The latest ABC figures looking at the performance of national newspapers across the month of July, present a relatively stable start to the third quarter of 2014, with daily titles reporting an average of 0.2% circulation growth.


Quality read, The Times, reported the highest increase in monthly sales, having grown by 1.3% across July. For a second consecutive month, the title also noted the best YoY results, with a circulation drop of just 0.41%. In the case of The Times, the rate at which the brand is losing print readers is outweighed by the growth of their online audience – an outstanding result for the title who infamously introduced an online paywall three years ago, representing the first of British newspapers to do so.


At the opposite end of the quality scale, The Sun followed closely behind The Times, recording PoP growth of 1.2%. The Sun continues to reach the largest audience will average sales of over 2 million copies, however YoY data points to a 9.82% fall in circulation since July 2013. This is more than double the audience loss (YoY) reported by the Daily Mail, who noted a 0.1% increase in circulation across July. The brand continues to don the silver medal as the second most read daily newspaper, following The Sun, bringing in an average of nearly 1.7 million readers.


The Guardian recorded a 2.2% fall in circulation PoP.


Whilst no Sunday newspapers managed YoY growth, five of the twelve titles in the group did bring in larger audiences in July compared to the preceding month. The Independent on Sunday and the Sunday Express saw the biggest growth (up 2% and 1.5% respectively). The Mail on Sunday, whilst recording a 0.5% fall in circulation, still managed to shift more than 1.5 million copies on average in July.


The Sun on Sunday had a particularly successful month, up 2.4%, and as the highest selling of all Sunday titles, sold almost 1.7 million copies.


The Observer was the worst hit across the period having seen in a drop of 2.7% in circulation.


The Sunday Times was down 2% in July, however the newsbrand only saw a circulation drop of 5.32% across the year, a relative success compared with the Sunday Mail. The latter was the worst off with a circulation loss of 17.87% YoY.


Whilst YoY figures continue to support the reality that news consumption is becoming increasingly digital based, this latest ABC release paints a far less negative picture than what we’ve become accustomed to seeing from print circulation reports. With many leading titles continuing to pull in massive national audiences, brands looking to build their profile would certainly benefit from including print advertising in newspapers as part of their marketing strategy. Looking for a bit of guidance with regards to this? Give us a shout.


By Angharad Edwards