A journalist made this comment to me this morning when discussing the latest newspaper circulation figures released by ABC on 10th July 2015. These figures show year on year changes for newspaper sales in Scotland.
At some time the steep decline has to bottom out IF there is to be any future for newspapers within the Scottish mainstream media.
The Daily Record, which once had ambitions of selling a million copies per day has lost an additional 21,906 in circulation in the past year. This will account for over 50,000 readers and represents an astonishing decline.
It’s great red top rival The Scottish Sun, now the established market leader in Scottish tabloid sales, has little to shout about either losing even more readers with a loss of 23,374 in circulation which would equate to around a 60,000 readership loss – the equivalent of a packed Celtic pack on a Champions League night.
Or if we simply look at circulation losses – across all the titles in Scotland that declare monthly circulation figures, the year on year loss in newspaper purchases in Scotland is an astonishing 66,151 newspaper sales with only The (London) Times bucking the trend gaining an impressive 714 sales.
For the English based titles these Scottish declines may well reflect changes in habits as more people consume media online and also maybe reveal underlying political reasons. However for the Scottish based titles their football coverage is surely a major factor in their decline and fall.
It seems that lamb doesn’t sell red tops.
Here are the latest Scottish ABC figures in full…
Daily Mirror – 17.7 per cent drop = from 17,161 on average during June last year, to 14,128 last month;
Daily Record – 10.6 per cent drop = from 206,087 on average during June last year, to 184,181 last month;
Daily Star of Scotland – 13.2 per cent drop = 42,941 to 37,257;
The Scottish Sun – 9.7 per cent drop = 240,978 to 217,604;
Scottish Daily Express – 13.1 per cent drop = 49,230 to 42,791;
Scottish Daily Mail – 2.6 per cent drop = 91,315 to 88,933;
Daily Telegraph – 6.2 per cent drop = 18,383 to 17,237;
Financial Times – 10.4 per cent drop = 2,319 to 2,078;
The Guardian – 9.4 per cent drop = 10,073 to 9,122;
i – 8.3 per cent drop = 18,320 to 16,796;
Independent – 6.9 per cent drop = 2,678 to 2,493
The Times – 3.8 per cent up = 18,533 to 19,247
Meanwhile, the Sunday titles’ sales figures in Scotland were as follows:
Daily Star of Scotland – Sunday – 14.6 per cent down = 23,046 to 19,668;
The Scottish Sun – Sunday – 11 per cent down = 171,430 to 152,522;
Sunday Mail – 12.6 per cent down = 229,617 to 200,663;
Sunday Mirror – 7.4 per cent down = 15,699 to 14,533;
The People – 15.9 per cent down = 9,019 to 7,582;
Scottish Mail on Sunday – 5.8 per cent down = 80,451 to 75,780;
Scottish Sunday Express – 12 per cent down = 27,742 to 24,415;
The Sunday Post – 10.7 per cent down = 146,628 to 130,857;
Independent on Sunday – 2.3 per cent down = 5,010 to 4,897;
The Observer – seven per cent down = 13,206 to 12,276;
Sunday Telegraph – 7.8 per cent down = 15,978 to 14,726; and
Sunday Times – 5.6 per cent down = 44,769 to 42,272.
Source: ABC, July 10 2015. Please note: The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, The Herald and the Sunday Herald now appear in the twice-yearly ABC regional newspapers report.