Carat on Media...

Experts from Carat in Edinburgh review the latest media data releases, divulge the key trends in media and offer insightful views using their own bespoke research.

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A Bumper July for National Newspapers

Jenny McManus reviews the July ABC’s for national newspapers

After many, many months of reporting on marginal newspaper increases, or more likely declines here and there in the marketplace, the July ABC report has been a shot in the arm for press buyers across the land.

I knew it was going to be exciting but I still didn’t anticipate the knock on effect that the closure of the News of the World and the public’s appetite for details of the hacking scandal would have across pretty much the whole of the print market.

The Sunday tabloid market has completely changed the landscape of monthly ABC reports with the Daily Star Sunday up an unprecedented 129.96% from June and 90% year-on-year, the People and Sunday Mirror were both up around the 50% mark year-on-year which makes the Sunday Mirror the country’s biggest selling Sunday red top. Both the People and Sunday Mirror are also up since last month by 64.23% and 69.96% respectively. It is worth noting that the Daily Star Sunday made a very smart move with the introduction of OK Extra into their package on 17th July, the day the title reportedly sold over one million copies. The glossy supplement is their take on the NotW Fabulous magazine with all the usual ingredients of celebrity, fashion and diet.

The Sunday mid-markets have also done well out of the demise of the NotW with the Sunday Express up 20.27% and the Mail on Sunday up 16.99% on June and both have had strong year-on-year circulation improvements.

The quality sector also did well out of the hacking scandal story with the Sunday Telegraph benefiting from a 5% gain in circulation whereas the Sunday Times’ circulation fell below 1 million copies. It could be that some readers of the quality press boycotted all titles published by News International as the Daily Telegraph also made greater circulation gains than the Times, selling over 300,000 more copies whereas the Times only increased circulation by 624 copies. The Independent on Sunday has also increased its circulation with a decent 10.59% rise since June which is now this titles’ 6th monthly ABC increase since January and year-on-year the title is up by 7.51%. Last year the IoS was really struggling and its recent turn of fortune could possibly be attributed to the interest and uptake in the daily i which continues to make monthly circulation gains and is currently selling 183,677 copies – 796 more than the Independent.

Despite all the gains made, overall the whole of the Sunday sector is down on June by 8.51% in total circulation due to the loss of the NotW and I suspect a general decline in sale over the holiday period.

In terms of the dailies in July, this sector is up 0.27% on June with the majority of titles showing little change. However, The FT is down 5.5% and although the Sun remains the country’s biggest selling publication circulation is down 7.26% year-on-year.

In Scotland I should imagine that the Sunday Mail are a little disappointed by their 14.57% increase since June taking their ABC in Scotland up to 377,207 which is some way short of the reported 600,000 copies they have been printing. The big winners in Scotland are the same as the UK as a whole with the Daily Star Sunday up 133.75% on June and the Sunday Mirror up almost 75%. The People has pretty much doubled in circulation in Scotland although numbers are still low at 25.5k.

One title we don’t mention too often is the Sunday Post as this title tends to perform fairly consistently month in month out, however their circulation is up 7.42% since June & 1.61% year-on-year, and therefore have done well out of the changed Sunday landscape. The Sunday Herald too is up 11.20% whereas the Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, Times and Sunday Times Sunday are all down on their June sale.

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