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Circulation down

Newspaper sales slump during lockdown


The fall in sales was not as severe as some feared

The Financial Times and the i newspaper suffered the biggest falls in London-based national newspaper sales during the first five weeks of the lockdown.

While sales fell sharply across the sector they were not as severe as some feared as many retail outlets remained closed and people stayed at home.

Sales of both the Daily Record and Sunday Mail, owned by Reach (formerly Trinity Mirror), fell below 100,000.

Figures are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain with more owners declining to disclose data. News UK, publisher of The Sun and Times titles, is now keeping its circulation data private and will now only share it, in confidence, with agencies.

Last year Newsquest, which publishes a number of local weekly and regional daily titles, including The Herald, pulled all of them out of ABC auditing.

The Telegraph pulled out of ABC reporting at the start of this year saying it was no longer a “key metric”. Publishers are increasingly looking to subscriptions and other metrics to measure success in the digital age. News UK has said it is focusing on the total brand reach figure provided by audience measurement company PamCo.

All titles have seen a rise in digital readers, but digital advertising has not replaced the loss of print advertising, forcing many to cut costs.

The latest data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations includes the final week of March.

PublicationABC total for April (from start of lockdown)ABC total for March (2-22) 2020% change month-on-month
Metro FREE398,7871,326,213-70%
The SunPrivate1,210,915
Daily Mail944,9811,132,908-17%
The Sun on SundayPrivate1,013,777
The Mail on Sunday836,743952,914-12%
Evening Standard FREE423,285700,191-40%
The Sunday TimesPrivate647,622
Daily Mirror363,082442,610-18%
The TimesPrivate365,880
Sunday Mirror303,747354,375-14%
Daily Express234,373289,393-19%
Daily Star219,275276,453-21%
Sunday Express217,915252,118-14%
Daily Star – Sunday144,251163,695-12%
The Observer129,415156,174-17%
Financial Times88,756146,373-39%
Sunday People118,026134,931-13%
The Guardian106,003129,961-18%
Sunday Mail91,099104,608-13%
Daily Record87,551102,906-15%
Sunday Post73,95984,607-13%

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