Cape Town. The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) today presented its Circulation Data Report 62.0 for the last quarter of 2010. In a nutshell, magazine circulation is recovering, single sales copies are up and subscriptions down, and sales of English language newspapers have reflect a sharp decline, while titles in Afrikaans and the vernacular have showed remained stable
As the ABC’s Gordon Utian said of newspapers, “I can only offer condolences.” The dilemma for newspapers, he added, was balancing public interest with circulation and the need to keep advertisers happy.
Utian assured members that there was a “vibrancy in ABC” and some changes in the rules that include a new category, Advertising Brochures, that includes Shopper’s Friend and HomemakersFair.
Thirdwave Media’s Bryan Gibson made the presentation, commenting that there was a change in the definition of newspapers. A newspaper should ‘be published on a regular basis, have a minimum of eight pages and at least 35 percent editorial content’.
He also reported, to much laughter, that monies paid to cover postage of publications was not actually a subscription.
According to the ABC, magazine publishing is recovering, with ABC membership rising from 465 to 507. Overall, membership has increased from 768 to 828. Custom magazines have grown by 13.605 percent.
Gibson said that daily newspapers had showed a “sharp decline” with even the Daily Sun, with a total circulation of 414 276, down by -15 percent. Isolozwe, with a circulation of 99 711 showed a loss of -3.44 percent. The Citizen had recovered to 50 235, a 19 percent increase. This could be put down to its drop in price from R4.50 to R3 a copy. Cape Town’s Argus show a 15 percent decline.
Weekly newspapers fared slightly better, with an overall increase of 14 percent. The Mail & Guardian moved up 11 percent while Ilanga shot up from a total circulation of 126 116, up from 100 336 last quarter. Soccer Laduma has also seen a rise in circulation from 270 634 to 313 458.
Weekend newspapers showed a decline of 2.6 percent, still an improvement on last quarter’s -3.9 percent. The Sunday Times had a total circulation of 462 366 down from 464 393 last quarter. The paper recorded copy sales of 248 047, a decline of -6.93 percent. However, it’s ‘hybrid’ (free to subscribers, but sold too at a low price) publication, The Times, showed increased circulation, up to 15 000. Sondag was the big winner, up to 55 631 from 34 013. City Press’s total circulation dropped from 168 029 to 152 907.
TheMediaOnline will post magazine results shortly.