Accelerating 4.3% Decline in Australian Metropolitan Newspaper Circulations


Total weekly circulation of Australian metropolitan (5 city) and national newspaper titles declined at an accelerating 4.3% year on year (YOY) rate, to reach 15.6 million copies, during the quarter ending 30 June 2011, according to industry-sourced statistics compiled by the Audit Bureau of Circulations and published by The Newspaper Works, the Australian newspaper industry’s peak trade association.

News Corporation titles, which accounted for 68.0% of the total in the quarter, fell the most, with a 4.9% decline. Fairfax Media titles, which had a 23.8% circulation share, fared somewhat better with a lesser 2.6% fall; while Seven West Media’s West Australian titles were down by 4.2%.

The 4.3% reduction in total weekly circulations was considerably above the average annual decline of 0.5% which the Australian newspaper industry experienced over the 14 year period between 1996 and 2009. The June 2011 decline followed an above average 2.4% fall in such total circulations during the June 2010 quarter.

Over the past 15 years, total metropolitan and national circulations have declined by 12.1%, from 17.7m copies per week down to 15.6m copies, which represents a compound annual rate of decline of 0.9%.

None of the three metropolitan newspaper publishing groups have been immune to this adverse trend in the circulations of their printed editions. Seven West Media’s West Australian title has been the hardest hit with its combined weekday and Saturday circulation numbers falling by 18.0% since June 1996, despite the robust state of the Western Australian economy. News Corporation and Fairfax Media experienced lesser circulation declines over the same period of 11.9% and 10.3% respectively.

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Report date: 23/08/2011
Industry: Newspapers
Country: Australia
Topic: Circulation
Document Number: GMA2011-85

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