The Sun On Sunday has just published its third monthly ABC circulation figure, so I thought it would be interesting, now the dust from the launch has settled, to see how the Sunday ‘tabloid’ newspaper market now stands.
The Sun On Sunday has [predictably] become the biggest selling Sunday newspaper. It’s effectively News International’s replacement for the News Of The World, which itself was the biggest seller. Back in February I said they would be aiming for 2.5m copies sold. Huge early sales of 3m+ in Feb have understandably dropped to 2.3m as the novelty has worn off – not quite as high as the NotW was when it ceased publication, but not far off.
The Mail On Sunday initially gained from the NotW closure, but that didn’t last long and the red top readers soon decided they didn’t like the Mail – circulation was soon back at its original level.
The Sunday Mirror was the big winner when the NotW shut down (about 800K) and this time, most of those new readers stuck with it. That is, until the Sun On Sunday showed its face. A short-lived price promotion kept the numbers above 1.5m in Feb, but any gains are gone. The same applies for the People.
The Daily Star Sunday can be considered a long term success story. The Northern & Shell title added 400K to its circulation back in July 2011, and has retained almost half of those despite the Sun On Sunday.
The upshot of all this is… pretty much the same number of papers are being sold now, as there were before all the changes. The overall popular and mid-market circulation is down about 300K copies year on year. A decrease like this is not unexpected and falls in line with print media trends in general.