The circulation of all quality national daily and Sunday newspapers fell year on year in October with The Times dropping almost ten per cent.
The Guardian and The Observer were the hardest hit after they took the decision in August to stop distributing bulks – copies readers can pick up free from hotels, airlines and gyms.
News International will follow suit and drop bulk sales of the Times and the Sunday Times from January.
The Times recorded a drop in circulation of 9.18 per cent year on year to a daily average of 571,783 last month, including more than 48,000 in bulks, according to figures released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulation.
Circulation of The Guardian dropped to 311,878 last month, a fall of 11.97 per cent year on year.
Independent News & Media’s Independent title had a circulation of 187,047 last month, a year on year fall of 6.95 per cent. The Independent distributed almost 40,000 bulks.
Telegraph Media Group’s Daily Telegraph had an average circulation of 767,894 last month, a year on year decline of 3.55 per cent.
The Telegraph boosted its top-line circulation by the inclusion of more than 66,000 bulks. Despite this it remained the daily quality market’s biggest paper.
Financial Times‘ daily circulation stood at an average of 56,365 last month, a drop of 7.14 per cent year on year. It circulated around 31,000 bulk copies on average.
The Observer circulated an average of 366,918 each week in October; a drop of 19.38 per cent from the same month last year, when it included bulks sales and averaged 455,130 weekly.
Guardian News & Media, publisher of The Observer, announced this week that the paper would be scaled down from the New Year when several magazines and colour supplements would be dropped.
The publisher also announced plans to cut more than 100 staff from its editorial and commercial departments this week.
News International‘s Sunday Times, which usually claims one of the steadiest circulations in a declining Sunday qualities market, recorded a year on year circulation fall of 3.37 per cent in October to a weekly average of 1,192,464.
Despite dropping below the 1,200,000 mark the Sunday Times remained the leading paper in its market.
The Sunday Times last month distributed 18,148 bulks, the Independent on Sunday added more than 40,000 to its top-line circulation figure through distributing bulks and the Sunday Telegraph distributed almost 60,000 bulks.
The Independent on Sunday recorded the second biggest circulation fall of the quality Sunday papers.
It dropped to a circulation of 156,805 in October, a fall of 5.4 per cent on the same month last year.
The Sunday Telegraph recorded a circulation drop of 3.24 per cent year on year to a weekly average of 588,469 last month.
National Sunday Quality (title – October average circulation – y-o-y change)
Independent on Sunday: 156,805 -5.40
The Observer: 366,918 -19.38
The Sunday Telegraph: 588,469 -3.24
The Sunday Times: 1,192,464 -3.37
National Morning Quality (title – October average circulation – y-o-y change)
The Daily Telegraph: 767,894 -3.55
Financial Times: 56,365 -7.14
The Guardian: 311,878 -11.97
The Independent: 187,047 -6.95
The Times: 571,783 -9.18