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Print sales decline not as feared for national newspapers

Print sales show national newspaper circulation has fallen during the lockdown – but the impact is not as steep as some in the industry had feared.

Print sales decline not as feared for national newspapers

As reported by Mariella Brown on the Society of Editors website:

Papers reporting the biggest decline in ABC circulation from March to April were the Financial Times (39%) and the i newspaper (38%).

However, initiatives such as a six-week home delivery ensured that many print copies still reached readers in lockdown which offset the decline.

Sunday tabloids fared the best, with the Sunday Mirror, Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Express reporting a decline between 12-14 per cent.

Many readers turned to digital editions, however. The Daily Mail reported an increase of 60,000 digital edition readers while its paper circulation fell by 17 per cent. Other daily titles felt similar declines with the Guardian (-18%), Daily Express (-19%) and Daily Mirror (-18%).

Commuter titles such as the Evening Standard and the Metro were impacted by the work-from-home surge – the Metro circulation reduced by 70 per cent to just shy of 400,000 and the Standard by 40 per cent. City AM already ceased its print circulation at the start of the lockdown.

For some titles such as the i newspaper, the decline in circulation is linked to the loss of bulk free distribution to sites such as airports, gyms and railway stations.

Papers owned by News UK – The Sun, Times and Sunday Times – and the Telegraph Media Group titles did not publish their figures via the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) system this time.

The full figures are available on Press Gazette.