ABC Irish Newspaper Circulation April 2020 (Covid19) Cert

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 so the April ABC cert runs from 23rd March to 26th April.

Throughout the ABC site and on each cert there are stark warnings peppered about warning that these certificates should not be considered comparable to non-Covid 19 certs. It’s true. If you were a bean counter, you might classify them as exceptional items. But to see the impact that the pandemic had on the industry, the comparison must be made.

One group opted for private reporting and that was News UK. They didn’t publish a figure but have a note on their cert as to where the April data can be requested. I sent an email requesting the certs and, if I don’t die from holding my breath, I’ll publish the figures as soon as I get them!

As News UK opted for a private cert, it’s difficult to truly assess the market. Last month, News UK titles accounted for 55% of the Sunday market and 34% of the morning market, so the absence of those titles completely distorts any comparison (given is a shady comparison in the first place – lockdown vs normality).

Taking that into account the table shows that the market is down 16% year on year. Interestingly, the morning market is down 23% on the year and the Sunday 16%. Could it suggest that newspapers buyers would take the ‘risk’ of going out on a Sunday for the Sunday editions, but not necessarily on a daily basis?

There’s no point going line by line as, as I mentioned, the comparative is futile – but recorded nonetheless.

TitleApr-20Mar-20Apr-19M/MY/Y% M/M% Y/Y
Daily Mirror22,53525,55127,728-3,016-5,193-11%-19%
Daily Record193237276-44-83-16%-30%
Irish Daily Star28,36838,17441,504-9,806-13,136-24%-32%
The SunNo Cert45,76948,584
Daily Express1,4531,8952,072-442-619-21%-30%
Irish Daily Mail21,72625,34327,523-3,617-5,797-13%-21%
Financial Times1,6482,0632,181-415-533-19%-24%
The Guardian1,7381,9072,018-169-280-8%-14%
The TimesNo Cert2,6103,363
Morning Market
Daily Star - Sunday9,5049,81711,411-313-1,907-3%-17%
Sun on SundayNo Cert40,93245,296
Sunday Mail558636680-78-122-11%-18%
Sunday Mirror17,88618,40718,998-521-1,112-3%-6%
The People6,4116,7357,102-324-691-5%-10%
Sunday Express2,4802,3422,615138-1355%-5%
Sunday Post241261303-20-62-7%-20%
Mail on Sunday48,41154,59857,899-6,187-9,488-11%-16%
The Observer4,1574,1134,072305857%2%
Sunday TimesNo Cert66,85769,350305
Sunday Market

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