Irish Newspaper Circulation July-Dec 2019 Island of Ireland Report

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 service anymore. Then last month Telegraph Media Group decided that they too were finished with the audit and would not be publishing a figure for February 2020 and saying that “the ABC metric is not the key metric behind our subscription strategy and not how we measure our success.”

At one point there were over 100 brands in the Republic audited by the ABC, the figure now stands at five (only including brands that are categorised as “ROI Paid Newspapers”).

And now that I reflect (and to be honest missed earlier) – The Business Post has no certification for this period. It’s still registered, but no cert! Maybe a bit of spit-balling going on. 21/02: The ABC confirmed that the BP will not be filing figures for the December 2019 period. I can tell you no more…

Looking at the Mornings first.

The figures in the tables and on the charts are rebased to account for the absence of IN&M. But the papers under scrutiny here have recorded an 11.1% in print circulation. The graphic below clearly shows that the combined circulation of the papers continuing to be audited by the ABC has hit a new low in terms of a year on year decline.

The Irish Times managed a 7% decrease in print circulation, which, when you look at the market, was a decent performance. They also managed to decrease their reliability on bulks from 6,700 to 5,600. However, their stellar performance was in, their digital subs which they increased by 12% to 24,000 subscribers. The Examiner fell by 8% to 23,400 and the Evening Echo fell by %6 to 8,100.

The morning tabloids saw a collective drop of 12% with the Daily Star falling by 13.3% over the year and The Daily Mirror’s decline was kept in single figures in percentage terms. The Irish Daily Mail fell by 14% to 26,200 and the ‘on paper’ dramatic drop of 42% for The Times is simply down to the cessation of using multiple copy sales.

The rest of the papers are small in circulation and their figures are in the table below.

PublicationJD 2019JD 2018Diff '000Diff %
Irish Times54,14758,131-3,984-6.9%
Examiner23,38725,419-2,032-8.0%
Daily Mirror25,90928,632-2,722-9.5%
Irish Daily Star38,34144,233-5,892-13.3%
The Sun45,50952,121-6,612-12.7%
Tabloids109,759124,986-15,227-12.2%
Daily Express1,9362,217-281-12.7%
Irish Daily Mail26,27130,424-4,154-13.7%
Daily Telegraph1,7521,956-205-10.5%
Financial Times2,1032,075281.3%
Guardian2,0052,009-4-0.2%
The Times3,8776,730-2,853-42.4%
Echo8,0818,559-478-5.6%
Total233,317262,507-29,190-11.1%

The Sunday market did better than the mornings “only” declining by 9%, although beneath the surface where various outcomes making up that figure.

The Sun on Sunday also look like it had a rough year falling, on paper, by over 13%. However some of that fall can be attributed to their Damascian conversion in 2019 away from the loose morals of bulks.

The Daily Star in Sunday had a disastrous year falling by 23% (granted coming from a small base. Coupled with a ‘dump them and they will sell’ attitude to the market its not too surprising.

The Mail on Sunday fell by 7% as did the Sunday Times falling by 8% (and haven’t see the light then it comes to bulks like its sister publication The Sun on Sunday)

PublicationJD 2019JD 2018Diff '000Diff %
Sunday Business Post26,6520.0%
Daily Star Sunday9,83512,880-3,044-23.6%
The Sun (Sunday)42,68949,304-6,616-13.4%
Irish Sunday Mirror18,75020,249-1,499-7.4%
The People6,8367,421-585-7.9%
Sunday Express2,4802,607-127-4.9%
Mail on Sunday54,95259,204-4,252-7.2%
The Observer4,1974,161350.8%
Sunday Telegraph1,4391,581-142-9.0%
Sunday Times65,98571,586-5,602-7.8%
Total207,162228,992-21,830-9.5%