With the recent release of November’s ABC figures, our Media team have provided both analysis of the market as it currently stands and predictions for what 2012 has in store.

First things first, in November the daily newspaper market saw average circulation figures fall -1.8% month on month and -6.8% year on year in November.

Just two dailies posted an increase in sales over the month – the Daily Mail and i. The i was up by 5%, while sister publication the Independent was down the same amount month on month, amounting to a total of 28% loss year on year. The next biggest faller was the Guardian, down 16% year on year, a downturn change mirrored in its Sunday sister, the Observer.

The Sunday market also saw circulation figures fall month on month (down -1.2%). The Independent on Sunday was the only title to buck the trend (1.7% up) – though the Sunday tabloids are still enjoying positive year on year results, which continue to be affected by the closure of the News of the World. The Sunday Mirror is still up 64% year on year, and the Daily Star Sunday 101%, maintaining good figures nearly six months after the News of the World closed.

Predicting trends for 2012

The newspaper market will fall in December 2011 (it falls every December thanks to festive socialising and Christmas holidays that typically disrupt newspaper consumption) and should then increase slightly at the beginning of 2012. With so many events of national and international importance in 2012 (…the Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012, the Olympics to name a few!) it is tempting to predict a strong year for national and London press. However with the Leveson Inquiry on-going, and throwing up new and ever more unbelievable facts and soundbites, it is difficult to predict which publisher or title will next be immured in the phone-hacking/privacy scandals. It is still possible that other titles may face a crisis big enough to warrant closure or sale to another stable. It also looks increasingly unlikely that News International will be able to launch the Sun on Sunday anytime soon – though word on Fleet Street is that News International has built up a substantial war chest to pay for a massive marketing campaign to support the launch of this new title, as soon as the time is right. As long as the Leveson Inquiry does no further damage to the Sun’s brand identity, Euro 2012 would seem the ideal time for a soft launch, followed by a marketing push pre-Olympics.


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