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January 17, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 7:22am

National newspaper ABCs: Telegraph y-o-y circulation decline slows as bulk sales distortion ends

By Freddy Mayhew

A decision to stop including bulk sales exactly a year ago has been distorting the year-on-year circulation decline for the Daily Telegraph every time ABC figures for UK national newsbrands are published each month, but December’s audit shows the true figure for the first time.

The broadsheet’s circulation was down eight per cent on the same month last year – when it first stopped counting multiple copy sales (aka bulk sales) – to 363,183 copies.

By comparison, only in November the title posted the biggest year-on-year circulation fall across the national newspaper industry at 22 per cent.

Scroll down for print and online ABC figures for December 2018

Other titles have also stopped including bulk sales – which are the free-to-take copies typically found at airports, hotels and other venues that the publisher sells at a heavily reduced rate – in their circulation audits.

Figures for January, published next month, will be the first to compare the Mail titles year-on-year without bulk sales distorting figures.

UK national newspaper circulations for December 2018 (source: ABC):

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Publication Circulation (Dec 2018) Year-on-year % change Bulks
Metro FREE 1,452,061 -1%
The Sun 1,396,417 -6% 118,244
Daily Mail 1,223,410 -12%
The Sun on Sunday 1,168,831 -5% 118,254
The Mail on Sunday 1,010,578 -11%
London Evening Standard FREE 847,828 -2%
The Sunday Times 710,665 -3% 75,520
Daily Mirror 514,926 -12%
Sunday Mirror 426,992 -13%
The Times 417,368 -6% 79,082
The Daily Telegraph 363,183 -8%
Daily Star 332,868 -15%
Daily Express 320,602 -12%
The Sunday Telegraph 281,025 -7%
Sunday Express 278,545 -12%
i 236,339 -8% 52,493
Daily Star – Sunday 205,393 -14%
Financial Times 180,915 -6% 30,623
The Observer 166,574 -5%
Sunday People 163,546 -14%
The Guardian 140,497 -7%
Sunday Mail 122,653 -15%
Daily Record 118,603 -15%
Sunday Post 107,704 -15% 538
City AM FREE 85,740 -5%

Daily average unique browsers for news websites in December 2018 (source: ABC):

Website Daily avg unique browsers (Dec 2018) Year-on-year % change
Mail Online 12,033,973 -3%
The Sun 5,057,821 2%
Metro 1,457,126 -33%

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