Irish Newspaper Circulation Jan-June 2019 Island of Ireland Report

Independent News and Media decided to ‘to resign its titles from ABC membership’ and therefore will not be reporting ABC figure for the current Island of Ireland report. Given that 22% of the reporting numbers in the daily market have vanished and 53% of the reporting numbers of the Sunday market have also disappeared it makes this report a ‘busted flush’. But in the spirit of stoicism (and as a hat tip to those publications that value audited metrics) I’ll press on with what remnants of data I have to hand. Overall year on year comparatives are meaningless at this point but I’ll ‘rebase’ them to reflect the bundles that we still have. The Sunday Business Post turned in a circulation of 25,740 which is a decline of 10% on the first six months of 2018. Their digital subscribers (not included in the 25K) were 3,073 which represents a 6% increase on the previous year. Their multiple copy sales represent about 16% of the total circulation figure. Their subscription and their digital sales are probably lower than where they should be for Ireland’s self-titled ‘economic newspaper’. By far the worst performer in the market was the Daily Star on Sunday…


Irish Newspaper Circulation July-Dec 2018 Island of Ireland Report

The latest ‘Island of Ireland’ report was released today and, if nothing else, it outlines the continuing decline of newspaper circulation in Ireland. The report compares newspaper sales for the last six months of 2018 to the same period in 2017. Looking at the overall figure first, it shows that year on year, newspaper sales have declined by 10% in the twelve months. The Sunday market fell by -9.3% and the morning market by -10.1%. A double-digit decline in the total market had not been experienced before, the closest being a 9.4% decline in 2010. That last testing of the -10% mark can be ‘explained away’ by one set of figures (2009) containing sales of the Sunday Tribune and the comparative (2010) set is without those sales because of its closure – thus the 9% decline. Tables don’t love mobile! PDF of all the tables here Market JJ 2018 JJ 2017 Diff ‘000 Diff % Total Sunday 544,073 599,794 -55,721 -9.3% Total Morning 367,558 408,710 -41,152 -10.1% Total Market* 920,190 1,017,953 -97,763 -9.60% The plunge into the double-digit decline could have been lessened, and possibly kept the market just into the single digit decline, except for policy changes by one…

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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 the Sunday trend in the Annual Rate of Change chart below) and actually, the trend seems to have settled between 6% and 8% over the past five years. Publication JJ 2018 JJ 2017 Diff ‘000 Diff % Sunday Independent 176,580 185,080 -8,500 -4.6% Sunday World 130,083 143,503 -13,420 -9.4% Sunday…

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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 time and the morning market receded back to 408,000 (-6%). Morning The Irish Independent sailed perilously close to dropping below 90,000 falling 7% over the year. In that figure are 17,600 in bulks which is an actively purchased of 80% of its circulation down from 17% in the last six…


Newspaper Revenues and other numbers!

Here’s an interesting take on the circulation numbers. The ABC certificates split out the sales of each title on a Monday to Friday basis and then single out their Saturday sales (obviously just for the mornings). In the mornings it allows you to see uplift, if any, of a titles Saturday edition and overall it allows you to see how much revenue is being generated by the title. All the revenues are what would be generated ‘at the till’ and the figures are hard copy sales, old Skool! The numbers below are all based on November 2017 certificates and bulks have been excluded as they derive little or no revenue to the publishers. Some points of note: The most expensive paper on the newsstands is the Saturday edition of the Financial Times at €3.90. The Daily Star extracts the highest revenue of any title here at €18.6m per annum. The biggest Sunday is the Sunday Times at €10.8m. In the daily market the paper that gets the biggest uplift for their Saturday edition is The Guardian who see a near fourfold increase on their Monday to Friday edition sales. The FT nearly double they Saturday sale in comparison to the…

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Irish Newspaper Circulation January-June 2017

The Island of Ireland report for the National newspapers ABC’s was released covering the period January to June 2017. Looking at the overall picture, the market for National newspapers has fallen by 8.2% over the last twelve months. Overview That’s a decline of 94,000 copies over the same period last year.  There was a 7.6% decline for Sunday nationals or a reduction of 51,000 copies and an 8.9% decline for morning nationals equating to a 37,000 drop in their sales. In the last five years, the market for Sunday newspapers has fallen by 32% or by more than 293,000 copies every Sunday. The morning market has fallen by 28% or 151,000 copies every day Sunday The Sunday market dropped 7.6% in the last twelve months to 621,000, a fall of 51,000 on the same period last year. The biggest faller, in copy terms, in the Sunday market was the Sunday World falling 19,400 (-11.9%) on the previous year. This is followed by the Sunday Independent falling by 14,000 to 185,000 (-7.1%). They kept their bulk figure steady at around 12,000 copies; however, their drop in retail sales means that their actively purchased figure falls marginally. They had 2,000 subscribers to…

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World and Herald Editorial to merge

Interesting developments in IN&M where they have decided to combine the newsrooms of The Herald and Sunday World into a seven day operation “with a focus on news investigations, top quality sports journalism and entertainment”. This new setup will report to a “tabloid platform” editor who will be responsible for both the print and digital formats of both titles. The print and digital formats will retain their separate brand identities but their backroom operations will be merged and, interestingly, the titles are “likely to have its own editor under the new arrangement” – so no guarantees there. There’s no mention of the Daily Star in this arrangement and a notable omission I believe. It’s not that long back where there were rumors of the Daily Star and Sunday World editorial being merged which on the face of it would seem a better fit. The Daily Star’s position in the group seems to be very murky after the spat with Desmond over Royal nudity pics. IN&M still own 50% but, on the face of things, seems to have lost interest. IN&M received a dividend of €500,000 (excluding and charge they have for prepress, printing and what goes to Newspread in terms…

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Irish Newspaper Circulation July-Dec 2016 Island of Ireland Report

Probably the bellwether statistic of recent times is the rate of decline in circulation year on year. The Island of Ireland Report July-Dec 2016 shows that in the latter half of 2016 the Sunday and morning markets have reversed any small gains they had made in the last few years. You can clearly see from the graphic below that, whilst not setting the world alight, the most recent few reports show the market moving somewhat in the right direction and that the rate of decline was ‘improving’ or static at best. This report indicates that the market has fallen in 2016 and the rate of decline is back to where it was around 2012. Morning Publication JJ 2016 JJ 2015 Diff ‘000 Diff % Irish Independent 97,104 108,460 -11,356 -10.5% Irish Times 66,251 74,092 -7,841 -10.6% Examiner 30,090 32,648 -2,558 -7.8%           Daily Mirror 36,020 40,318 -4,298 -10.7% Irish Daily Star 51,200 55,408 -4,208 -7.6% The Sun 59,183 58,482 701 1.2% Tabloids 146,403 154,208 -7,806 -5.1%           Daily Express 2,573 2,627 -55 -2.1% Irish Daily Mail 42,077 46,019 -3,942 -8.6% Daily Telegraph 2,336 2,628 -292 -11.1% Financial Times 2,336 2,309 27 1.2%…

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ABC Jan-June 2016 Overview

If you ever find yourself at soiree, you know the ones where the Ferrero Rocher are tumbling about with reckless abandonment and you are asked ‘how’s the newspaper business in Ireland’ the most succinct answer, where your inquisitor will need to ask little else, is: “Every week we sell 1.5m less newspapers that we did five years ago”. The six month ABC’s were released today or the Island of Ireland Report as its otherwise known. The report shows that newspapers in Ireland are having a torrid time. The market, for National newspapers, is down 6.2% with the morning newspaper market down 5.6% and the Sunday market down 6.5%. The graphic below shows the rate of decline over the past few years and although the decline is slowing or levelling off, it’s still declining at a rate -6.2% per annum which would question the long term viability of newspaper publishing. Market JJ 2016 JJ 2015 Diff ‘000 Diff % Total Sunday 673,179 719,922 -46,743 -6.5% Total Morning 460,910 488,203 -27,293 -5.6%           Total Market* 1,145,064 1,220,403 -75,339 -6.2%   *The Morning Market includes The Herald, the total market also includes the Echo. In the graphic above the…

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ABC Jan-June 2016 Sunday Market

The Sunday Independent dropped below two hundred thousand to land on 199,000 and even 12,000 bulks couldn’t save them. They lost 14,000 over the year or 6.7% slightly above the overall Sunday Market decline. They further widened the gap between themselves and nearest rival, the Sunday World who had a bad first half dropping 15,000copies (unfortunate top spot accolade for that decline) over the year. It fell just shy of 9% of a decline but was eclipsed by the percentage falls of the Mirror and People. The Sunday Business Post, although falling 1,134 copies, did do the “least worst” as it fell by 3.5%, the smallest fall in percentage terms in the Sunday Market. In that were 1,000 multiples but that’s a marginal reduction on the previous year. Publication JJ 2016 JJ 2015 Diff ‘000 Diff % Sunday Independent  199,210 213,549 -14,339 -6.7% Sunday World 162,938 178,867 -15,929 -8.9% Sunday Business Post 31,364 32,498 -1,134 -3.5%           Daily Star Sunday 15,067 16,217 -1,150 -7.1% The Sun (Sunday) 57,820 53,047 4,773 9.0% Irish Sunday Mirror 26,628 30,601 -3,973 -13.0% The People 9,878 11,324 -1,446 -12.8% Total Tabloid 272,331 290,056 -17,725 -6.1%           Sunday…

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ABC Jan-June 2016 Morning Market

The top selling paper in the morning market remains the Irish Independent selling 102,000 every day down 7,000 (6%) on the previous year. It has nearly 17,000 in multiple copy sales, up slightly from last year, with 83.5% of its circulation figure ‘actively purchased’. The certificate also shows that it has 1,602 ‘digital subscriptions’, so there is a measure of migration in their 7,000 reduction in sales over the year with at least some of that moving to the digital platform. Its nearest rival is the Irish Times, in at 72,000, down 4,000 (5.5%) on the previous year. It too relies on the multiple copies to the tune of 10,000 every morning – up marginally on last year – and turns in an actively purchased figure of 86%. They also have a digital following, certified at 9,800 subscriptions every morning. Interestingly their cert gives a small geographic breakdown showing that 734 subscriptions are “Overseas (outside the UK/RoI)”. I didn’t have a preconceived number for their overseas figure but, given the flight of people from the country on the last five years, I thought it would have been higher. Publication JJ 2016 JJ 2015 Diff ‘000 Diff % Irish Independent 102,537…

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ABC Newspaper Sales – a breakdown

It’s as good a time as any to examine the underlying conditions that account for newspaper sales in the ABC circulation figures and this month (May 2016) we have the whole spectrum of allowables in the various publications. Below is a table the papers who have “sales” that fall into categories other than single copy retails sales – i.e. sales that are occurring outside your normal retail environment. These are perfectly legitimate and come with some strict caveats set out by the ABC. Your normal Sale is “A copy sold to a retailer, on a sale or return basis, for resale as a single copy to a consumer”. Perfectly straightforward. Subscriptions: “A single copy sold and distributed to an individual or organisation for a contracted period”. Again easily understood. Multiple copies: Now this is where the ‘conspiracy theories’ about circulations numbers begin with comments like “sure, don’t they just give them away anyway”. Multiple copies are marshalled by the ABC to and a full account of them is given in the monthly ABC certificates. The definition: “Copies purchased by a third party from the publisher, delivered and made available for pick up or receipt by consumers”. So, you’re in, say,…

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Newspaper Circulation July-Dec 2015

The ABC’s for the period July to December 2015 were released today and show the continuing decline of newspaper sales in Ireland. The total market has declined by 6.2% over the twelve months, however that’s a smaller decline in overall sales then seen in a few years – if we’re viewing this as a “least worst” scenario. I think we do have to view it in those terms, as I don’t think the populous are going to have a “road to Damascus” experience anytime soon and return to buying the printed word en-masse. Sunday Market The Sunday market is down a fraction over 7% year on year – a marginal worsening decline on JD’14. The big faller in absolute numbers was the Sunday World dropping 14,502 or 7.6%. The Mail on Sunday dropped over 10,000 copies or 11% in the twelve months. The Sunday Times fell by over 7,000 copies to 79, 831 and the Sunday Independent fell by 7,151 to 211,856 or down 3% – however this is well above the overall market decline. Segwaying on that point: some credit would also have to go to the Sunday Business Post (-3.2%) and The Sun on Sunday actually up a…

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ABC Circulation Jan June 2015 – revised!

Clarity:  Now, I’ve had to amend this on the back of the numbers for the Independent coming to light. I got a call at 3:30 and the cert is there – now. Their cert was not there this morning or even at lunchtime so I can’t understand what the delay was, and, given the amount of times the Independent IP address appeared in this sites analytics this morning/afternoon – I can’t understand why it was not clarified. Furthermore, two emails remain unanswered from this morning – which would have shed light some of the going’s on.   Sunday Market: Note: If it doesn’t rain…. earlier version I compared the News trade 2015 number to the total sale last year for the The Sunday Independent – it’s actually down is down 3% to 213,000. The magic of 94% actively purchasing their title and 6% multiple copy sales keeps them up above the 210,000 plateau this time out. The Sunday World fell sharper, down 10% to 178,000 and there’s no corrective surgery on the number with 100% actively purchased. The Sunday Business Post did better than the market with a 4.5% drop to 32,000 and a marginal increase in multiple copy sales….

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Forthcoming ABC’s?

I was doing a little spade work earlier for the forthcoming ABC Island of Ireland report. I was looking at the ABC website and noticed that both the Irish Independent and The Herald are no longer registered with the ABC. Now, this is particularly perplexing! and The Sunday Independent are still registered as of 10:00am.   Have they gone the same route as they took with the regional’s – stating how the ABC’s didn’t ‘resonate’ with advertisers – it’s very strange indeed and we’ll have to wait until around midday to see if there are any figures for the two titles. The Sunday Independent and the Sunday World are still showing registered as an ABC Status. Update: no figure released.   

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ABC Newspaper Circulation July December 2014

The bi-annual speculation begins in earnest today about the ‘future of print’ with the eventual release of the last of the six-month figures for the Irish Newspapers, today covering July to December 2014. Taking and over view first: over the twelve months the overall market has declined by a further 7%. And both the Sunday and morning market have also fallen by 7%. There’s nothing at all positive in the overall figures with the rate of change in the declines beginning to slide in the wrong direction after stabilising of a few periods albeit still in negative territory. Market JD 2014 JD 2013 Diff ‘000 Diff % Total Sunday 756,118 810,896 -54,778 -7% Total Morning 445,956 480,585 -34,630 -7% Total Evening 62,623 70,276 -7,653 -11%           Total Market 1,264,697 1,361,757 -97,060 -7%   There a more detailed breakdown in other articles here. 

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ABC Sunday Newspaper Circulation July December 2014

The Sunday market fell 7% between July December 2013 and July December 2013. The market now stands at 756,118 copies every Sunday down 54,778 on the same period last year.  The biggest selling paper on Sunday is still the Sunday Independent selling 219,007 copies every week. This is down 4.5% on the previous year or 10,375 copies and their actively purchased figure at 96% remains in line with last year. It’s followed by the Sunday World who had a greater than market drop of 9% or 18,719 paper per week leaving them at 189,562. The Sunday World makes up a part of a wider story of the marked decline in tabloid sales which collectively are down 9% year on year. The People lead the charge declining a decent 18% on the year. This is followed by the Sunday Daily Star down 15% and then the Sunday Mirror down 11%.  Publication JD 2014 JD 2013 Diff ‘000 Diff % Sunday Independent   219,007 229,382 -10,375 -4.5% Sunday World 189,562 208,281 -18,719 -9.0% Sunday Business Post 33,233 34,322 -1,089 -3.2%           Daily Star Sunday  18,753 21,972 -3,219 -14.7% The Sun (Sunday) 55,551 57,304 -1,753 -3.1% Irish Sunday Mirror 33,727…

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ABC Morning Newspaper Circulation July December 2014

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 Independent 112,502 117,361 -4,859 -4.10% Irish Times 76,882 82,059 -5,177 -6.30% Examiner 34,422 37,009 -2,587 -7.00%           Daily Mirror 46,625 52,165 -5,540 -10.60% Irish Daily Star 58,541 64,745 -6,205 -9.60% The Sun 58,909 63,535 -4,626 -7.30% Tabloids 164,074 180,445 -16,371 -9.10%           Daily Express 2,715 3,057 -342 -11.20% Irish Daily Mail 45,139 49,814 -4,675 -9.40% Daily Telegraph 2,728 2,864 -136 -4.80% Financial Times 2,388 2,545 -157 -6.20% Guardian 2,724 3,078 -354 -11.50% The Times 2,382 2,221 161 7.20%  …

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Newspaper Circulation Jan June 2014

“Ta-da” – the cosmetic adverts catchphrase. I use it mockingly as it heralds the publication, finally, of the ABC’s of the reaming newspapers in the market. Plenty of cosmetics would be needed to make these figures even vaguely attractive. The total market contacted by 7% over a twelve month period. The market is still 204m newspapers a year, but falling at 7% per annum isn’t a sustainable business model. The morning market is falling faster than the Sunday market and you can have as many hypothesis on that as you like.  Market JJ 2014 JJ 2013 Diff ‘000 Diff % Total Sunday 780,613 834,374 -53,761 -6% Total Morning 463,163 495,991 -32,828 -7% Total Evening 63,600 73,942 -10,342 -14%           Total Market 1,307,376 1,405,818 -98,441 -7% The two graphs below illustrate the fortunes of each segment. But the last graph shows the rate of decline in each market. I’ve superimposed out GDP growth/decline over the same period to further illustrate that at one point the fortunes of the economy and the newspaper market were intrinsically linked it would seem. Now there would seem to have been an uncoupling of this bond – for the worse.    …


Morning Newspaper Circulation Jan June 2014

The morning market slipped back 6% to 463,000 since the audit of Jan-June 2013 and has now dropped 28% since 2000. The brunt of the fall was felt in the ‘red tops’ who collectively have fallen 35% since the millennium whereas the non red-tops have declined by 22%.   The Irish Independent lost  8,700 copies or 7% of its circulation over the year and managed to kept the bulks at 13% the same as last year. The Irish Times managed to stay ahead of the eighty mark but lost 3,800 (-5%) over the same period last year. But, perhaps things could have been worse if the ‘bulks’ hadn’t kicked in. The Irish Times increased their bulks from an average of 6,036 last year to 9,014 this time out or 4.2% of sales in 2013 to 11.3% of sales in 2014. The Examiner fared badly over the year dropping -8% to 35,000. Red Tops The real damage was sustained to the “red-tops” who are collectively down 7% year on year and a massive 35% since 2000. Their share of the morning market has fallen to 37% down from a high in 2005 of a 45% share.  The biggest faller over the twelve…