All quality national newspapers recorded a fall in their average circulation in December, with the Times dropping more than 13 per cent year on year.
The Times had an average daily circulation of 521,535 last month, according to figures released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, a fall of 13.22 per cent on December, 2008.
The falling circulation of the Times is, in large part, the result of it reducing its sale of bulks – copies sold for a nominal fee typically for free distributed to clients of airlines and hotels from the New Year.
The Times sold an average of 41,727 fewer papers each day in December, a traditionally quiet month for newspapers sales, than in November – however its bulk count dropped by 33,915 between the two months.
Last year, The Times’ owner News International said it intended to cease production of bulks, with the change expected to take effect from the January ABC figures.
Despite this The Times sold 13,327 bulks in December, down on the 47,242 bulks the title sold in November.
The Guardian, which stopped selling bulk copies last summer, recorded a year on year fall in is average daily circulation of 12.38 per cent to 300,540 last month.
Telegraph Media Group’s Daily Telegraph recorded a circulation fall of 9.37 per cent year on year in December. Its circulation, which included 21,205 bulk copies, averaged 703,249 daily last month.
Daily circulation of Independent News & Media’s The Independent averaged 186,940 last month – a fall of 6.64 per cent year on year. This figure included 43,833 bulks.
The Financial Times had an average daily circulation of 400,827 in December, a year on year fall of 6.46 per cent.
The paper’s UK and Eire edition sold an average of 117,606 with 32,486 bulks.
The picture in the quality Sunday market was similarly gloomy in December when all nationals recorded circulation declines.
The biggest of these belonged to Guardian News & Media’s The Observer, which recorded a year on year fall of 16.49 per cent to an average weekly circulation of 351,019.
Like its sister paper, The Guardian, GNM’s Sunday paper stopped selling bulk copies last summer.
The Independent on Sunday recorded a circulation drop of 4.94 per cent year on year last month to 155,460. This included 42,877 bulks.
Telegraph Media Group’s Sunday Telegraph had an average weekly circulation of 525,088 last month, a fall of 8.72 per cent from December, 2008. Last month’s circulation figure included 24,080 bulks.
News International’s Sunday Times newspaper had an average weekly circulation of 1,113,195 last month, a drop of 3.67 per cent year on year. The Sunday Times circulated 14,337 bulk copies on average each week last month.
National Morning Quality, Circulation, Yr/Yr
- The Daily Telegraph, 703,249 -9.37
- Financial Times, 400,827 -6.46
- The Guardian, 300,540 -12.38
- The Independent, 186,940 -6.64
- The Times, 521,535 -13.22
National Sunday Quality, Circulation, Yr/Yr
- Independent on Sunday, 155,460 -4.94
- The Observer, 351,019 -16.49
- The Sunday Telegraph, 525,088 -8.72
- The Sunday Times, 1,113,195 -3.67