‘The Irish Times’ had combined daily circulation of 77,988 in second half of 2017

Digital subscriptions grew, as challenging market for print newspapers continued

The Irish Times had combined average daily sales of 77,988 copies for its print and ePaper editions in the second half of 2017, new figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) show.

This was up 331 copies on the first half of last year, as growth in the audited digital edition exceeded the loss of print sales. The year-on-year decline in combined sales narrowed to 2 per cent.

The audited digital edition recorded daily sales of 16,939 for this period. This was up 29 per cent year-on-year, as more people switched from print to digital. This figure only includes those digital subscribers who receive the ePaper as part of their subscription.

The company said the total number of people who hold subscriptions to The Irish Times across all categories, including digital and home delivery of the printed newspaper, is now 72,000 – an increase of almost fourfold over the last three years.


The ABC figures show that the Irish print newspaper market declined once again in the second half, continuing a trend that began a decade ago. The daily market dropped 6 per cent year-on-year, while sales in the Sunday market fell 7 per cent.

The average print circulation of The Irish Times from July to December was 61,049, which was almost 8 per cent lower than in the same period in 2016.

Other titles

The Irish Independent had a combined print and digital edition circulation of 92,903, down 6 per cent year-on-year. The Independent News & Media (INM) title had a print circulation of 90,107, down 7 per cent.

The Irish Examiner had a print circulation of 27,589 in the second half of 2017, down 8 per cent year-on-year. The Irish Times has agreed to buy the Irish Examiner's owner, Landmark Media Investments, and the deal is pending regulatory approval.

The Irish Daily Star sells 43,279 copies in the Republic, down 5 per cent, while the Irish Daily Mail's circulation south of the Border was 36,692, down 11 per cent.

The Irish Sun had sales of 56,488 in the Republic, down 3 per cent year-on-year, but up 1 per cent on the first half of 2017, while the Irish Daily Mirror's circulation was 32,055, down 10 per cent year-on-year. The Herald, published by INM, had a circulation of 36,097, down 12 per cent.

The Times, which launched an Ireland edition in print form in June, recorded an average monthly circulation of 10,111 from July to December. More than half of this comes from multiple copy sales, which is a higher rate of "bulks" than the industry norm. Some 80 per cent of the Irish Independent's print sales and 90 per cent of The Irish Times print sales are actively purchased.

Sunday market

In the Sunday market, the Sunday Independent's average circulation was 178,323, down 7 per cent, while the Sunday World's was 133,946, down 10 per cent.

The Sunday Times had a circulation of 75,554 in the Republic, down 4 per cent, while the Sunday Business Post fell below the 30,000 mark with an average circulation of 29,619, down 2 per cent.

The circulation in the Republic of the Irish Sun on Sunday was 53,620, down 4 per cent, while the Irish Sunday Mirror dropped 9 per cent to 22,106 and the Irish Mail on Sunday's sales in the Republic were 7 per cent lower at 69,825.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

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