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February 14, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 7:30am

National newspaper ABCs: Mail titles see slower year-on-year circulation decline as bulk sales distortion ends

By Freddy Mayhew

New national newspaper circulation figures for January 2019 paint a more accurate picture of the Mail title’s print sales with bulks now stripped out.

ABC figures, out today, show the rate at which the circulations of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday are declining is in fact lower than figures have previously shown.

In December last year, the Daily Mail had a print circulation of 1.2m, down 12 per cent year-on-year, according to ABC figures. The Mail on Sunday had a circulation of 1m, down 11 per cent year-on-year.

But in January both titles posted a year-on-year circulation decline of 7 per cent.

Scroll down for print and online ABC figures

Publisher DMG Media stopped including bulk sales – copies sold to venues, such as airport lounges, at a discounted rate – a year ago, with the change reflected in the ABC figures for the first time this month.

In December 2017, the Daily Mail counted 58,700 paid multiple copies – also known as bulk sales – in its circulation for the month of 1.39m. In January 2018, the bulk sales were gone and its circulation dropped to 1.34m.

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The Mail on Sunday counted 53,500 bulk sales in December 2017 with a total circulation for the month of 1.14m. The next month, with bulk sales stripped out, its circulation fell to 1.1m

Year-on-year circulations fell across the national newspaper industry once again in January, according to ABC figures.

National newspaper circulations for January 2019 (ABC):

Publication ABC total – Jan 2019 Year-on-year % change
Metro FREE 1,426,050 -3%
The Sun 1,410,896 -9%
Daily Mail 1,246,568 -7%
The Sun on Sunday 1,178,687 -8%
The Mail on Sunday 1,032,870 -7%
London Evening Standard FREE 864,620 -3%
The Sunday Times 712,291 -4%
Daily Mirror 508,705 -13%
Sunday Mirror 431,419 -15%
The Times 417,298 -5%
The Daily Telegraph 360,345 -6%
Daily Star 329,971 -16%
Daily Express 321,146 -12%
Sunday Express 280,684 -9%
The Sunday Telegraph 278,558 -7%
i 233,868 -9%
Daily Star – Sunday 201,969 -15%
Financial Times 180,053 -5%
The Observer 163,694 -7%
Sunday People 159,836 -18%
The Guardian 141,460 -7%
Sunday Mail 123,755 -12%
Daily Record 119,328 -11%
Sunday Post 107,336 -13%
City AM FREE 85,982 -5%

Daily average unique browsers on national news websites in January 2019 (ABC):

Website Daily average unique browsers – Jan 2019 Year-on-year % change
Mail Online 13,173,163 -4%
The Sun 5,131,010 -3%
Metro 1,627,955 -36%

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