Awkward paper size matters at the 'Indo'
The broadsheet edition of the Irish Independent appears to be falling out of favour with the company’s new management, with the version missing in action from retailers’ shelves on the October bank holiday Monday as part of a “market test” by the company.
But while printing more compact editions and fewer broadsheets will help INM save on printing costs, it may be some time before the broadsheet is eventually pensioned off.
The compact, launched in 2004, accounted for 70 per cent of the Irish Independent’s sales in the first half of 2012, or some 88,060 copies, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) figures, with the broadsheet recording a circulation of 37,926, or 30 per cent.
This split has been edging in favour of the compact in recent times – three years ago, the ratio of compact to broadsheet was 63/37.
A perhaps more dramatic illustration of readers’ preference for the smaller newspaper is provided by the fact that broadsheet circulation has declined by 33 per cent since the first half of 2009, while compact circulation over that period has retreated by just 8 per cent.
Switching to compact-only would take certain operational expenses out of the equation completely. However, it would be a brave move indeed to walk away from the reading preference of more than 30,000 active purchasers of the broadsheet.