Evening Standard sees slight recovery against free rivals

The Evening Standard showed something of a rally in June after an extremely tough 10 months since the launch of free rival London evening titles London Lite and thelondonpaper.

The Standard was up slightly month-on-month, by 0.98 per cent, with a headline sale of 276,230, which has been fairly stable at about that figure for the past few months.

Year-on-year the paper’s circulation is down 10.87 per cent – a good result considering that the decline had been double that.

Meanwhile, in the London free newspaper market, News International’s thelondonpaper has lengthened its lead, with a daily ABC of 496,504 – up 1.63 per cent month-on-month – compared with London Lite on 388,442, down 2.95 per cent on the previous month.

The big national newspaper circulation winner in June was the Independent on Sunday, which was up 17 per cent year-on-year on the back of an innovative relaunch at the beginning of the month. As well as slimming down to “one big newspaper and one big magazine”, the paper has launched a “News Week” section, a digest of the big stories of the week.

Traditionally, Sunday newspapers have been more interested in chasing exclusives than going back over stories that have already been covered in their daily sister papers. But IoS editor Tristan Davies has said that he is now going after readers who may buy just one newspaper a week.

The IoS dropped its price from £1.80 to £1 for the first three weeks of June, and also benefited from television advertising.

The Sunday Telegraph’s 1.09 per cent increase was helped by a free Elgar CD offer that ran in conjunction with its daily stablemate. The headline ABC figure was also boosted by an extra 19,000 bulk copies, mainly distributed free to hotels.

The Financial Times was the only national daily to achieve a year-onyear sales hike – up 0.95 per cent to 444,763.

It as an achievement that is particularly impressive considering that, at £1.30, the FT now sells for 30p more than it did a year ago. Its extra sales are nearly all in the UK and have been achieved without any increase in bulk giveaways.

The FT’s circulation breaks down as UK: 141,04; USA: 135,339; Europe: 128,955 and Asia: 39,445. The UK and Ireland bulk copies figure is 38,850.

Elsewhere, the only good news for print circulations is that the pace of decline was slower in June than it has been in previous months. Overall daily newspaper circulation dropped 2.95 per cent year-on-year to 11,602,369, while total Sunday newspaper circulation dropped by 1.3 per cent to 12,497,270.

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