Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Double-digit decline in newspaper circulation

Mark Fletcher
February 14th, 2014 · 9 Comments

Capital city newspapers around Australia experienced double-digit declines in circulation in the October to december 2013 compared to 2012. The Advertiser, The Mercury and The West Australian are the only exceptions. the 17% decline for The Age and 16.6% decline for the SMH continue an awful trend for these titles. The declines of 12% for the Daily Telegraph and 12.3% for the Herald Sun are awful news for News. Mumbrella has the gory details.

These numbers reinforce my view that we will see at least one and maybe more capital city dailies cease daily production this year. The cost of producing and distributing product with lower ad revenue is the issue. the recent price rises announced by News will not fill much of the revenue gap.


Category: Newspaper distribution · Newspapers

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jenny // Feb 14, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Just had a customer enquire when Sun Herald Footy Guide will be available.
    My money is on no guide this year, Fairfax haven’t had a freebie for a long time now and notices on connect are becoming fewer.


  • 2 John // Feb 14, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    With the declines The Age and SMH are seeing it is hard to see how they will possibly be around in 5 years. The others not much longer. All indications are there will be no major dailies in Australia in 15 years.


  • 3 Brendan // Feb 14, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    Yet the Herald Sun provide a great promotion and we are selling out of Suns by noon EVERY DAY. Greater sales are available if they backed their own promotions. We should have increased sales by 25% minimum at least this week but for lack of stock.


  • 4 BrettS // Feb 14, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    Do sales really matter at all? to us yes it’s traffic driving.
    But in the big picture I really can’t see either business lasting very long without the add revenue.
    How can production cost be brought into line with only paper sales not possible in my opinion.


  • 5 Mark Fletcher // Feb 14, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Brett you pose the question that must dominate newspaper management and directors the world over. Their traditional revenue base has shrunk dramatically and while successive cover price rises help, they do not even come close to solving the revenue / cost base challenge.

    We must factor newspaper closures into our own business plans. That’s not new information.


  • 6 Jarryd Moore // Feb 14, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    That’s the clincher Brett – ad revenue keeps newspapers alive. While there is some relationship between sales and ad revenue, it is the latter that will likely put an end to certain publications well before sales fall off a cliff.


  • 7 h // Feb 17, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    essential reading…….


  • 8 Dennis Robertson // Feb 20, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    Interesting reading for a slightly pro take on print.

    First link is in respect of circulation, second is regarding innovation and Advertising success and the 3rd is the vital trust aspect.

    I hope the links work 🙂


  • 9 Newsagent customer // Feb 26, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    Mark, love your blog as always.

    Could you please point me to the article about News’ cover price rises?


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