July National press ABCs: Free dailies Standard and Metro see slow circulation recovery as lockdown eases

The UK’s national Sunday newspapers failed to continue their recovery after the lockdown sales slump, as the FT saw the biggest month-on-month growth.

Every Sunday title audited by ABC saw a month-on-month fall of between 1% and 3% with the exception of the Sunday Express, which grew by 131 copies.

The Financial Times, which had been the hardest-hit paid-for title with a drop of 39% from March into April, saw the biggest month-on-month recovery of 11% in July.

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The free Metro added a further 18% back onto its distribution as pubs, restaurants and cinemas began to reopen in July and people began to venture out of their homes more.

The Daily Mail, which kept its circulation steady between June and July, said in a statement on its ABC certificate: “The Covid-19 pandemic, and the lockdown measures announced by the UK Government on 23 March, significantly impacted print circulation for the April period as readers adapted to the changes and a number of retail outlets closed.

“Supported by increased home news delivery and expert supply management, circulation has remained incredibly resilient during this period, a testament to the Daily Mail’s position as a trusted and powerful source of news to its readers.”

And Reach, whose daily titles the Mirror, Express and Star all grew by 1% month-on-month, said in its statement: “The fourth month of disrupted trading patterns, the impressive joint efforts of editorial, production and circulation teams continues to ensure that readers of Reach brands have their paper of choice readily available seven days a week.

“The focus on home delivery remains key in these challenging times.”

News UK’s Sun and Times titles now keep their figures private and so are not featured in the below table, but the Daily Mail revealed in June it had overtaken the Sun’s print sales for the first time in 42 years.

The Telegraph has withdrawn from ABC auditing to focus on its subscription numbers.

It said it had 505,023 subscriptions across print and digital in July, with 302,168 of those in digital and 202,856 in print.

It added 4,076 net new subscriptions in July.

National newsbrand circulations in July 2020 (ABC) with monthly and yearly comparisons:

Publication ABC circulation for July 2020 ABC circulation for June 2020 and month-on-month change in July ABC circulation for July 2019 and year-on-year change in July 2020
Daily Mail 999,390 999,976 (0%) 1,164,319 (-14%)
Mail on Sunday 878,880 903,033 (-3%) 978,062 (-10%)
Evening Standard (FREE) 504,872 489,154 (3%) 845,840 (-40%)
Daily Mirror 388,584 383,397 (1%) 483,120 (-20%)
Metro (FREE) 369,972 313,248 (18%) 1,424,168 (-74%)
Sunday Mirror 320,612 322,898 (-1%) 399042 (-20%)
Daily Express 250,298 246,884 (1%) 306,119 (-18%)
Daily Star 238,690 235,609 (1%) 305,069 (-22%)
Sunday Express 222,746 222,615 (0%) 267,268 (-17%)
i 145,280 140,154 (4%) 229,074 (-37%)
Daily Star Sunday 144,610 148,337 (-3%) 183,127 (-21%)
The Observer 140,100 143,913 (-3%) 157553 (-11%)
Sunday People 125,469 127,656 (-2%) 150,661 (-17%)
The Guardian 110,438 111,286 (-1%) 130,484 (-15%)
Sunday Mail 93,703 95,132 (-2%) 111,909 (-16%)
Daily Record 91,126 90,104 (1%) 110,415 (-17%)
Financial Times 86,694 78,287 (11%) 166,663 (-48%)
Sunday Post 73,355 74,279 (-1%) 95,015 (-23%)

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