Just two of the UK’s nationally-audited newspapers grew their circulation year on year in December – the Sunday Times and the Evening Standard.
Otherwise the print sales figures make grim reading with several titles dropping more than 10 per cent year on year and the Independent titles particularly hard hit. The Standard’s circulation was boosted only by the addition of free bulk copies.
Many titles appear to be feeling the effects of the economic downturn and drastically curbed marketing budgets. The year-on-year drops may have been worsened by the fact that in December 2007 there was far more money available for promotional activity such as DVD and CD give-aways.
The Daily Mirror was particularly hard hit – dropping 9.9 per cent to 1,346,936. This put it below national free newspaper Metro in terms of circulation for the first time. In December Metro’s average circulation was 1,349,121.
The Independent was another big faller, down more than 12 per cent feeling the effects of the price increase to £1.
The Independent on Sunday was the biggest faller of any title – dropping 17.5 per cent to 163,545.
Taking 2008 as a whole, The Sun was the only national to increase its average daily sale compared with 2007.
Helped by a price-cutting strategy, The Sun slightly increased its average sale by 0.03 per cent to 3,096,412, compared with 2007.
National newspaper ABC figures: December 2008
Daily Newspapers (all percentages are year on year)
- Daily Mirror: 1,346,916, down 9.8 per cent
- Daily Record: 349,235, down 9.5 per cent
- Daily Star: 725,671, down 0.11 per cent
- Daily Sport: 73,923, N/A
- The Sun: 2,899,310, down 2.9 per cent
- Daily Express: 728,296, down 2.2 per cent
- Daily Mail: 2,139,178, down 7.4 per cent
- Daily Telegraph: 824,244, down 5.6 per cent
- Financial Times: 435,319, down 2.2 per cent
- The Herald: 60,605, down 9.3 per cent
- The Guardian: 343,010, down 3 per cent
- The Independent: 200,242, down 12.3 per cent
- The Scotsman: 47,898, down 9.6 per cent
- The Times: 600,962, down 2.3 per cent
- Racing Post: 60,629, down 9.5 per cent
- Evening Standard: 287,173, up 1 per cent
- Daily Star Sunday: 342,019, down 5.1 per cent
- News of the World: 2,987,730, down 5.7 per cent
- Sunday Mail: 440,088, down 9.9 per cent
- Sunday Mirror: 1,195,711, down 9 per cent
- The People: 592,306, down 12.2 per cent
- Sunday Sport: 73,934, down 15 per cent
- Sunday Express: 638,556, down 5.6 per cent
- Sunday Post: 365,591, down 9.1 per cent
- The Mail on Sunday: 2,060,731, down 6.7 per cent
- Independent on Sunday: 163,545, down 17.5 per cent
- The Observer: 420,323, down two per cent
- Scotland on Sunday: 58,063, down 7.9 per cent
- Sunday Herald: 42,369,
- Sunday Times: 1,155,589, up 0.63 per cent