A DVD giveaway pushed the Daily Mirror’s sales back to well above two million copies on Saturday.
It was one of a handful of music and film discs being offered free with national papers over the weekend.
Such offers have increased dramatically over the past year and are understood to be an expensive way to buy readers.
Newspaper companies normally pay production costs of about 25p per CD, as well as a substantial royalty fee to the film or music publisher.
According to industry estimates, including a free copy of the film Brassed Off boosted the Daily Mirror’s sale by well over 20 per cent (at least 360,000 copies) week-on-week. The paper’s current ABC figure is 1,821,206.
The DVD was used to launch a new commercial enterprise for the paper, called We Love Films, which allows readers to rent an unlimited number of DVDs by post for £14.99 a month.
The Mirror giveaway went head to head with The Sun, which was inviting readers to claim a DVD of the film Last Orders by presenting a token at Blockbuster video shops.
The Sunday Express included volume two of its mellow CD collection Perfect Sunday, the Daily Express on Saturday offered an album of pop hits played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Daily Star on Saturday had a pop CD called Back to School. Meanwhile, The Mail on Sunday was giving away an album of Cole Porter songs and the Sunday Mirror offered readers Fantastic Sunday – “10 songs to make you feel great”.
On Thursday, the Evening Standard included a 10-track CD that used encryption technology to allow readers to access further tracks just four times.
The Mail on Sunday was planning a similar giveaway this week to promote former Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson’s new album, Smile.
By Dominic Ponsford