The launch issue of The Month secured one of The Sunday Times’s biggest week-on-week sales increases.
But News International executives said the reaction to issue two – out this week – would be the real test. The interactive arts and entertainment CD-Rom put on an extra 160,000 sales for the launch issue on 31 August.
According to Times Newspapers marketing director Andrew Mullins, the only occasions The Sunday Times has put on more sales was the U2 CD giveaway in June 2001 and the free Oasis CD in June 2002.
He said: “We were the first people ever to give away a digital product – last weekend there were six or seven CDs and DVDs given away across the whole market. It’s become the norm. “We are pleased with the way The Month has performed so far – especially considering the fact we have the highest cover price in the market and The Sunday Times is a broadsheet, which is another barrier to entry.” But he added: “We will wait to see how this issue does before we start to celebrate, because it is the repeat purchase that matters.”
According to Mullins, The Sunday Times has received 5,000 responses to a reader survey accompanying the first issue of The Month and he said the comments were overwhelmingly positive.
Issue two, he said, includes a two-for-one music promotion to encourage more people to go online and buy albums featured on the CD-Rom.
By Dominic Ponsford