclipsed by the fall in sales of the Sunday Times, which dropped 4,000 copies or 5% in April. Unaccustomed as I am to idle speculation I will posit the following: I don’t think that it’s any coincidence that a rival in the market, The Sunday Business Post, began its investigations into ‘Oifiggangaire,’ aka Talbot Street and the wider INM, late March and the beginning of April and continued its scrutiny throughout that month. I’d speculate that a fair share of the 4,000 sales The Sunday Times lost (even though

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ABC Irish Newspaper Circulation March 2018

Very little by way of change this month. The month was kind to the tabloids, particularly the Daily Star which saw its numbers increase by 2,000 on the month. It just shows you the attraction that the sport of kings has on its core readership – it’s no coincidence that a decent month for the paper coincides with the Cheltenham Festival. Having said that, maybe the steam is running out on that guaranteed circulation lift in March (which I’ll attribute to Cheltenham). This year the combined increase for the tabloids of March over February was 2,300 copies. In 2017 it was 4,600 copies and in 2016 it was 6,700 copies – not more to say on that one! Elsewhere very little makes the news. The Mail’s offerings are still bulk free, so I’ll take that as a change in policy and will leave it at that. Market up 1% on

ABC Irish Newspaper Circulation February 2018

The weather at the latter part of February possibly had a small adverse effect on a few of the numbers for February 2018. While the papers published (there are no exceptions in the certs) it’s impossible to know how many retail outlets the managed to get to. Interestingly the Sun and The Times were big faller’s month on month (-1770 and -2770 respectively) along with the Sunday Mirror (-2870). Conversely the Sundays had a decent month with the Sunday Times adding 1,800 and that includes a small reduction in their bulks standing at 5,700 last month. Sunday market steady month on month, daily back 3% on January. Title Feb-18 Jan-18 Feb-17 M/M Y/Y % M/M % Y/Y Daily Mirror 30,183 31,177 34,080 -994 -3,897 -3% -11% Daily Record 234 241 267 -7 -33 -3% -12% Irish Daily Star 47,401 46,372 50,718 1,029 -3,317 2% -7% The Sun 55,584 57,359 54,308

Project Ireland 2040 advertising

While the fingers are being pointed and denials of any wrongdoing abound concerning the Project Ireland 2040 advertising in both national and regional papers – there is one solution. There’s no need to set up a committee to investigate what happened when we already have an instrument to deal with this – the Advertising Standards Authority. They set-out, clearly, the rules governing the treatment of ‘advertorials’ in newspapers. Section 3.33 states ‘Advertorials should be clearly identified, should be distinguished from editorial matter and should comply with the Code’. Furthermore in a ruling against Irish Life and IN&M in 2016 where an advertorial was marked ‘Commercial Report’ the committee dealing with the complaint concluded ‘the Committee considered that the wording ‘Commercial Report’ had not clearly indicated that the material was advertising’. I’m sure that someone in one of the political parties is considering such a complaint.Full details here. And, as FF

Irish Newspaper Circulation July-Dec 2017 Island of Ireland Report

We have thirteen National titles available for selection every morning and twelve to choose from every Sunday. The figures here are the circulations of national newspapers for the period of July to December 2017 and are compared to the same six months in 2016. The stark reality is that in the intervening period, the newspapers below sold ten million fewer copies per annum in comparison to the previous year. Interestingly five years ago five titles managed to sell more than 100,000 copies, today this stands at two. The total market (sum of the daily and Sunday circulation) decline slowed to 7%, down from showing an annual 8% decline. A darker side of Sherlock Holmes (I digress) manifests itself into his fondness of ‘the seven percent solution’ – the darker side here, today, is that we’ve no solution to the 7%! The Sunday market fell below 600,000 (-7%) for the first

ABC Circulation January 2018

The first audit of 2018 appeared earlier. Oddly there were a few surprises in a fairly predictable market. Month on month the Sunday Mirror managed to add 3,000 copies to its tally and the Sunday Times managed a 1,600 increase without any trickery in the bulks department. The Sun added 1,400 on the month and again maintaining the same bulk level as last month. Conversely, the Mail on Sunday ‘dropped’ 5,200 on December. This doesn’t seem to be fright and flight by the buying public but perhaps more a ‘road to Damascus’ moment for dmg Media. This month shows a decline for both The Daily Mail (-1,800) and the Mail on Sunday, however, the main cause of the drop is that there are no bulks in either title. Considering that they had combined bulks of close to 9,000 last month it really is a change of direction – should it