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May 22, 2018

Royal wedding success for news publishers with huge Sunday newspaper sales uplift

By Charlotte Tobitt

News publishers and broadcasters were reaping the rewards of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding in sales of Sunday newspapers, online readers and TV viewing figures.

Early newspaper wholesale estimates for the Sunday newspaper market, shared by the Daily Mail, put the week-on-week sales uplift at between 15 to 20 per cent.

The figures, based on the expected final unsold volume returned from retail, estimated that more than 650,000 additional Sunday newspapers had been sold, with an extra £1.2m generated in UK retail sales value.

The Mail on Sunday saw the largest increase in the market, with an estimated sales uplift of nearly 200,000 copies.

Its 47 pages of souvenir coverage helped generate more than £350,000 in additional retail sales value, according to a spokesperson.

The i put out a special Sunday edition for the first time with 28 pages about the royal nuptials, while other newspapers published souvenir supplements including a 128-page souvenir edition of the Sunday Express.

Online, Evening Standard editor George Osborne said on Twitter that the wedding day on Saturday saw the website’s biggest ever audience in a single day reaching 14.3m page views, almost three times its previous record.

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The latest Comscore figures for April showed that ESI, encompassing the Standard and the Independent, had a total of 23.9m monthly unique visitors in the UK, a 2.6 per cent increase month-on-month.

BBC One won the ratings battle on television to create its most-watched event of the year, peaking at 13.1m people during the ceremony.

ITV’s viewers peaked at 3.6m, while coverage on Sky News, Sky One and BBC News was seen by an average of fewer than 500,000 viewers each.

However more people tuned in to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011, with a peak of 18.7m on BBC One and an average of 5.9m on ITV.

Picture: Ben Birchall/Pool via Reuters

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