ABCs: Times drops below 500,000 as all titles suffer falls

The average daily circulation of The Times newspaper dropped below half-a-million in August as all national newspapers suffered a year-on-year decline in sales.

The News International daily was one of six national papers to suffer a double-digit year-on-year fall in circulation last month as it hit a 16-year circulation low.

According to figures released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the average daily circulation of The Times in August stood at 494,205 – a decline of 14.23 per cent year on year.

Circulation of The Times last dipped below 500,000 in April 1994 when it averaged a daily sale of 478,419.

The extent of the decline has been exaggerated by News International stripping out free bulk sales – multiple copies sold to hotels and airports at a reduced price – from its overall circulation.

Last month The Times didn’t sell any copies as bulks and sold a daily average of 50,140 copies of its overseas edition.

In August last year, The Times sold an average of 81,980 more copies each day than the same month this year but this included 46,439 bulks and 33,375 sold overseas.

Several other national newspapers have had circulation declines exaggerated by reducing the sale of bulks or ending the practice altogether.

The Daily Telegraph – one such paper – was the title to suffer the biggest year-on-year fall in average daily circulation last month as it dropped 17.33 per cent to an average circulation of 673, 010.

The Sunday Telegraph also suffered a heavy fall as its circulation dropped 15.41 per cent year on year to a weekly average of 506,781 last month.

Circulation of The Guardian dropped 12.61 per cent year on year to a daily average of 272,112 last month.

The Observer, sister paper to the Guardian, suffered a similar drop in circulation to a weekly average of 309,068 last month – a year-on-year decline of 14.57 per cent.

The only other paper to suffer a double-digit decline was the Sunday Express. Its circulation dropped 11.13 per cent year on year in August to a weekly average of 574, 872.

National newspaper print circulations for August 2010 (source ABC)

(Figures are: average daily sale and percentage change year on year)

National Morning Popular

  • Daily Mirror 1,232,961 -6.94
  • Daily Record 331,452 -4.56
  • Daily Star 862,005 -2.80
  • The Sun 3,009,987 -3.79

Total of average daily net circulation 5,436,405 -4.41

National Morning Mid Market

  • Daily Express 671,414 -8.05
  • Daily Mail 2,169,690 -0.09

Total of average daily net circulation 2,841,104 -2.10

National Morning Quality

  • The Daily Telegraph 673,010 -17.33
  • Financial Times 376,564 -4.87
  • The Guardian 272,112 -12.61
  • The Independent 182,416 -2.89
  • The Times 494,205 -14.23

Total of average daily net circulation 2,099,580 -12.31

National Sunday Popular

  • Daily Star Sunday 381,283 -4.99
  • News of the World 2,868,850 -8.08
  • Sunday Mirror 1,140,118 -7.85
  • The People 537,381 -8.36

Total of average Sunday net circulation 5,325,125 -7.78

National Sunday Mid Market

Total of average Sunday net circulation 2,868,527 -4.87

National Sunday Quality

  • Independent on Sunday 156,725 -2.54
  • The Observer 309,068 -14.57
  • The Sunday Telegraph 506,781 -15.41
  • The Sunday Times 1,066,240 -8.46

Total of average Sunday net circulation 2,142,504 -10.56

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