JNRS 2012

If you wanted to actually see the definition of ‘being at odds with’ then you only have to look at the latest results from the JNRS and see how alien it is to monthly circulation data.   

Circulation numbers are easy to see in theses many and varied digital outpourings and they paint a fairly consistent monthly picture – a medium (printing on paper) in decline. If the circulation figures paints the reality of daily life where John/Jane Doe pay over their hard earned currency for a newspaper then we know that there are less and less of them – according to the circulation monthly data.  

I appreciate that the JNRS gets to the demographic and analytical level of the newspaper business, something not captured in the raw circulation data and is important in the advertising side of the coin.  

The varied Mrs Shaw’s of the advertising world, selling acreage in print, need the JNRS so they can sell to unwilling victims in Ad Agencies the papers fantastic reach of single women, the leverage they have in the 15-34 yr old bracket or their grip of the much vaunted ABC1’s. 

But surely (don’t call me…) at this point someone has to stand up and say ‘Your Highness, you’re actually bollock naked’. This survey is so detached from the reality of circulation it’s (to me) staggering. 

Given the 10% increase in readership in the Irish Independent (and the self-congratulatory article to back up their statistical victory) what are they going print on Friday morning when they publish their six month circulation figure? How are they going to explain the fact that one set of stats points true North and the other very much South? 

With a circulation figure of 125,000 in the last six months, and that’s with bulks, I’d be surprised if they stayed above 120,000 and I’m not singling them out for attention alone. 

If I didn’t have the very sobering 20/20 vision of hindsight looking at circulation figures on a very regular basis, I’d be inclined to re-hash these JNRS figures here and congratulate the Independent on its 9.2% increase in readership, be in awe at the stellar performance of the Daily Mail recording a stunning 26.9% in readership increase year on year or tipping the hat at the Irish Sun managing to outwit the rest of it tabloid stalemates earning double digit growth this year.

But next week the July December figure for all the papers will be published by the ABC. There, and there alone, will be the cold reality for the business. It won’t be pretty. If the JNRS is akin to “Peppa Pig” then next week’s numbers are “Kill Bill”. 

Peruse with a caution:

Daily Titles: ‘000 % ‘0002 %3 +/-‘000 +/-%
Irish Independent 521 14.5% 477 13.3% 44 9.2%
The Irish Times 321 8.9% 310 8.7% 11 3.5%
Irish Examiner 189 5.3% 181 5.1% 8 4.4%
Irish Daily Star 360 10.0% 373 10.4% -13 -3.5%
Irish Daily Mirror 223 6.2% 214 6.0% 9 4.2%
Irish Sun (mon-sat) 306 8.5% 275 7.7% 31 11.3%
Irish Daily Mail 184 5.1% 145 4.0% 39 26.9%
Evening Herald 250 7.0% 234 6.5% 16 0.5%
Sunday Independent 905 25.2% 939 26.2% -34 -1.0%
Sunday World 801 22.3% 819 22.8% -18 -0.5%
Sunday Business Post 140 3.9% 154 4.3% -14 -0.4%
The Sunday Times 380 10.6% 386 10.8% -6 -0.2%
Irish Sunday Mirror 195 5.4% 183 5.1% 12 0.3%
Irish Mail on Sunday 337 9.4% 338 9.4% -1 0.0%
Irish Farmers Journal 237 6.6% 231 6.4% 6 0.2%