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Hot off the press

Circulations update

In the first wave of lockdown, while newspapers were key to keeping the public updated on what was happening in a more trusted way than TV and online, they also gave a lifeline to many people who were subsequently more engaged than ever before. 

The newspapers were quick to offer free delivery to ensure that circulations did not fall and this combination meant the newspapers were performing well and circulation held up.  The magazines took an initial hit – supermarket home delivery meant that people were not picking up a magazine when they did their shop (this is when the majority are purchased) however a high demand for content continued, in particular home interest and gardening, and the online traffic to their digital sites surged.

Marketing to push subscriptions paid off and they increased by up to 300% on some titles.  The latest ABC’s show that things have now settled down and whilst print circulations have declined in most cases, these have been more than replaced with digital coverage, making the conversion of online readers into customers for our clients more important than ever. 

The Times has certainly led the way and despite their paid model online they have offset their 5% print decline with an 80% increase in digital reach.  Overall, the quality titles print circ are down 5% – not bad considering the circumstances.

In the magazine market there is a very similar picture with print circulations falling and digital spiking, however, there are a few sectors that have bucked the trend with gardening leading the way.  Almost all gardening titles have enjoyed a print circulation increase with Gardeners World increasing by 28% taking it to 226,000 and Garden Answers up 36%, Garden News up 18% and Landscape 25% – with no rate increases these are all great value.  The news magazines have also done well – The Week Junior is up 36% keeping those kids at home topped up with knowledge, but Private Eye and The Spectator also increasing.

Overall, the picture is good; the titles aimed at the younger market have lost in print but gained in digital. Those with a more ‘mature’ reader have done well with maintaining or increasing print circ as well as their highly valuable subscriber base and the newspapers have worked hard to maintain circulations and drive digital. The reductions in costs have meant that print continues to be key for direct response advertising, particularly if your target audience is 50+.

If you would like to know how to make the most of these opportunities, we can help. Please contact