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News : Irish Last Updated: Apr 24, 2009 - 5:31:05 PM


Irish Newspapers: Contrasting slants on circulation figures
By Finfacts Team
Sep 2, 2005 - 9:33:00 AM

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The ABC newspaper circulation figures for the first half of 2005, show that the combined daily circulation of the Irish Independent, Irish Times and  Irish Examiner fell 16,000 compared with the same period in 2004. However, the slant that each newspaper puts on the figures shows that news is often what one makes of it.

The figures show that the Irish Examiner has lost circulation but the newspaper claims that it has increased circulation.

The problem is that ABC audited figures include copies of the newspapers that are distributed free by hotels, colleges, airlines etc. These are termed "bulk sales" and circulation figures are massaged by this mechanism.

The Irish Times says that its circulation increased by 1,534 copies per day compared with 2004. The Irish Examiner says that the Irish Times' additional copies includes bulk sales of 1,527 a day. So the Irish Times circulation increased by 7 copies per day, that were paid by the public.

It all begs the question as to why the ABC does not use paid circulation as its benchmark?

Irish Independent- It's sales success - on the double

For the first time since the launch of our Compact Irish Independent in February '04 both the Compact and Broadsheet editions of the paper can be added together under Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) rules.

And once again sales of the Irish Independent have continued to out-perform the national newspaper market. The latest certified figures show us with a total circulation of

164,202
copies per day, an increase of almost 3,000 copies a day over the pre-compact launch figure of 161,297. This again confirms our position as Ireland's only real national daily and the biggest selling newspaper with a lead of

44,600
copies a day over the Irish Times whose circulation remains somewhat static at 117,543. We are now only slightly below the combined circulation of the Irish Times and the Cork based Examiner which again had a less than impressive circulation period, returning daily sales of just 57,331.

The new figures show us holding an untouchable 48pc share of the quality market.

But the most significant success of the year has been the accelerating growth of our new Compact which now sells 81,431 copies per day and is going from strength to strength alongside the broadsheet which comes in at 82,771.

All over the world newspapers are clearly undergoing a renaissance through compact editions.

Here in Ireland ours has been an unqualified success from start-up. And as the thousands who have already made the change can testify, the changing shape of the paper does not signify a change in content, quality or firm journalistic principles on which this paper was founded 100 years ago.

The Irish Independent still honours its commitment to the traditions of the founding paper and will continue to publish both broadsheet and compact editions, a feat which has stirred the imaginations of the newspaper industry worldwide.

We firmly believe in giving the consumer a choice. The market knows best.

All of which confirms our belief that we understand what readers want - first and foremost a real NEWSpaper. If it happened and it matters, you will find it in our pages.  

Irish Times- Sales of 'The Irish Times' rise as rivals falter

The Irish Times was the only daily broadsheet newspaper to increase sales in the first half of 2005, according to the latest circulation figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC).

The newspaper's average net sales for the six months from January to June rose by 1,534 copies to 117,543. This was a 1.3 per cent increase on the same period in 2004.

In contrast, sales of the broadsheet version of the Irish Independent fell sharply during the period, down by 46,264 to 82,771 - a drop of almost 36 per cent. This decline was only partly matched by a rise in sales of the 'compact' or tabloid version of the paper - up from 52,045 to 81,431. Sales of the Irish Independent are now virtually equally divided between broadsheet and compact.

Overall combined sales of the two formats fell from 181,080 to 164,202 although Independent News and Media (IN&M), which publishes the papers, yesterday rejected this comparison on the basis that the compact was not launched until February 2004, was not immediately available in all parts of the country and was only sold six days a week from November 2004. ABC describes the broadsheet and compact as different products.

Most broadsheet editions of the Irish Independent (96 per cent) were sold at full cover price. However almost 20 per cent of the compact editions were sold at a discount, known as a "bulk sale". Some 97.1 per cent of sales of The Irish Times were sold at full cover price.

The Irish Examiner recorded a further decline in circulation during the first six months of the year - down by 278 copies to 57,331, a drop of 0.5 per cent.

ABC comparisons are normally made between one six-month period and the equivalent six months the previous year.

However, when the figures for January to June this year are compared with the six months from July to December 2004, circulation of The Irish Times is up 2.6 per cent or 3,015 from 114,528. Sales of the broadsheet Irish Independent are down 17 per cent from 99,684 while those of the compact are up 12.7 per cent from 72,226. When the two formats are combined, sales are down 7,708 from more than 170,000. Sales of the Irish Examiner are down 1,447 from 58,778.

Comparing the latest figures for the six months to June with the same six months in 2004, the Evening Herald - the only national evening newspaper in the Republic - increased sales by 1,320 copies to 93,830. This was a rise of 1.4 per cent on the same period in 2004.

In the Sunday market, the main loser was the Sunday Tribune. Sales in the six months to the end of June were down by 15,839 copies to 71,187. This was a drop of 18.2 per cent on the period from January to June in 2004 and represented the paper's worst performance for many years.

Ireland on Sunday was also a major loser. Its sales slipped by 12,729 copies to 139,170, a fall of 8.4 per cent. The Sunday Business Post dropped slightly by 0.6 per cent. It sold 51,823 copies to the end of June compared with 52,115 in the similar period in 2004.

Sales of the highest selling newspaper in the Republic, the Sunday Independent, were almost static, down by 890 copies or 0.3 per cent to 291,036. Sales of the Sunday World in the Republic and Northern Ireland were up 5,339 to 273,667, a 2 per cent rise.

Irish Examiner- Further sales increase for Irish Examiner

Sales of the Irish Examiner increased by 4% during the first six months of 2005 while the comparable circulation of rival newspapers either fell or remained static.

Editor Tim Vaughan attributed the circulation growth to agenda-setting journalism supported by a strongly focused marketing strategy and field-sales activity.

The bottom line is we have a team of great journalists who are producing excellent newspapers which are being bought by more and more people. Its a nice position to be in and we have very clear plans to keep this growth momentum going, said Mr Vaughan.

The increase relates to actively purchased copies - the key barometer of circulation success - and excludes bulk sales, which are copies bought at discount by third parties, such as hotels, and are often given away free of charge.

In recent years the advertising industry has increasingly questioned the value of bulk sales.

The figures, issued yesterday by the Audit Bureau of Circulation, reveal that the number of actively purchased copies of the Irish Independent dropped by 19,140 a day (-11.6%), while the Irish Times added an extra seven copies daily between January and June, compared with the same period last year.

The number of actively purchased copies of the Irish Examiner rose by 2,211 a day during the first half of this year.

Both the Irish Independent and the Irish Times increased their bulk sales - in marked contrast with the Irish Examiner, which reduced its bulks during the same period.

The Independent increased its bulk sales to 18,773 copies a day, or close to six million a year, while the Irish Times bulk-sold 3,359 copies a day (up from 1,832 last year).


The Irish Examiner reduced its daily bulk sales to 650 and achieved an overall ABC figure of 57,331.

Despite its policy of heavy bulk selling as a marketing tool, the combined ABC figure for the broadsheet and compact editions of the Irish Independent fell by 16,878 copies a day (-9.3%).

The extra 29,386 compact sales have been more than outweighed by a fall of 46,264 copies a day for the broadsheet.

The overall ABC daily increase of 1,534 (+1.3%) for the Irish Times is accounted for by increased bulk sales of 1,527 a day.

ABC Circulation

The following table is from the National Newspapers of Ireland site:

ABC verified circulation of Irish National Newspapers
Jan - June 2005
Irish Independent - Broadsheet
82,771
Irish Independent - Compact
81,431
The Irish Times
117,543
Irish Examiner
57,331
Irish Daily Star
108,221
Irish Daily Mirror
78,914
The Irish Sun
119,770
Total Mornings
645,981
 
Evening Herald
93,830
Total Evenings
93,830
Total Dailies
 
Weekend Herald
54,825
 
Sunday Independent
291,036
The Sunday Tribune
71,187
Sunday World
273,667
The Sunday Business Post
51,823
Ireland on Sunday
139,170
Irish Daily Star Sunday
50,587
Irish News of the World
164,431
Irish People
47,451
Irish Sunday Mirror
49,814
The Sunday Times
105,958
Total Sundays
1,245,124
 
Irish Farmers Journal
66,572
 
Source: ABC

 

© Copyright 2009 by Finfacts.com

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