Decline in newspaper sales slows down, according to ABC figures

The combined print and digital circulation of ‘The Irish Times’ is up by 1.5%

The rate of decline in the Irish daily newspaper market slowed down in the first half of 2015, according to figures released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC).

Sales in the daily market fell 5.4 per cent in the first six months of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014. Sunday newspaper titles had diverging fortunes, but the Sunday market as a whole retreated 7.8 per cent year-on-year.

But the decline in the daily market compared with the second half of 2014 was just 1.8 per cent, while Sunday sales fell 4.5 per cent over this time.

The print circulation of The Irish Times now stands at 76,194 copies, down 5.2 per cent year-on-year and down 0.9 per cent on the second half of 2014. The Irish Times Digital Edition had daily sales of 4,853 in the first half of 2015. This is up 67 per cent year-on-year, taking the combined sale for the print and digital editions to 81,047.


On an annual basis, the combined print and digital sale is 2.6 per cent lower, but compared with July-December 2014, it is 1.5 per cent higher.

Excluding bulk sales, the average number of actively purchased copies of the print newspaper sold each day is 66,700. The Irish Independent's circulation fell 2.5 per cent to 109,524 year-on-year, with the number of actively purchased copies dropping to 93,493. The Herald, its sister paper, saw its sales fall 6.7 per cent to 48,133.



Irish Examiner

now sells an average of 33,198 copies, down 5.2 per cent, while sales of Cork’s

Evening Echo

declined 10.9 per cent to 12,278. Both titles are owned by

Landmark Media


Elsewhere in the daily market, the Irish Daily Star has a circulation of 52,343, down 6.2 per cent, while sales of the Irish Daily Mirror plunged 14 per cent to 43,250. The Irish Sun dropped 5 per cent to 57,702. The circulation of the Irish Daily Mail in the Republic was down only fractionally at 48,516.

Biggest-selling title


Sunday Independent

remains the biggest-selling title. Its circulation is now 213,549, down 3.2 per cent. The circulation of the

Sunday World

, which is also owned by Independent News & Media (INM), fell 9.8 per cent to 178,867.

Sales of the Sunday Times, which is part of Rupert Murdoch's News UK, fell 9.9 per cent year-on-year to 82,748. The Sunday Business Post's circulation is 4.5 per cent lower than it was a year ago at 32,498.

The Irish Mail on Sunday retreated 10 per cent to 84,242 in the Republic, while the Sun on Sunday declined 4.3 per cent to 53,047 copies and the Sunday Mirror fell 13.8 per cent to 30,586. The UK edition of the Daily Star Sunday sells 16,138 copies, down 18.8 per cent, while the People sells 11,340 copies, down 17.6 per cent.

Newspaper sales have been in retreat since 2007. In the second half of that year, an average of 816,031 daily newspapers were sold each day. In the first half of 2015, that number stood at 493,913.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics