Feb 15, 2013

Circulation figures: the paper is dead, long live the ‘masthead’

The latest newspaper circulation figures show plummeting sales, but the industry is talking up the growth of digital. How seriously should we take their claims?

Matthew Knott

Former Crikey media reporter

For those convinced the newspaper business is teetering on the edge of a cliff, there’s plenty in the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations figures to justify the pessimism. But there are signs of hope too for the optimists who spy a shiny digital future around the corner.

There’s no avoiding the calamitous print circulation declines in the December quarter. Total print sales were down 7.1% year-on-year with only one newspaper, the Saturday West Australian, picking up readers. It was “the worst newspaper audit on record”, according to media analyst Steve Allen.

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12 thoughts on “Circulation figures: the paper is dead, long live the ‘masthead’

  1. Jon Douglas

    Merged print digital numbers are mesningless. You might as well compare radio.

  2. Pete from Sydney

    a golden moment for Crikey-another chance to sink the boot in..still plenty of copies going out every day though

    Merged print numbers aren’t meaningless Jon Douglas, they are valid reflections of the emerging print/online model

  3. Doug

    Yet again Matthew.. where is the other Capital (or even Capitol) broadsheet.. ‘The Canberra Times’ ?

    Seriously, it is a glaring omission from the Fairfax figures, and by all accounts plunging faster than a shirtless punter on the last race…

  4. Matthew Knott

    Hi Doug: have updated for you. The CT is down 7.6% on weekdays to to 27,974. Cheers.

  5. Doug

    Thankyou Matthew, Not terribly surprised when “Vajazzling” gets page three.. appreciate getting the numbers.

  6. fredex

    Out of curiousity , I wonder how many unique visitors Crikey get per day?

  7. K.D. Afford

    What is Crikey’s circulation?
    I like what I get, but there is no crossword!

  8. Mike Flanagan

    K.D. Afford;
    I thought all the cross words, is what keeps mother superior so busy !

  9. Christopher Nagle

    In the end, we all end up paying for the value we get. Anything else is just temporary. When the print media eventually goes belly up, we on-liners will find ourselves in an envirnment where on line market forces will ‘guide’ us in to paying for whatever level of quality information we want. Cheap/free internet content will just get whittled away to the point that the struggle to keep finding information newbies gets too hard or unsatisfying.

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