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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Mid markets and Populars continue to benefit from the demise of the News of the World

Renu Plahe, Press Account Manager, reviews the August ABCs

The daily national newspaper market saw circulation figures drop off in August after a positive July. Overall the market is down -0.3% since July and -5.5% year on year. Four titles in the daily market managed to post small rises.

July saw some healthy gains, particularly in the Sunday market, following the closure of News of the World. This continued in August, with all of the Sunday tabloids and the Sunday Express enjoying increases.

Overall, the Sunday market is down -13% on August 2010 with the loss of the News of the World still having an impact. However, sales are up 1.4% on July, so the market is still showing growth but not quite as drastic as July’s ABC figures. It seems that the key titles who picked up News of the World sales in July and have managed to maintain them through August. The Daily Star on Sunday has clearly benefited with an increase of 95% year on year, as has the Sunday Mirror (67%) and The People (66%). However, the sector as a whole is down 28% year on year so not all ex News of the World readers are buying another Sunday tabloid.

The mid market sector is the only one to be up year on year (+1.65%) although the sector’s growth is being driven by the two Sunday titles. The Sunday Express particularly is still going strong, up 18% year on year. The Mail on Sunday is also up 7% year on year suggesting that this sector has also benefited from the closure of the News of the World.

The quality market is down as a whole 2% year on year. The i has yet again shown growth (4% on July) while its stablemate, the Independent on Sunday, is showing year on year growth of 5%. The Times and Sunday Times are also both slightly up this month, by 2% respectively on July’s sales.

In Scotland the Sunday Mail is still showing growth, up 2.7% since July and 6.5% year on year. They have gained at extra 10,000 sales this month bringing their circulation in Scotland up to 387,383. The Sunday Herald is the biggest loser amongst the homegrown Nationals, down 3.5% in Scotland since July and significantly down year on year by 29%.

Similar to the UK, the big winners in the popular market in Scotland are the Daily Star On Sunday (up 111% since July), the Sunday Mirror (up 101%) and the People (up 111%). However, even though this growth looks impressive they have a very long way to go to challenge the Sunday Mail, in fact if you add all their Scottish circulations together they only amount to just over a third of the Sunday Mail’s circulation.

Unlike the UK the Telegraph and Guardian groups are increasing their circulation in Scotland. The Daily Telegraph is up 6.1% on July and the Sunday Telegraph is up 5.9%, as are the Guardian (10.0%) and the Observer (6.2%). However, these growth levels are again from relatively low bases when compared to the Scottish indigenous titles.

August, of course, is holiday season, so the overall lull we’ve seen in the market this month could all be reversed come September.

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