The March ABC figures are out, allowing us to analyse how newspapers performed across first quarter of 2014. And you know what? It’s not looking too bad – relatively speaking, that is.

 

Turning firstly to daily titles, we see an overall year-on-year (YoY) loss of 7.4% but no period-on-period (PoP) change. It appears that the heavily documented decline in newspaper sales may be settling!

 

March Winners:

  • Times – 3.2% PoP growth
  • Financial Times – 2.7% PoP growth. An impressive figure given the 15.6% YoY drop.
  • Daily Mirror – 1.2% PoP growth, 20,000 more copies sold in March compared to February. Definitely a positive given YoY sales fell by 69,500 copies.
  • Sun – A moderate 1% circulation rise. However, having lost sales of 210,000 copies across the year, they really needed that.

 

March steady players:

  • Independent – nothing to worry about really, with a drop in circulation of 372 copies.
  • Guardian – a similar situation with a mere 0.3% YoY drop.

 

March Losers (sorry…):

  • Daily Express – a drop of 0.9% POP, but a harsh 7.2% fall YoY.
  • Daily Mail – 19,000 drop over the month, and an accumulative 114,000 loss over the year.
  • ‘i’ – 2.4% PoP decline in circulation. Understandably so given the increase in price from 20p to 30p.


Looking towards the Sunday titles, whilst there was an overall fall of 9.4% YoY, PoP figures decreased by just 1.1%, another indicator to the slowing newspaper decline.  The Sunday Times performed best PoP with a 1.6% rise, and an increase of 13,000 copies sold compared to February. PoP loses were noted for the Mail on Sunday (-1.9%) and the Sunday Express (-2%), however sales haven’t fallen significantly since February, which is a positive sign for the future. The Independent on Sunday showed similar results, with a relatively small decline in sales from February to March compared the 11% drop across the year.

 

So a mixed bag of results. Whilst we continue to see circulation figures falling YoY, the first quarter of 2014 was a saving grace for many titles and points towards a (slightly) brighter future.