The Daily Sun’s circulation has dropped, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulation figures released today. Year-on-year , South Africa’s most popular tabloid daily has lost just over 20% with quarter-on-quarter (QOQ) data showing a slower decline to just over 8% loss. But the AMPS 2012AB figures released by SAARF last month show stable readership figures at 5.5 million readers.
“The drop in circulation is part of a large scale rebuilding of our distribution network, specifically in our core sales areas in townships in Gauteng. It’s a difficult process, but absolutely necessary to provide a solid platform that will ensure the future growth and reach of the ‘peoples’ paper’. Our brand, SunTV has shown very good audience figures over the last two months. All our current marketing efforts are aimed at our seller infrastructure, which includes our visibility and availability on street,” says Minette Ferreira, general manager of English titles, Beeld and Rapport at Media24.
Ads24 says Daily Sun readers remain devoted to the publication. The recalibration of the distribution network is causing disruption, but it is a critical strategy that needs to be fulfilled in order to position the newspaper for continued future growth.
“The period from mid-December 2012 to mid-January 2013 was uncharacteristically quiet from a circulation perspective. We were delighted, however, to see the stability in the Daily Sun readership figures. Whilst circulation remains challenging and the current economic conditions are not working in our favour, it’s clear that our reach into the mass market remains unrivalled,” Ferreira says. “The Daily Sun readers are still fiercely loyal and continue to engage with the title in their millions. Readership and market penetration consideration is crucial; to fully understand the role a title plays in the lives of its readers.”
Ferreira says economic pressure on Daily Sun readers is a hard reality. “We clearly see this in the frequency of purchase and it stands out even more prominently if one looks at our readership figures in the context of our declines in sales,” she says. “The daily engagement with the product is still very strong, but the power to purchase is difficult in the present economy. This market is most affected by economic factors such as the rising cost of transport, electricity and food.”