Sales of daily newspapers decline 7.3% while Sunday titles down 8%
NEWSPAPER SALES in Ireland continued to decline in the first half of 2012, with the daily market shrinking 7.3 per cent and the Sunday market down 8 per cent, according to figures released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
Sales of The Irish Times fell 8.3 per cent in January-June 2012 compared with the same period in 2011. Its circulation stands at 92,565, down from 100,951, a drop of 8,386 copies. Some 90.7 per cent of the circulation is actively purchased.
The ABC Island of Ireland Report shows the Irish Independent’s circulation fell 6.1 per cent, with a year-on-year drop of 8,242 copies taking its circulation to 125,986.
The broadsheet edition continues to account for 30 per cent of the Irish Independent’s sales, while 89 per cent of its circulation was actively purchased.
Sales of the Thomas Crosbie Holdings-owned Irish Examiner fell 7.2 per cent to 40,245 copies, down 3,145 copies.
In the daily evening market, the Evening Herald saw its circulation fall 1.2 per cent to 61,179, while Thomas Crosbie Holdings’ Evening Echo endured a 12.3 per cent decline to 17,556.
The Sunday Independent reclaimed its position as the biggest-selling title, with a circulation of 238,798. This was down 6.6 per cent on the first half of 2011.
The Sunday World went back to being the second highest-selling title at a circulation of 226,932, down 8.1 per cent.
Elsewhere in the Sunday market, there was a steep fall for the Sunday Business Post, also part of the TCH group. Its circulation dropped 14.2 per cent and it now sells 41,040 copies.
Separate ABC figures show British-published newspapers also saw their Irish sales fall in the first half of the year.
The Sunday Times’s circulation performed better than most on a year-on-year basis and now stands at 106,113, down 4.1 per cent, while the Irish Daily Mail’s circulation was down fractionally at 50,780.
Among the redtops, the Sun dropped 9.3 per cent to 72,499, while the Mirror fell 7.3 per cent to 57,445. The Star has a circulation of 75,293 copies on the island of Ireland, down 13.5 per cent.
In the Sunday market, there were year-on-year boosts for the Sunday Mirror, which gained 16.4 per cent to 47,468, and the People, which rose 7.5 per cent to 20,271.
Both titles are likely to have picked up readers as a result of the closure of the News of the World in July 2011 following a spate of phone-hacking allegations against its reporters and editors.
However, the circulation of both the Sunday Mirror and the People went into reverse in the first half of 2012 compared with the second half of last year – a trend that can be explained by News International’s launch of the Sun on Sunday in February.
The Sun on Sunday sold an average of 82,329 copies in Ireland since its launch. However, its sales have decreased over the months, from 109,450 in February to 74,566 in June.
The UK edition of the Daily Star Sunday sells 28,664 copies in Ireland, up slightly on the first half of 2011, when it effectively replaced the Irish Daily Star Sunday, which ceased publication in January 2011.
The Irish Mail on Sunday, meanwhile, has a circulation of 108,981 copies, down 3.7 per cent.
The London Independent, which was withdrawn from sale in Ireland in July, had an average daily circulation of 812 copies in the Republic, while its sister title the Independent on Sunday sold an average of 1,280 copies, ABC figures show.
These circulations were too low to justify the costs of printing and distributing the paper in Ireland, the newspaper, owned by Alexander Lebedev, indicated earlier this summer.
The Irish Times Digital Edition had an audited circulation of 2,280 copies during the period, up 12 per cent on the second half of 2011, the first period for which audited figures are available.
The audited print circulation of The Irish Times includes 4,012 copies sold overseas.