Meanwhile, the biggest loser was News Ltd’s Sunday Mail in Queensland, which dropped nearly 7%. The Australian Financial Review lost almost 6% -- having been on a steepish downward trajectory for some time. The Sydney Morning Herald held steady, but The Age lost 4.5%. The Australian had a small fall, effectively also holding steady. There is no good news, despite the various publishers’ attempts to spin the stats, as though they have never had a bad audit. One could go nuts trying to figure out the reasons, but as previously stated, the various giveaways and circulation deals mean that the navel gazing rarely leads to much enlightenment. And the real story -- total newspaper circulation plotted against population growth over time -- tells a much grimmer story. Daily newspaper readership is a sharply declining habit. The newspaper proprietors assert, not entirely without justification, that what they care about these days is readership, including online readership, which is generally growing. But that doesn’t deal with the fact that the business model still largely relies on the print product, and its "premium" position. Meanwhile, magazines, which a few years ago seemed to be holding up while their less glossy cousins declined, are also in trouble. TV Week is heading south, losing more than 11%. OK lost 15% and Zoo also lost heavily. Celeb pics and breasty birds seem to be losing their appeal faster than news -- a reverse of the trends predicted a decade ago.
No good news in latest circulation figures
The real story -- total newspaper circulation plotted against population growth over time -- tells a grim story. Daily newspaper readership is a sharply declining habit.