CIRCULATION figures for national newspapers across the UK have just been released and they make for grim reading for those in that industry.
And in the latest ABC figures for December, three Scottish newspapers have reported significant drops in circulation with drops of up to 13.5% in year on year circulation.
The Daily Record has shed almost 10% of the circulation it had a year ago and in December 2016 it sold just 160,557 copies per day.
The Record’s 9.7% year on year decline is awful but at least not as severe as the 12.68% decline in circulation at its sister paper the Sunday Mail. In December 2016 the Sunday Mail sold just 172,513 copies. This is a long, long way from the days when it sold around half a million copies every Sunday.
The only other Scottish paper reporting is the Sunday Post which in December 2016 sold just 142,863 copies, a drop of 13.5% year on year. The Sunday Post, to be fair do not include bulk, or free copies within its sales figures.
Nationally there are several newspapers that are currently losing sales at a rate of more than 10% year to year. The Sun dropped by 10.5%, Sunday Mirror (down 16.3%, the Daily Mirror (down 11.68 %), Sunday People (down 15.1 %), Daily Star Sunday (down 13.2 %).
The only titles to grow print sales year on year were The Sunday Times and The Times, but this can be explained by increased free bulk copies which are distributed at places like hotels and airports. This is also a tactic that is used by both the Daily Record and the Sunday Mail.
The figures for two of the Scottish titles also show bulk (or free) copies within their circulation figures quoted above. The Daily Record reported bulk 4923 bulk copies while the Sunday Mail had bulks of 3806 copies.
So their figures, excluding bulk copies, given away at airports, hotels and so on are just 155,634 sales per edition for the Daily Record and 168,707 sales for the Sunday Mail.