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.
|Title||Mar-20||Feb-20||Mar-19||M/M||Y/Y||% M/M||% Y/Y|
|Irish Daily Star||38,174||35,638||44,034||2,536||-5,860||6%||-13%|
|Irish Daily Mail||25,343||25,299||27,603||44||-2,260||0%||-8%|
|Daily Star - Sunday||9,817||9,088||11,597||729||-1,780||6%||-15%|
|Sun on Sunday||40,932||41,489||43,468||-557||-2,536||-1%||-6%|
|Mail on Sunday||54,598||54,498||58,625||100||-4,027||0%||-7%|
The ABC reporting for March: The reporting period is 2nd March to 22nd March which is a week short of the ‘normal’ accounting period used. The April reporting period will be from March 23rd to the 26th April and May will be from April 27th to May 31st – each period being five weeks.
The March cert will be a normal certificate where a newsbrand can seek an exception (or exceptions) to particular days in the audit period. The exception rule that publishers can fall back on for this period is when circulation drops due to “reasons outside your control” and Covid19 certainly falls info that exception rule. If a publisher wants to exclude a day from the audit period the shortfall has to be at least 5% or more of the average normal net sale of the previous four equivalent issues (e.g. for a Monday compare to Mondays etc).
Given that we closed our schools ten days before the UK, newsbrands may have a different treatment of the exception rule for the two different jurisdictions in which they sell their publication.