Again, very little happening on the ABC front for February 2021. There’s no sign on the ABC changing the ‘covid rules’ and still no sign of any numbers from News UK (which is their prerogative). It will be interesting as the vaccine rolls out in the UK – when will they decide that its ok to relax the rules.
It’s January ABC numbers and at this point, it’s a bit like Groundhog Day, which incidentally was celebrated this month. Looking at the best/worst performers is an exercise in futility as some of them are coming from a really small base in the first place – so we can safely skip that. Also, some of the metrics flatter to deceive as the comparative month is December which is normally a slack month, to begin with. There were two certificates that I hadn’t notices before for the Daily Mail and Sunday Daily Mail digital editions. The specifics were light on detail
December is never a good month for newspaper sales, but couple that with a lockdown and it spells disaster. Just to try and get some comparative metric I’ve totalled all the papers that are providing data and that will be compared to the previous month and year. It shows that this group (aka all bar News UK) are down 3% on the month and 10% on the year, which is not surprising and the papers are down 10% on their pre-covid levels. The papers really feeling the pain are Daily Star Sunday, both Express titles and the Financial Times with
The penultimate numbers of 2020. Most of the papers are now showing serious declines on the pre-covid numbers. Least we should forget, for the audited month of November Ireland was at level 3 restricting movement and work – certainly had a knock on effect on newspaper circulation
Numbers for October arrived and it’s interesting to note that if you look at where some of the publications were pre-COVID-19 there are definite signs that the pandemic is having a real effect on some papers. The Daily and Sunday Express are down substantially on their numbers in February. My own personal take on this is that both papers have a particular place in ‘middle-England’ which, without being ageist, does have a much older demographic. That cohort would be the group most encumbered by some of the recent restrictions. They would be higher risk group and because of this, maybe
Similar to last month, the numbers are coming in slowly and not in one tranche.
Some numbers beginning to come through, more publications will report during the week. The Daily Star dipped 14% on the month and they are down 41% since the start of this pandemic. Not they are normally in the same paragraph, but the Financial Times has fallen 39% since March. There are no numbers to indicate if there has been an increase in their online subs. The only paper showing any growth since March is The Guardian, but they are small numbers in the first place.
July 2020 ABC numbers are in and its a mixed bag. Some titles are doing better on the previous month and some are not. The column entitled P.C. means ‘pre-Covid’. Its just to focus on the increases or the falls when compared to the pre-pandemic numbers. The standout number if the Financial Times which has lost 36% of it’s sales since the introduction of Covid19. It stands to reason with all the offices closed across the country, but it also indicates that its read – so long as someone else pays for the paper!
Where are they now? It seems like as good a time as any to have a retrospective look at the market since the beginning of the lockdown, concentrating on how newspaper sales have been hit. This has to be viewed with one large caveat in the News UK have not reported since February – as they are allowed to do under the Covid reporting rules. It means that some 34% of the morning market is not represented (has not been reported) in the analysis and a hefty 52% in the Sunday market is a mystery as well, but it is
Not all of the numbers are in for June and as soon as they are, the table will be updated.
The ABC have given publishers a bit of latitude during the pandemic and there is no definitive release date. So, since Monday two publishers have released their data (partially anyway). Reach Plc have released for the Star and Express titles, but not for the Mirror or People. The only way to tackle this is, as then are released, I’ll update the table below and include the release date.
It was inevitable after IN&M abandoned the ABC that there would be followers. The Irish Times are no longer registered with the ABC bring with its stablemates The Examiner and Evening Echo. So, the only titles still registered now are papers published here with sister titles in the UK or papers printed in the UK and shipped into the Republic on a nightly basis (see table). So, the metric of ‘ABC audited’ is seen as being of no value to many of the publications here. In the UK The Telegraph pulled out of the ABC audit at the start of
This is a difficult one to pick through, given the lockdown and ever-changing rules from the ABC. First off, bright and early this morning, the ABC released ‘new reporting standards’ for newsbrands. As of today, 21st May: brands and opt for public or private reporting they can use additional metrics above the mandatory ones there will no longer be a monthly newsbrand report If you read the detail of the new reporting standard it hands the keys of the henhouse over to the foxes! Most of the publications produced a cert for April. The date range was altered last month
The apocalyptic landscape I thought I’d be painting for the March ABC’s didn’t materialise! The small change in the reporting period (see below) and the Cheltenham festival do seem to have worked in the favour of the newspaper market showing a monthly increase of 2% but a decline of 7% on March 2019. Ten of the publications are showing and increase on the previous month and the morning tabloids taking the lion’s share of those increases. None of the publications reported an exception in the March reporting period. The ABC reporting for March: The reporting period is 2nd March to
The ABC’s for February have been published. Looking at the big picture, the market is down 13%. In the morning by 14% and the Sunday by 10%. But, given the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves, I really believe that the reporting for March, due on the 14th of April will show a collapse in newspaper circulation in Ireland. If, and it’s a big if, the UK goes into lockdown how will the papers be produced, printed and distributed? In Italy, some of the publishers are arguing strongly that newsstands should be on the list of essential services during any lockdown.
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
The ABC for January 2020 were released. It shows that the year on year for the Morning titles dropped by 14% and the Sunday down 15%. Of note is the absence of a cert for both the Daily and Sunday Telegraph. They decided last month that they were no longer going to audit their newspaper circulation. The ‘total market’ reflects this and their figures from previous periods do not form part of the total market.
The final numbers of 2019 were released today allowing us to see where the market (well those papers who are audited) ended up last year. Just a courtesy look at December: It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, as December can go either way for the papers. But sales were down only 1% on the previous month – but -16% on the year, more on that later. In short, the month threw up no real surprises. As the figures for the twelve months are available for the audited titles we can see where this portion of the market
November ABC’s were released and as per October, nothing much has changed, bar the 10%+ decline in sales over the year.The only really notable events were the collapse of the Sunday Mail circulation diving 26% to 532 copies and a 1% increase in the sale of the Sunday Times. Market down 1% on the month and 12% on the year.