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 has already issued a note to publishers saying that they can exclude some editions on the basis that it would be seen as “reasons outside your control”.
Will this ‘encourage’ a digital uptake of newsbrands or will the public get the information it needs for the state broadcaster? Given that 1.6m people watched Leo at 9.00 pm on St Patrick’s night on RTE I think that might answer that question.
Finally for the few papers hanging on to the last remaining ‘bulks’ that route to market is, in these circumstances, going to completely disappear – no hotels, pubs, the travel restrictions and a lack of enthusiasm by people to sit in a chain cafe will see the end to those copies in the near future.
I present to you, below, what might be the last set of ‘normal’ ABC figures for some time.
|Title||Feb-20||Jan-20||Feb-19||M/M||Y/Y||% M/M||% Y/Y|
|Irish Daily Star||35,638||31,325||41,843||4,313||-6,205||10%||-15%|
|Irish Daily Mail||25,299||25,203||28,716||96||-3,417||0%||-12%|
|Daily Star - Sunday||9,088||9,590||12,191||-502||-3,103||-4%||-25%|
|Sun on Sunday||41,489||41,972||46,955||-483||-5,466||-1%||-12%|
|Mail on Sunday||54,498||55,065||60,021||-567||-5,523||-1%||-9%|