The subject of daily print news, and the way in which sales figures therein are analysed, was featured in our last newsletter (read more on that here), but for those that missed out let’s provide a quick summary. Up until very recently the number of copies circulated was calculated based on Monday-Sunday numbers, but all this has now changed.
So the Audit Bureau of Circulation has begun separating weekdays and the two editions distributed at the weekend, giving advertisers a far more in depth breakdown as to when people read newspapers the most. And, surprise surprise, the statistics point to Saturday being the nation’s favourite day to catch up on current affairs.
It’s common knowledge that Sunday papers have reduced in size over the years as publishers worked out that most of us prefer to be inundated with information when we have 48 hours to consume the extensive supplements and addition entertainment guides. Which isn’t to say the final print run of the week is small, just less overbearing than it was.
As such it appears obvious those responsible for organising content have been aware of the difference between Monday and Saturday for some time, and so revealing this information to the advertising buyers is really only fair play. What’s interesting is the size of the differences between weekday pickups and their weekend counterparts, with many titles selling well over 100,000 more copies whilst most of the country isn’t at work (The Guardian, for example almost doubles its circulation). The impact of this remains to be seen, but in an era of struggling print media the announcement that figures gleaned from ‘the old system’ have been propped up by the bumper weekend editions could well spell trouble for overall revenues, which certainly won’t be very good news for anyone (other than The Daily Star, which actually shifts more during the week).