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The ever increasing decline of newspaper circulation

November 16, 2013

Weekend newspaper circulation has dropped just shy of 7.5% in the past year, according to a report released on Wednesday.
Combined circulation fell from 2 338 836 copies from July to September last year, to 2 163 784 copies this year, a decline of 175 052 copies, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations of SA’s (ABC) third quarter report.

Rapport suffered the biggest decline, shedding 37 307 copies (16.9%) from a total circulation of 220 494 last year.
The circulation of the country’s biggest selling weekend newspaper, The Sunday Times, shrank by 31 610 copies (7%), from 451 676 last year to 420 066 this year.
City Press’s circulation dropped 10.4%, from 135 148 to 121 137, while the Saturday Beeld dropped 13.6%, from 69 109 to 59 690.

Of 28 weekend titles, only two increased their circulation: the Independent on Saturday, up from 43 780 to 44,141 (0.8%), and Isolezwe ngoMgqibelo, up from 73 187 copies to 78 772 (7.6%).

The Sunday Sun’s circulation decreased 11.2%, from 199 183 copies to 176 692, and The Sunday World shed 17.2%, from 141 260 to 116 875.

Daily newspaper circulation also declined, but not to the same degree.
Overall circulation dropped 5.8%, from 1 566 778 copies to 1 475 429.

The circulation of the Daily Sun, the country’s top-selling daily newspaper, decreased 13.4%, from 336 319 copies to 291 132.

The Star’s circulation declined 4.6%, from 105 686 to 100 805.

Others that lost circulation were The Citizen (8.9%), Die Beeld (8.2%), Die Burger (5.9%), The Business Day (8.3%), Cape Argus (6.7%), The Herald (4.9%), The Sowetan (2%), and Die Son (8.4%).
Circulation also dropped at The Mercury (4.6%), The Witness (6%), Pretoria News (10.6%) and Cape Times (6%).
Circulation increased at only three dailies: The Times, Isolezwe, and The Daily Dispatch.

Sales of The Times increased from 140 078 copies to 143,957 (2.7%); Isolezwe from 107 628 to 108 484 (0.8%); and The Daily Dispatch from 26 390 to 26 501 (0.4%).
Weekly newspapers lost 53 328 copies (7.5%) of their overall circulation, dropping from 706 255 copies last year to 652 927 this year.

Soccer Laduma’s circulation declined by 25 799 (7.1%), from 360 668 copies to 334 869, while The Mail&Guardian’s decreased by 2158 (4.8%) from 44 400 last year to 42 242 this year.

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